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1998, wet-on-wet acrylic, 16 x 20" canvas by Chris Wayan

I don't know if this fox-shepherdess ATE all her sheep or if she herded something invisible and quite different in that mountain meadow... but she seemed quite alone till she started talking to this raven on a rock like they were old friends.

A red vixen leans on her shepherd's staff, talking to a raven in a meadow under snowy peaks. No sheep.
This was a technical experiment for me. An art teacher asked me to try an oil-painting technique called wet-on-wet. I'm sensitive to oil-paint solvents, so I used acrylic and painted thick gloppy and fast, before it dried. Wet-on-wet gives you rather muddy color. I'm not fond of the dullness, but I'm glad to learn why all those 20th Century avant-garde paintings had such ugly color. I always hated that look and wondered why a whole generation of artists had such a horrible color sense. Artists in a hurry, that's all! Oil takes so long to dry that you either waited or smeared! I'm more charitable now toward their muddy pictures--to the viewers of the time, the murk probably translated as proof of spontaneity, even PASSION!

Pre-acrylic, pre-digital artists and viewers saw with different eyes.


Me? I went back to translucent watercolory acrylic layers.

Intense color is my passion.

LISTS AND LINKS: animal people - foxes - crows and ravens - technical experiments - acrylic & oil painting

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