CONTROL POINT: rust never sleeps

This is the leftover ash and binder from the middle panel of this series. It's just a mixing palette, but has unintentional cloud shapes with that crucial energy and 'mark-making' I'm after. So, can these types of marks make their way back to where they're supposed to go: on the artwork? It's a balancing act of having just enough control and letting go...

It helps working large. This door-sized scale opens doors, so to speak. It allows a complete shift in the way you can make marks. They become more gestural and physical, less dab and more slap. It's like being part of the art; inside it, not outside.

Here is an early stage of another panel, aiming for the balance of definition and suggestion. The particular paint here is laden with iron oxide particles that respond to copper salts to literally rust. The end results, according to my experiments anyway, should vary with paint thickness... I keep the panel moist to prolong the process...

Within minutes, the tell-tale warming of the image begins, and over the next few hours and even days, the rust becomes more apparent...

The enjoyable part of this final stage is watching the magic happen, the artwork literally painting itself! The copper solution also left surprises - happy accidents - in the form of unplanned fringes of blues and greens that weren't evident in the experiments. Not sure who said it now, but I've been quoting this for some time: "Painting is a battle between the artist and the painting; and if you're lucky, the painting will win!"

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