Thursday, June 26, 2008


In jazz, a "riff" is a variation on a theme.  I find that sometimes when I get some good momentum going painting, that I'll go off on a riff with a particular subject.  Its partly because I'll be halfway through a painting and will see that there are several different ways to finish it, and so rather than get "stuck" being unable to decide which, I tell myself, "Ok, I'll do it that other way NEXT time..." and keep going with the flow... often I will make a note in a painting journal to remember the other idea.  Then when the painting is done I'll grab another canvas and start with the same subject again, making variations in another direction.  The possibilities are limitless!  You can get an idea for what I'm talking about with my latest riff.  This was the first version, with this one, I started with a lovely colored texture on the canvas, and then drew directly on the canvas with a Sharpie pen and outlined the face - then went back in with thin layers of paint (glazes) to emphasize the features.  This one is called Raven.  If you look on my website, you can see that I've done several variations on this theme - the latest ones being with really thick acrylic paint in textured layers of rich colors.

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