The plow is here (art in progress)

I’ve been struggling for the last few weeks with my own mind and personal bull. The thing that I’ve been struggling with the most is bringing myself to work, which I must do since freelancing is how I’ve been making money for the most part. Things have been slow, and I have been frustrated… What I try to remember to do is to access the voice of my most positive self, the one that likes to lift up others and remind other people life always has endless potential for change if you are willing to take a different approach. Knowing good advice is not always the same as practice, so, I am working at remembering to practice the truth in which I know. Positive acts create positive results. It’s part of the work, that never ever stops, is never done (much to my personal annoyance).

So while job bids haven’t been turning fruit lately I’ve been focusing more on painting. I’ll do a formal write up (maybe a video) later, but for now I can report I finally have a project for that Stewart Semple Black 2.0 – “The world’s mattest, flattest, black art material” (supposedly close to vantablack)

First impressions:

It smells weird. I’m not sensitive to odors but this has a strong cloying scent that’s not normal for acrylics. It’s listed as ‘Black cherry scented’, so I don’t know if the smell is on purpose or if a scent is added to cover up some other smell. Either way I would suggest using with some ventilation. Oh and fun footnote: while the PDF technical info on his site says it’s not flammable it also tells you not to smoke around it. The same PDF also doesn’t say what’s in it or what pigment is used, only that it’s not toxic

Coverage is extremely good. Under normal lights it looks like a matte black, but under my studio lights with one coat I do see brush stroke streaks, but it does dry to a flat matte black.

Consistency is slightly thicker than fluid acrylic. Says you can spray it but I bet money it’ll clog an airbrush in no time, especially without medium.

I’m not done with my tests, I’ll do a formal review later when this project is done. The painting with the skull above is one of the tests, the white area I’ll be leafing with aluminum, and then I’m going to try writing/painting over the black. I’m doing three of these skulls which are studies of archeological digs (the 2 was written on the skull itself and I liked how it looked). These are for a local halloween show, and of course when they are done I’ll let you see. With regards to the 2.0 paint, it’s been a day since I did a coat, the smell is faint but still there, I am wondering if I can paint over this stuff without re-activating it, or if I should varnish it. I’ll have these leafed and probably done by Saturday (I want to give the leafing glue 24 hours to cure after the leaf is applied before adding finishing touches).

Another thing I’m working on is this portrait below. It would be closer to done by now and I wanted to have a second video up but I ran out of brass (imitation gold) leaf. My supplies arrived today so I’ll be able to set the glue and leaf it tonight, let it dry and then go back and finish in oils probably. The video below is the acrylic underpainting.

I’ve also been looking at alternative surfaces to wood, because the panels have a weight factor and will bow if too large. I’ve gotten done prepping some clear gesso linen canvas and got some linen panels. It’s smoother than canvas (which I don’t like the texture of) and the clear gesso shows the neutral tone.

So yeah, we shall see what happens next.

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