Imperfections

I liked yesterday’s pour so much I thought I would try it again with different colors. Though yesterday I had what in zen buddhism is known as beginner’s mind…and today I had all sorts of ideas about what I wanted to make happen. Still and all, I do love the colors and the softness here. (Though again am torn about the orientation so putting two of them up for viewing).

This afternoon I find that yesterday’s pour has developed some blemishes, which I tell myself adds texture, but a part of me still says they’re blemishes. There are lots of causes for the variety of blemishes or imperfections that can arise, but sometimes I have not a clue why. Albums are the worst for it, and I suspect (but cannot prove) that it has to do with the needle grooves. On albums one can get a combination of small air blisters, tiny pits, or worst of all (in my critical mind), floogers. Floogers are attributed to Floetrol, a paint additive which many fluid artists use as their painting medium, myself included. It’s very affordable, available at Home Depot, and quite easy to work with. But it is prone to lumps and bumps like in pancake batter so you have to strain it first and then mix it into your paint slowly and thoroughly. Enjoy stirring, one artist says.

So, Glaciers was as smooth as a newly painted canvas can be last night, but this afternoon there are a couple of handfuls of pinhead sized bumps scattered throughout. Hmmm. This does tend to tug at my perfectionism.

I really should mention that 95% of the time these very small imperfections are barely noticeable when the painting is viewed head on in normal lighting conditions. You might see them at an angle, or feel them when you run your fingers over the surface, but for the most part they don’t actually detract from the painting at all. This other stuff is just what’s going on in my MIND.

The situation is this. Cotton canvas is an organic and yet man-made surface loaded with its own texture. Onto that I put a combination of inorganic fluid chemicals that also contain minute amounts of air, in the best case scenario. When you look at this right after it is poured, when it is completely wet (which is when my first photos are always taken), it has this lovely glossy smoothness to it. I like it, yes, I do! But even if I then cover it with a box (which I usually do), things are still gonna happen in those layers of cotton canvas and chemicals as they dry. Things I have no control over. And that adds TEXTURE! Texture is as much a part of the personality of a painting as the pigments are.

It’s texture, not blemishes. Just get over it, Kris.

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