Opus 1661, Into the Darkness

Erik ReeL painting, #1661
Erik ReeL, opus 1661, acrylic on paper

My acrylic on paper paintings are almost like a visual diary. It is in these works that I work out my ideas on an ongoing, almost daily, basis, before going into the larger works on canvas.

I have a general process that takes  at least 5 days, depending on drying time and the number of layers I use in a piece.  There can be as many as 30 layers to the paint, once in a while more.

I work with liquid acrylics and a lot of medium. It is like working with liquid color . I like a lot of transparency in the paint so the light penetrates deep down into the paint, enriching the colors.  Similar to when you polish wood  and it brings out the grain and depth of the wood.

Opus 1661 is a particularly deeply layered piece, almost impossible to reproduce accurately digitally. But it stil looks good.

Unlike the live image perceived by two eyes, each seeing a slightly different retinal scan and then processed in the brain, and thus extremely sensitive to depth, whether something is scratched in or scumbled on top,  and enhanced by our memory as we move into and away from the image obtaining new visual information regarding surface, color, and process, a digital image is created via a single lens, set a specific distance from the painting, and then takes all data and reduces it to a single number, without any consideration for layers underneath.  Thus a digital map of the painting is significantly reduced from what our brain processes during a live encounter with the image. Bottom line: if you like the digital image of these pieces, you’ll love the  work live.

2 thoughts on “Opus 1661, Into the Darkness”

  1. I love your engaging description of your process and your goals with your work, Erik. It really makes me wish to see it live. When are you coming to Seattle?

  2. Good question. I used to go to Seattle every year. Now more places competing for schedule time.. Hopefully within the year.

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