In the Rabbit Hole

Black Tusk Trail, 30x22, acrylic painting by Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki

How much joy can be found in a single brush stroke? How to preserve that joy in a finished piece?

These questions go through my mind as I continue experimenting with making marks using various tools. I learn that every single mark can be a source of delight, for the painter, and for the art lover who looks at the painting.

I played to my heart's content with palette knives over the past few months and now I am into big brushes. Here are my latest purchases.

Some turned out to be more useful than others, and surprisingly some cheap ones work quite well. But overall, the best ones are still those that cost the most. Painters can't be thrifty with tools and materials.

I also decided to revisit filbert brushes which I didn't use before because of that round beginning of the stroke which I couldn't figure out how to use. But now, with some playing around, I see their versatility. I am probably the last one to discover that filberts can make all sorts of lovely marks, which add variety to the painting. As they say, better late than never.

Here's how it all looks like on a few sketches.

One thing about experimenting is that once you start, you can't stop. I think that it's because of the element of play in it, but also because experiments keep birthing new ideas, and this could go on forever.

At which point do you stop playing and pull out a brand new large canvas?

I set a temporary goal to start a new painting every five days, just to make sure I don't get lost down the rabbit hole. I am just now realizing that finishing them up should be a part of the goal too. Hopefully I'll have a new finished piece for my next blog post!

Happy experimenting!