David Norcross

Cosmic Stains

This past weekend I finished working on a commission for some friends in Chapel Hill. They recently moved into their beautiful new home and wanted to add some color. With a request for a triptych, some measurements and color suggestions, I got started.

Using 1×2 poplar, nails and some canvas, I stretched these long monsters. Each panel measures 16″x68″. So when I put them all together, it was pretty much like painting a 4.5’x6′ painting – a scale that is much bigger than my usual work. I actually had to construct an attachment for my easel so I could stabilize the three panels once they were clamped together.

After applying gesso to prime the canvas, I applied layer after layer of acrylic wash.

Once I was happy with the washes, I selected three accent colors to create the pattern of dots in an oval shape. As I was working on the oval, I thought about the dot placement and the relationship of color being used to the overall painting. I started with a dark blue that formed a basic outline. I applied the dark blue dots like a pegboard, evenly and consistently spaced throughout.  With the other two colors I wanted the placement to be more sporadic and more of a focal point in the finished piece. The yellow/green dots were inspired by the pattern of stars in the night sky. The teal dots are clumped or clustered together like cells in the body. In the end I wanted the oval to feel like a gateway – especially since the size of it feels big enough to walk through.

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