The project started in good spirit, the idea was known and the desire to do my best work was high. I knew this painting was going to be my best yet. The trouble is I don’t really have control of my artistic ‘flow’ as it were, it feels more like I am channeling someone else’s. Not complaining though, every major advance in my work has come from one of these changelings, and the knowledge stays. I have an inbuilt teacher.
The canvas was started, my idea was mapped out and the central focal point positioned. The chemistry set was assembled, I call it the chemistry set but its just additives for the acrylic to make it more oil paint like, I can no longer use oil paints for health reasons. My main figures were then transferred onto the canvas and the background started. For the next four hours the dance with the paint went on, the paint wanted to dry, I wanted it to stay wet for a bit longer, spray, blend work down the canvas. Brush and paint foxtrotted all the way down to the horizon line. Then it dawned on me. Everything was wrong. All that worked in the sketch didn’t work in paint.
New canvas. Repeat the mapping out with the changes. But this time the main picture was going to be covered in masking fluid. An experiment, a technique that has been used with watercolour numerous times but never with acrylic. I painted the best painting I have ever done. The masking fluid did not work. Jagged edges and at points the paint was pulled from the canvas. A patch job could not repair.
Yet another new canvas. The flow was strong this time, I painted the best painting I have ever done by far. Putting the pictures together looks like three different artists have visited. All the last one requires is a couple of trees and the generic landscape would be complete. But I am taking a risk, the landscape picture is just the background. A small patrol of Redcoats from a reenactment is the fore, and until the paint is fully dry, even the knife work, I cannot move to the next stage of putting them in place.
My stomach is turning with the anticipation that this may work, or a new canvas awaits.