Mirror Pond

Mirror Pond

Ryan Crotty
Monday, January 13, 2020 to Friday, February 28, 2020

The paintings I create are non-representational, abstract works. They are not paintings of the landscape or of the people in this area, yet they are undeniably influenced by them. I believe that it is important for art to be made in every place “in reaction to” and “as a reflection of” that place. "Mirror Pond” references this “reflection” while also referring to the reflective nature of the painted surfaces. This new series of paintings from late 2019 employ a saturated color palette and subtle variations in the techniques used to create them. The rich color blends are achieved using the primary colors (red, yellow, blue) layered one at a time on the surface. The tinted painting medium results in a glossy surface that is at once reflective, yet conveys a depth below.

Process: Starting with pre-stretched medium grade stretchers, I remove the canvas, manipulate the structural elements of the stretcher by removing or adding support bars or flipping over the stretcher completely to remove the bevel and then re-stretch the canvas with a clear-primed linen. Modeling paste is then liberally applied to the linen and pulled or squeegeed away using customized pieces of plexiglass that flex with the canvas. Once dried, the first layer of color is applied in a similar manner. A combination of soft and regular gloss gel mediums are tinted with a high-pigment acrylic and acrylic retarder and spread across the modeling paste surface. One color is applied at a time and allowed to dry completely before the next application. The transparent layers allow light to pass through and reflect off of the underlying modeling paste ground. Each layer of translucent color is separate but as light passes through multiple layers, they blend and appear as secondary or tertiary colors.

Variations in pressure and contact with the underlying structure result in luminous compositions that glow and appear to be backlit. Gobs of paint collect at the edges of the canvas and act as a visual history of the layer applications. The gloss gel medium and a gloss archival varnish give the surfaces a reflective glass-like quality.

"Mirror Pond" 2019