Week Eight: Dark Thoughts, Dark Colors....
This week was about finishing the final preparations and beginning to paint. I had a small amount of epoxy-clay left after filling all of the holes and rough spots....so I used what remained to add texture to the horse's tail. I have been very pleased with the clay--I think it is a fantastic product--but unfortunately, after these many weeks, I seem to have become allergic to it! After finishing the work on the tail, my skin began to burn as if acid were poured on it....and I broke out into a horrible red, itchy rash that rapidly spread across my body. The itching was maddening! It disrupted my sleep--and as I tossed and turned in my bed I began to have nightmares.....

I dreamed that I was ready to paint....and I dipped my brush into a jar of bright red enamel. As I touched the brush to the horse, the clay that I had so carefully crafted began to break off. I picked up the broken pieces, thinking I could somehow re-attach them, but when I touched them they crumbled through my fingers. I desperately tried to save my work, but the more I handled it the worse it became and the entire horse began to disintegrate and fall into pieces at my feet.

I woke in the morning feeling upset and miserable. I studied my rash-spattered face in the mirror--trying to determine whether I needed to see a doctor--still feeling haunted by the images in my dreams. After a moment, I decided I needed to get to the studio....

After three coats of primer and plenty of sanding...I was finally ready to add COLOR! I prefer to work dark to light, so I started with the blacks. Most of the details that I have constructed out of the epoxy-clay have many, many nooks and crannies. (I wonder--is it possible to have a cranny without a nook?)

It looks as though I am a really sloppy painter, but there is actually a method to the madness. Anywhere that is not completely filled with paint will be glaringly obvious because the white primer will show againtst black paint. I have made sure that I have filled in every little hollow spot, even if it means the paint has overlapped onto the adjacent area.

After the blacks, the next darkest color is red. The bright color is going to be used as a background for the replicated artifacts that will be attached to the blanket.
Even at this preliminary stage of painting, the face of "Ghosts of Saratoga" is showing some wonderful expression....
Continue.....
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