Through Concentrated Breath

the making of images from memory

Combining Paint Skin with Panel (Step 5)

01 March 2015 by Rey Armenteros

The stacks of skins I will now go through are a collection of small paintings and drawings that are not on paper or canvas – they are on acrylic skins (comprised of some combination of molding paste, gesso, acrylic gel, and paint) which I had made with the intention of one day adhering them to panels such as the latest batch I have been working on. Before even making these panels, I have certain skins in mind whose image would coalesce well with whatever concepts I might have of these new paintings. For instance, for a recent show, I focused on father and daughter images.

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When I go about the ritual of marrying a panel with one or more skins, I place the skin over a panel and move it around to see what works and then place it on another panel and so on, until I do find something that works; and if I don’t, I put that skin aside and go on to the next. Sometimes, I make a panel around the parameters of a skin, such as producing elements in it that somehow accept the qualities of size, shape, color harmony in the skin. It is a laborious process that is like matching two jigsaw puzzle pieces from a heap of several hundred.

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After I find some feasible combinations, I sleep on it, and then think about it a few days later, and then go back to them again the following week to make sure that this is what I want. I make alterations as needed and sleep on it some more, extending the moment before the decision, because once you stick it on, it’s permanent. When I’m quite sure of what I want, I adhere the skins to the panels using an acrylic medium, such as a soft gloss gel or a fluid medium. In that way, I am sticking acrylic onto acrylic using acrylic, allowing the individual elements to fuse together under one paint medium, unifying everything.

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