An oxide sky

I picked up the six tubes of Iron Oxide that I asked Steve to order for me and finished sealing the Traveling man canvas, which is now completely covered (to varying degrees of thickness) by that lovely glow of rusty orange. I chose to use this as the first layer of the painting to give it a generally warm feel to it, in contrast to the black gesso I put down for the Angel of Death, which will inevitably feel a little starker than the Traveler.

I treated the right side wing to a glaze of the same Oxide, warming it up and countering the blue and making the wing feel more convincingly real, not as monochromatically blue as it was. Some of it rubbed into the sky and floor, adding some pleasant warmth to the painting. The skeleton got a touch of the oxide as spillover and will need another bit of cleanup work. I enjoy these kinds of effect on the paintings though, because they give the illusion of varied warm and cool areas to the image, which is observable in reality – there really isn’t any surface that’s truly one colour – surfaces always reflect the light of the things around them in a rich and complex inter-relationship. In paintings we can create the illusion of the play of warm and cool by allowing the glazes to subtly infiltrate different areas of the image.

The painting has turned a corner, feeling more like a completed work every day, instead of feeling as though it’s an upward struggle toward completion. Now things feel like they’re getting crossed off the list as the work moves increasingly towards the finished painting.


A multitude of skulls.


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About pearce

Michael Pearce is an artist, writer, and professor of art. He is the author of "Art in the Age of Emergence."
This entry was posted in Angel, Making work, Tarot-related paintings, The Traveler. Bookmark the permalink.

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