Demo: Painting, Scraping, Glazing with Kim Krause

painting, scraping, glazing demonstration by Kim Krause
Sibyl #1 (oil on canvas, 60×54) by Kim Krause

Kim Krause reworks his lyrical abstractions until the surface contains and reveals traces of the artist’s process over time. Here he shares his process in a demonstration of Sibyl #1.

painting, scraping, glazing demonstration by Kim Krause
In this stage of what will become Sibyl #1, you can still see some of my original charcoal drawing taken from thumbnails I composed in my sketchbook. I based the initial drawing on concepts associated with the sibyl from Greek and Roman mythology. At this stage, I’m mostly looking for forms and for a sense of composition that will give me room for critical free play. I thin the oil paint with alkyd painting medium, which—based on the amount used—offers a variety of paint viscosities.

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painting, scraping, glazing demonstration by Kim Krause
In the sixth state I now have most of the basic forms and a few ideas of how the piece might operate, but have not settled on how the color can convey the content. By this time the majority of the painted surface has three to six layers of paint with some thinner splashed on to keep the image raw. I’ve also scraped the background layers that are wet—allowing colors to blend and smear—so I can begin building a sense of complexity.

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painting, scraping, glazing demonstration by Kim Krause
In the course of nine sessions, most of the activity has been additive; however, now I am sanding down the surface lightly before I begin each session so that I can keep the surface porous and free of visible brushstrokes. I am still searching for an overall color scheme, as I consider how color will add to movement.

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painting, scraping, glazing demonstration by Kim Krause
By the 12th state I’ve settled on a primary red-orange “figure” and a yellow-green background, which, I realize, contradicts some of my earlier color choices. I am now only occasionally sanding the entire surface at the beginning of the session, and, at the end of each session, I’m less likely to splash the surface with thinner.

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painting, scraping, glazing demonstration by Kim Krause
In the 20th session I’m continuing to add forms and repaint others. The striped ribbon has been redrawn to open the space to the lower right, but I’m not happy with the background. Some of the forms will need six to 10 more layers of paint to give the color richness and depth.

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painting, scraping, glazing demonstration by Kim Krause
In the 25th state, I add another layer of rings, because I want to try to push the original forms back in space. I introduce a simple circle form—to add to a sense of confusion and to enhance a conceptual sense of perspective. I’m questioning the original compositional concept of pushing the forms to the left side.

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painting, scraping, glazing demonstration by Kim Krause
After 35 sessions the painting is darker than I would like. I feel the need to alter the composition, add forms and repaint, or glaze, the entire painting. The colors have been building for weeks, and often a light glaze made with alkyd painting medium will bring them to life. In other cases a complete repainting is necessary.

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painting, scraping, glazing demonstration by Kim Krause
In the 39th and final session, I add a new form that acts against the left side and contributes to the content. After twice glazing the background with various yellow-greens, and repainting the blues, the color interaction begins to give off a sensation of light. The forms seem to be active. Sibyl #1 (oil on canvas, 60×54) has arrived.

Read more about Kim Krause’s work in the feature article “Time Turning,” by Ruth K. Meyer (The Artist’s Magazine, November 2008). To order your copy of the November 2008 issue of The Artist’s Magazine, click here.


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