Tag Archives: acrylique

Serpent’s fascination?


I haven’t the slightest idea why serpents surge so often in my paintings. Is it that I like their curves? (but them I also like women’s curves… Oups! woman… serpent… Eve… THE serpent…)   Could be. Anyway, this is one of my latest acrylics. I entitled it “The Serpent’s Egg” because there is an “egg” and then there is also the evocative name of a Ingmar Bermann‘s films…

And no, I almost never know how a paintings becomes THAT painting and why I give them the names I gave them… A suggestion, a mental phrase, floating among my synapses, a recent lecture, who knows?  Sometimes, the titles change but usually I stay with the first ones…

Progress report: glacis, lavis, vellatura…


I’ve worked some more at my Donna Gabriella Christa (these are the names of the 2 models I used in the painting, taking what I’m more interested from each of them, like some ancient Greek sculptor ? did to compose the perfect Venus…) The green skin and the eyes (made bigger now) and some of the background – which I wasn’t satisfied – are now changed to something else, just another phase, anyway… Here it is a detail of the changed portion…

Since I’ve promised to talk some more about vellatura, glacis and lavis, the way I understand them from my books and my practical experience of at least 7-8 years and since I tend to keep my promises whenever possible, voila:

Glacis and lavis are, in my understanding, the equivalent of the English term “glazing” or “layering” and means a transparent (or at leat tranlucent) color diluted enough to see through it, applied by the artist over a portion (or, in some cases, over the entire) of his painting. Usually, glacis is the term applied for the oil technique and the dilution is made either with turpentine or with a mixt of turpentine and linsed oil.

Lavis is the same glazing but in the watercolor and acrylic technique and the color is diluted, more or less, with water. But one can use also glacis for the acrylics, I think. For instance, I got this dark orange skin color by covering the green skin (sorry Miki!) with a glaze (glacis, lavis) of magenta + quinacridone burnt orange…

Vellatura, used by some as the exact equivalent of glazing, is a SPECIAL king of glazing, in its original and correct meaning. In fact, it’s a white glazing, un glacis de blanc, having the role of getting lighter a portion of (or the entire) painting. One can pass 1-2-3 etc. layers of vellatura, until he (or she) is satisfied with the value contrast… I will probably use one or more layers of vellatura for the skin… The best white to use is the zinc white (in acrylics quite rare, only a few trade marks still produce it; I use Talens/ Amsterdam...) the titanium white being a very opaque and covering kind of white (quality most of the time but not with vellaturas)… Old dutch and Italian masters, after the invention (or reinvention or discovery of oils, whom seem to have been invented effectively a lot earlier than the Van Eyck brothers, in China and Persia…) have used extensively the glacis, lavis, vellatura and some modern masters did also tried them. From Pieter Brueguel and Bosch to Rubens and Goya, the technique gave us masterpieces, paintings with rare, precious, vivid colors. No other technique can give the subtlety, the transparence, the translucent nuances.

And, I forgot, here it is the sketch of my lizard (a little fellow quite bizarre)… I hope it will give some mystery to my Donna Gabriella…

Progress report: the crisis


It is very very rare when you paint a la prima (see? almost all painting terms are italian…), d’un seul jet (or French) a painting… Usually, it takes 3 seances or more to finish it. And there is almost always a moment when your painting goes to hell, when you think “Man! I spoiled it! Damn!”

That means you arrived at the crisis moment… Sometimes, you never get out of it, you have really spoiled your thing and there is nothing else to do but to start again… Here I am, in a crisis (see the reproduction). But I still have some ideas and I still have hope… For instance, I think I’ll paint a lizard, somewhere, on the couch… And, of course, the skin will not keep that greeny color… It`s just a phase… I won`t keep the “moustache” either… It’s already been done and I don’t want to make a comic Mona Lisa. but I still search for a more mysterious smile…

Blown in the wind…


The year is still 2005, a good year, a rich year (not in money-rich, of course…) I’ve drawn and paint a lot, portraits, nudes, landscapes, bizarro-baroques…

So many of them are now blown in the wind: given, bought for peanuts, lost… Happily, there are computers and digital photography and scanners… So, there is still my digital portfolio. One day, maybe, I (or someone else) will make an album with my best images. I guess it’s ok to call them images more than paintings or drawings since, for me, 95-96 % are just pixels on a hard drive or a disk… flickering images, as futile and fragile as old photographs or movies… A modest contribution to the beauty of this world, the result of my efforts to feint eternity, to leave something to my children and maybe not only…

I choose these two paintings for their use of reds and oranges, colors I love. Colors difficult de paint with, difficult to harmonize… Special. I hope you’ll like them…

The look of a child


Indian summer in Magog

Sometimes, in some rare and privileged moments, I can look at the world as a child. Sometimes, for a few minutes or hours (if I’m lucky) I can BE a child again. Receiving all the outside impression without any filter, without any judgement, without prejudice. The true, authentic naivity is a precious, rare thing, a thing to be preserved and cherished. Eventually, through a drawing or a painting…

Very few artists could preserve this ingenuity all their life… even the best of them, like Chagall , Utrillo or Paul Klee had their “adult” moments (Paul Klee was a rare case of a fine theoretician AND a very original, somotimes “naive” artist, having the curiosity of an infant for experimentation). Anyway, the true naivity is a rare item and quite difficult to prove. Their authenticity, the originality of an Ivan Generalic, for instance, is manifest. As it is, of course, that of Henry “Le Douanier” Rousseau, one of the greatest… In my (modest) case, naivity is rare and most of the time involuntary. Here are some samples, still from 2002 or around…

The encounter

The pilgrimage / Le pèlerinage/ Pelerinajul


Cilik Dere

In the summer 1997, before immigrating to Quebec, I did a pilgrimage with almost all my family (my elder son preferred to stay at home) to some of the old monasteries in the south, south est part of Romania. Especially, the Dobrodgea monasteries. I’m not very religious myself but my wife is. And my middle son and little daughter went for the adventure of it… It really was an adventure…

This is a painting (small on: only 8′ x 10′) I did after a photo I took at Cilik-Dere, a nun monastery, isolated somewhere in the oak forest hills near Babadag. A bucolic site, extraordinary quiet (nothing except the wind and the birds, a place for meditation and sin redemption… I.V. Danu ———————————

À l’été 1997, avant d’immigrer au Québec, j’ai faite un pèlerinage avec presque toute ma famille (seulement mon fils ainé a préféré rester à la maison) au monastèrs du sud, sud-est de la Roumanie. Surtout au monastères de Dobrodgea. Personnellement, je ne suis trop religieux mais ma femme, elle l’est. Mon cadet et ma petite fille venaient pour l’aventure…et l’aventure a été.

Cette peinture (8 x 10 po) est réalisé d’après une photo que j’ai pris à Cilik-Deré, une monastère pour religieuses, isolée quelque part sur les collines couverts de chênes, près de Babadag. Un lieu bucolique, très très tranquile (en éntendait seulement le vent et les oiseaux), un site très bon pour la méditation et la rédemption des pêches… I.V.Danu

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In vare lui 1997, in anul dinaintea imigrarii in Québec, am facut un pelerinaj la manastirile din Dobrogea cu aproape intreaga familie (doar fiul meu mai mare a ramas acasa, cu filmele lui). Personal, nu sunt excesiv de religios dar nevasta-mea este. Cât despre fiu-meu mijlociu si fiica-mea, aventura i-a tentat. Si aventura a fost, intr-adevar…

Pictura asta, nu prea mare, 8′ x 10′ inch, am facut-o prin 2002, dupa o fotografia luata atunci la Cilik-Deré, o manastire de maici, ascunsa printre dealuri impadurite cu stejar. Un loc cu adevarat bucolic, de o liniste nepamanteasca (doar vantul si pasarile), un loc excelent pentru meditatie si rascumpararea pacatelor… I.V. Danu