So far I have posted works done using an older painting as an underpainting. Of course that could be pretty limiting. Both the colors and the textures in the underpainting are important to me but I didn''t always have an old painting of the size and shape I wanted, so I had to make some intentionally. I used one of those underpaintings for a piece that I titled "Organized Life". Organized Life, oil, 24 x 24" This is an interior painting of the "organizer" and its environs in my studio. The underpainting was done in a lot of purples and blues plus a few greenish yellows. It turned out to be a great color for the shadow areas and most of the shadow areas in the finished work are the untouched underpainting. I also let that same color appear as the two bottle shapes and surface of the table on which the organizer and fax machine rest.
The box under the table breaks up the long rectangular shape there and brings some of the "manilla" coloring down to the bottom of the painting. Using a font called "stencil", I made a stencil to paint the word "fragile" and turned it upside-down as a nod to the fragility of organization, already suggested by the general chaos on the organizer.
Me creating the underpainting for Organized Life
This is me painting the underpainting that I eventually used for Organized Life. At the time, I didn''t know what I would do with it. I was just making random marks with a small range of colors that I thought would work well together. I used oil paint for this but oils take a long time to dry, so since then I have experimented with acrylics for underpainting, too. More on that in a later post. Take a good look at your own organizers, the products we store there come in attractively colored containers. Those containers create a rectangular geometry of varied sizes and proportions with interesting irregularities and unexpected angles. These things reflect the way we live our lives and I think they can be a feast for the eyes.