Thursday, January 6, 2011

Pepper Painting

The other day I was out in my winter garden picking peppers.  I'm getting a lot smarter picking peppers these days.  When we first moved here and I grew my first hot peppers, I happily picked them left and right.  Then I innocently pulled out a kleenex, blew my nose and rubbed my eyes.

Oh, the pain!  My nose ran and my eyes watered for a long time - then the burning took over my hands!  I was a mess, soaking my hands in ice water to relieve them, crying and snuffling all afternoon!  Now at least I'm initiated!  Every Southern pepper grower I've talked to has has that experience - ONLY ONCE.

But now, the Southern girl in me is taking over.  I picked these wearing surgical gloves and strung them onto a thread with a needle, careful not to let any of the hot oils from the peppers touch anything.  Getting a little smarter!

While picking, I took a dozen pictures - the peppers were so dazzling in the sunlight!  The pictures inspired me to do a painting.

Here's stage one.  I'm working with colored inks on YUPO here.  YUPO is not really paper, it's - well - plastic! Actually, polyurethane.  What that means is the surface is very slick and absolutely non-absorbent.  Any drying of paints is due to evaporation.

Okay, so here are the peppers.  I slapped them down pretty fast because I wanted it to look immediate and easy (it's always hard work making art look easy, isn't it?)  I've got umber, black and green going in the background to set the peppers off.  The odd white shapes will be plants in the background.

Now I've added some blue to indicate the sky.  As you can see, the ink really flows on the paper.  I always go into this type of work with an end in mind, but the paper helps determine the end result.

 Below I finally taped it down to a drawing board because I needed to be able to tip the paper to manipulate the paint flow.  I've got blues and greens painted on, leaving the strokes showing and using minimal blending.  After that, I tipped it and moved the paint around.  You can see there are only two sides taped down - that's because I have to 'paint' some of the extra inks right off to the side because it pools.
After I laid down the blues and greens, I splattered orange and 'Hot Momma Red' (love that name) over them.  This has the effect of moving the first layer and makes some really cool effects.

I know you're wondering about the weird fingers of white - hold that thought.  Once this all dries, I'm going to do another layer of blues and greens, and then do some negative painting to turn those and a goodly portion of the bottom right corner into plants in the background behind the peppers.

That may be a little while - I'm in the Sound of Music orchestra and our shows are coming up fast!  Tomorrow - orchestra practice for 4 1/2 hours, Saturday for six hours, Sunday for four hours, and every night next week, four hours a night.  My flute and I are going for a RIDE. Six shows next weekend.  Come out and see us for a wonderfully entertaining show!  Check out for tickets.  After that, we have two sets of out of state company... you get the message!  If I don't respond too quickly, I'll be back SOON! :)

1 comment:

  1. I love your work...the reds, blues and greens, really all the colors, really nice!