Cross Series and Beginning an Oil Painting

I worked in my sketchbook when I first went into my studio, played around with materials then drew the crosses above. This is the kind of line I love, done with a fat graphite pencil for marking lumber. And these crosses are morphing into trees-

I’ve been dancing around the idea of painting on white ground but something keeps bringing me back to working on top of old pieces. The originals below were quite large, done in an Experimental Drawing class with Robert Siegelman at the Museum School several years ago. I ripped up the originals into pieces roughly 20×30.” I liked them though never felt they were strong enough to stand on their own but always felt I wanted to use them as the base for new work. For a long time I thought I’d enhance the images in each piece, create new work based on images already there, but today I drew several of the cross images in white oil stick on three of them. The third image is still in progress and incorporates some of the background but doesn’t refer to it. I’ll work on the other 2 this week. I can see ways I’d like to incorporate shapes, colors etc. from the work beneath into a new piece.

This is the kind of image exploration that fascinates and pulls at me. I feel like I have to do this to get through to the next stage of working on plain canvas.

Today’s milestone– I finally felt comfortable handling oil paint because I understood how to use medium to get the paint to the consistency I wanted. I learned some basics looking at Youtube videos on oil painting. I see how oil glazes impart a luminous quality.