The prompts for the third ‘Fall Fearless and Fly Challenge‘ are as follows:.
Headline Prompt: Triumphs and Defeats: What do you see as your greatest triumphs or defeats? What have they taught you? Which have you learned more from?
Color Prompt: Black and white
Quote Prompt: Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
I totally agree with Longfellow that triumph and defeat are found within us rather than outside of us. It’s all a case of personal perspective and the stories we tell ourselves so I don’t really look at events in my life as triumphs or defeats.
With regard the colours I can’t believe it’s black and white. That’s three weeks in a row when I’ve had to use colours I don’t like. It’s all good though – a great chance to try things I never would normally and I’m really curious as to what I’ll end up with. I can’t imagine only using black and white (and maybe grey) and finishing a painting that I actually like. But that’s the fun of it.
Given that I’m not anticipating ending up with something I actually want to look at, I’m going to work on a secondhand canvas I bought from a charity shop. I choose this one because it had black and white on it already. This is what it started as:
I used the lines that were already there and added some black texture created with some old lumpy polyfilla, pva glue and black paint. Then I added some white texture made the same way but with newer pollyfilla. Then I painted over the original black lines that were still showing with more black paint and painted over the blue with white gesso and this was the result. I was hoping to do some sort of printing into the gesso but once it was on the canvas I could see that it wasn’t thick enough.
I wanted to create some contrast on the flat black areas so I experimented with writing on them with my white pen. I thought it would make an interesting pattern but the pen I have just seemed to lay ink down in a puddle so I wiped it off and gave up on that idea.
Shifting my attention to the black pollyfilla areas I decided to sand using an electric sander. I was really surprised and pleased with the results. The lumps in the pollyfilla gave some nice white contrasting bits and the lower areas that were touched by the sander turned dark grey.
Looking at the end result I thought that something was needed in the flat white areas so, keeping with the black and white theme, I ripped up an old book and add some printed paper.
I wanted to add some more texture following the curves in the bottom right of the picture. I tried various things and ended up using some matt medium mixed with pouring medium and some black and white paints. I poured it into an old product bottle I’d got from the hairdressers and squirted it onto the painting. It came out all squiggly. That was not my intention but I just went with it.
Next I decided to add some silver highlights to the ridges in the white pollyfilla area using a credit card. Yuk! Didn’t like how that turned out. It was a way too ‘in your face’ so I painted over it with some watered down white gesso.
Then I tried to add some black, shiny geometric beads but I couldn’t work out how to get them to stick so I gave up and added the black chain instead.
Finally, I painted over the newsprint with a glass beads medium. You can just about see them in the detail picture below. I soooooo wish I could take better photographs!
So that’s it. Challenge 3 completed. I’m absolutely delighted with the result and would never in a million years have thought I could create something I liked using only black and white. I love it even more knowing it started out as someone else’s painting and I have no idea who that someone is!