Size: 24.5″ x 36.5″ x 1″
Breakthrough was created using gesso, acrylic paint, grout, ink, and a sealer on canvas board.
Breakthrough is the largest abstract painting I have made so far. I have a small studio so working large is difficult. I also live in a small 1950’s era house which doesn’t have a lot of space for large artworks. So why did I create this? In short, I had a frame.
Oddly that frame is not the one you see in the picture. The original idea was to create something for the large frame I had from my senior thesis exhibit. It’s been in a closet for the last 6 years so I thought it time to put it to use. Sadly, I forgot that the frame wasn’t true to size. I ended having to order a new frame for the piece.
The first step was to gesso the canvas board. Next, I painted the rainbow colored streaks using acrylic paints. I honestly wasn’t sure what I was going to create, I just had a basic idea of the color scheme. When the acrylic paints dried, I thought it needed something more, especially since the colors turned out darker than I envisioned.
I had a tub of sanded grout from a bathroom tile project lying about. Not one to waste things, I decided the texture would be a perfect addition. Grout is fairly light when it dries but it creates an opportunity for a more sculpted look without the price-tag of expensive molding compounds. Grout is, however, just as difficult to work with, especially when applying it over acrylic paint.
I had a basic idea of the structure I wanted for the grout. I ended up using far more than I intended. It was also a very pale gray that made the colors below even darker than they actually are. I decided to paint over it with a variety of diluted inks. That created a nice variation in tone.
The title was chosen because the piece is reminiscent a rainbow of colors breaking through the clouds.