Painting Heaven Meets Earth (Time-Lapse Video)

June 22nd, 2017

For the past year or so I’ve experimented with painting in a gold, white, and brown palette. Metallic gold is really different for me, so it certainly adds a new dimension to my work.

Starting the Gold Swoop Painting

I wanted to do something with swooping, semi-circular forms, so I started with an all-brown canvas and blocked in some white swoops. Once that dried I painted over all that with gold.

The gold was too much!

I was reminded of Henri Matisse who said that “a thimbleful of red is redder than a bucketful.”

In other words, a little bit of color can be far more effective than flooding the whole thing. Restraint is powerful.

(Don’t see the video? Click here.)

So I scaled back the gold and wound up with something that made me think of a landscape seen through a fisheye lens. As the painting progressed, the top part felt like sky and the bottom felt like ground. The sky and earth were meeting at this curved horizon and something special was happening here.

It brought to my mind the line “so heaven meets earth in a sloppy wet kiss” from “How He Loves” (the Jesus Culture version.)

This painting taught me to be open to change and to not be afraid to put everything out there and then scale back. There’s always a sense of surging and retreating when I paint.

Life is no different.

BradBlackman - "Heaven Meets Earth" 2017. Acrylic on canvas, 8 x 8 inches

Heaven Meets Earth 2017. Acrylic on canvas, 8 x 8 inches

How I made a drab painting delightful

May 4th, 2017

It’s no secret that I’ve long been fascinated by manmade structures like overpasses and the way they react to the elements. Sometimes they compete with the landscape and at other times they complement it.

This is a theme that’s been showing up in my paintings the past dozen years or so.

This time, I started out by covering the entire canvas in light yellow, and sketched in the forms with a dark gray and let it drip all over the place. At that point I let it sit for a few weeks as I wasn’t sure what to do with it.

After letting it marinate I took a snapshot of it on my phone and threw it into Mextures or Snapseed (or both, probably) and played with it until I came up with a concept that I thought might work.

It turns out this orange-blue-green color scheme works really well. The composition was already strong but it needed something else. I didn’t know what. Using a couple of apps on my phone helped me figure out a color scheme that would make it all come together. This is when just playing around or making a lateral move can solve problems. This change in perspective helped me see it better.

So I added blue-green and orange in the sky to create a nice color contrast. I saw deep reds in the ground so I pulled those out. Push the darks and lights back and forth here and there.

My signature drips eventually disappeared but I am happy with the end result. It’s such a celebration of color and form!

It was a lot of fun playing with this one. I’m selling it for $40 on Instagram.

So head over to Instagram, click the heart if you like it and let me know if you’re interested by typing “SOLD!” in the comments. I’ll send you a direct message so we can work out PayPal and shipping arrangements.

UPDATE: This painting has sold!
Artists: if you get stuck on something, it might be a good ida to let it sit on the back burner for a while, like I did with this one. Let it marinate, and maybe try taking a photo of the canvas and manipulating that in a photo editing app to see it a different way.