Layers on Layers on Layers

By Ann Haley, B.F.A. Painting, SCAD Savannah

The evolution of my current series of paintings has been very exciting for me. I began my first painting by focusing on calm colors and abstracting the human form in yoga poses. In the early stages of this painting, through focus on positive, peaceful practices, such as yoga and meditation, I wasn’t really gaining the emotional effect I had anticipated. I made the decision to embrace my mistakes. I made marks, scraped them off, painted over them, and did it again and again until I felt at peace with it. This first painting consists of about thirteen layers.

By the end, the painting became less and less about the figures, and more about the layering of paint. When I started painting over and scraping out the things I didn’t like, I started really enjoying the process and decided to change my approach to the next painting. For quite a few years, I have been interested in the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism: There is suffering. There is a cause to suffering. There is an end to suffering. There is a path out of suffering. I decided that I needed to start from the beginning, with suffering. In my second painting, I began by making marks that I disliked to represent suffering. I am now in the process of building up translucent layers to both cover up marks I don’t like, as well as build upon the marks I do like.

Artists inspiring me in this series are Alberto Giacometti, Robert Motherwell, and Mark Tobey.

Below is a slide show with process images showing the layering build up of my first painting, as well as where I currently am with my second painting.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Photo Credits: Ann Haley

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