The cosmos is revolving.
This is an expression I use often, so if you’ve followed along with my art journey for a while, it’s already familiar to you. Others might refer to it as synchronicity or maybe simply as coincidence, but whatever you call it, it’s been happening a lot around my art studio recently. In fact, The Revolving Cosmos is the title I’ve given to this monochromatic nocture:
This painting represents several different influences that have come together recently. It represents my new appreciation for loose, intuitive painting and an individual style I’m only now beginning to develop.
I painted this — it’s another “color family exercise” — immediately after I’d finished the Blue Abstract painting I recently shared. Remember me saying that I’d taken out a sheet of canvas paper? Since it was sitting near my easel, and since I still had left-over paint on my palette, I just started painting. I added a lot of medium to the edges and soon I found myself with oil paint swirling around much like my watercolors had done on Yupo paper. I thought back to the techniques I’d learned during that art club demonstration, and I began letting my oil paints suggest images to me.
I loved the bright white “moonlight in the clouds” focal point, so I didn’t touch that part of the painting again. But I did “manipulate” the oil paint in other places. Although I never created the sort of “nocturnal scene” I envisioned, I came away with something imaginative, something intuitive, something that suggests a lot of different things. At least, that’s how it seems to me. Is this a lake? Are those reflections and ripples in water? Am I emerging from a dark cave, moving toward the light? Are those bushes and trees I see? Or is it just blue paint smeared on a canvas sheet?
After learning about camaieu painting, I blinked in wonderment, having painted this scene only a few hours earlier. Had I used the camaieu style without even knowing it? Whoa… cue the “woo-woo” sounds. The cosmos was revolving all around me. Thoughts of Yupo paper, paint manipulation, intuitive art, color families, and camaieu were all swirling through my head.
But no. Although this is definitely monochromatic, I would not describe it as an example of camaieu painting. In camaieu, the color used should be unnatural to the subject, and the deep blues I used in this nocturne — that’s how I see it — are quite natural for a dark, night-time sky, a shadowy lake (if that’s what it is), or for any of the other possible elements I imagine in this scene.
Yet how interesting that these different ideas all came together as part of my art study. This exercise, the watercolor on Yupo demonstration, and the concepts of monochromatic painting and camaieu painting have greatly expanded my knowledge of art. Everything is leading me toward greater self-expression, a new sense of freedom in the art I create, and an exciting approach to trying different things, to breaking rules, to just slap paint on however I feel like it.
And just as the cosmos seems to revolving around me, I feel that I’m revolving around art, spinning here and there, and in time, I’ll be coming back around to where I began, but returning to that starting point with new knowledge, new ideas, and new methods to employ.
I once again want to thank everyone who’s been walking alongside of me throughout this journey. Many of you have followed along almost from the beginning of this blog; others have joined the walk more recently. I appreciate each of you. I’m grateful for your comments, your suggestions, your encouragement, and your questions. I’m thankful that some of you have found ideas and inspirations for your own artwork here.
In a sense, I think all of these feelings are hidden somewhere within the brushstrokes of my “Revolving Cosmos”. I see so many things in this simple painting study, and I’m ready to buckle up and ride along as my world keeps spinning.