I just finished the first project for the first show of the New Year and the new decade. It is a relief piece for the "Black & White" themed show at the River Arts Gallery in Damariscotta. I find that these themed shows are often a good impetus for me to come up with ideas that I might otherwise not have explored. In this case, I decided to revamp and update an unfinished piece that had been part of a series of mold making projects from a number of years ago (see my blog post for 12/12/12). I had used silicone rubber molds to make plaster casts of 4 different geometric design reliefs involving varying circle and square patterns. The plaster castings each measured 3"x3". I mounted and framed 20 of them, rotating the orientation of the castings to create variations in the design patterns. I did two of these groupings of 20, leaving one white and painting the other with graphite gray acrylic. It happened that I also made a set of 20 using Portland Cement instead of plaster, and this is the piece that I decided to re-invent for the River Arts show.
My intention was to re-emphasize the circle and square motif of the cement relief and to create a more optical effect. I utilized white gesso and graphite gray acrylic to selectively paint certain circular and square shapes that were already present in the existing relief, while also leaving some areas the original cement gray. I wanted to combine the natural highlights and shadows of the original relief with the lights and darks in the newly painted areas. As the painting process progressed, I decided to add some additional circular shapes to further enhance the design pattern. The biggest challenge was to vary the distribution and size of circles and squares, as well as the areas of black, white and gray. I was happy with the final outcome. On to the next!