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  • Writer's pictureMartin Molloy

Art in Progress - Starving in Fire

It feels awkward to talk about my own work or how it progressed, but I thought I'd try.

This is a piece I painted and completed in January 2020, right before the world came to a screeching halt. At the time I'd been painting almost entirely using blues and greens and a friend suggested I try using warmer colors. Like most of my work, I never quite know where something is going when I start, so I decided to get out all the reds, oranges, yellows, and browns I had to attempt this.

I started with a giant red mess to see what might or not emerge. Quickly I noticed what I thought looked like a bird, so I played with the idea.

I also experimented with some browns to see if I could add some darkness to the canvas as well. The problem was I felt like it was turning into a blob. As I moved through this piece there are some various techniques and iterations as the slide show below highlights. At the time the important thing for me was to ensure that I didn't screw up the bird figure while also trying to highlight it.

Ultimately I added additional paynes grey lines to accent and center the piece.

I also worked to fill in the white areas around the figure as I liked them less and less as the piece progressed.

The canvas was one of my first attempts at a larger canvas as well (3x3) so there was a lot of room to work with while also focusing on smaller details. Additionally, to make things harder on myself, I was moving away from brush work and toward using a knife. While I like the effect it has on the paint and how colors mix, it can add challenges (for me) with details.

I thought ultimately the piece turned out well. I was happy with both the faint figure and the movement that the mixed colors seemed to add (finished piece below).

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