The Faux Finishing industry has brought a delightful array of diverse and complex media to the palette and painted surface. The faux finished surfaces of walls, ceilings, domes, columns and more, have been a privileged place to showcase this layering of complex media and visual effect. Lime-based Venetian plaster, saturated colorants, burnished metallic plasters, creamy to course stone plasters, dry pigments, iridized colorant or waxes, metals, rich traditional colorant, and a stimulating host of application tools, are but an abbreviated list of resources at my fingertips. This media opens a delightful world of visual appeal. In my faux finishing work alone I have created everything from faux wood grains and marble, to crafted layers of Venetian plaster, to layered complex media walls and ceilings. I am grateful to a designer friend who refers to each of them as “works of art.” Indeed, whether the substrate is a groin ceiling or a canvas, the creative endeavor is the same to me, and I am further delighted with this media range that brings it to bear.
This media is increasingly finding its natural way into my canvas work. Today, I am more enchanted with the trowels and spatulas. Perhaps this is because I am still taunted with the tightly-controlled brush and detail of yesteryear, and continue to break free from that realism and labored control, striving to loosen and create in a more fluid, natural, and less-forced creation. I have always marveled at the nuance of hues, intensities, textures and a variety of wonderful surprises that accidentally happen out there on the canvas, if we are but attentive to leave them alone. They make you smile. They weren't over-worked or over-planned. It doesn't always come as easily, where the tool and media just dance out there and create a unique and beautiful song. Sometimes it turns into a wrestle. But I still enjoy the partnering-up for the dance. It is gratifying.
It is, at times, difficult to keep the bad habits of "control" or “force” out of it. But, I am interested in orchestrating with order – seeking compositional balance, variety with unity, movement and other design principles using the basic design elements of hues, values and intensities, textures etc. I just seek to see both, the media and design, cooperate with each other for a completed or complementing work. But, one that found its way out onto the canvas in a more natural and honest way. Truly, I enjoy the process that simply touches my heart and mind, in perhaps a bit of a giddy way, when that layer of color or shimmer, or a play of strokes, or a pass of texture and blends that strikes you as “complete,” and you rest, satisfied as a “fun work to have created.”
Some of my work is more representational in subject or theme, although I would prefer to work out a more slightly abstracted or suggestive representation of the composition. Other works may appear more non-objective, with the influence, subject or theme more concealed, and the emphasis drawn more to the design through the interplay of this media – a pleasing visual. I find both of the above-mentioned forms of expression valuable. For centuries humanity has valued visual art, in part - for its inspiration or lift to one’s spirit through its beauty or intrigue. I, too, wish to create for that lift or inspiration – be it adorning item(s) or spaces. Rather than a bland world, we are afforded a delightful array of colors, intensities, shapes, sheens, textures, and movements, simply found in creation. These are tremendous blessings and a privilege to experience, enjoy, and participate with. If my art can be understood as the affirmation in, an amazement of, or simple pleasure in the theme(s) I am capturing and expressing in a painterly way, then I agree I have something worth sharing… something that becomes mutually valued, giving a lift, adding to the quality of someone’s environment and life. With that, I am grateful.