Liquid Canvas Abstracts

by richard todd


Welcome

A Liquid Canvas Abstract is a floating painting; an artistic expression of color and form
on a liquid "canvas" using oil-based pigments.

The evanescent image is preserved photographically in high resolution.

No digital construction is involved.

ARTIST STATEMENT

I create a liquid canvas abstract by applying oil pigments, using brushes, to a relatively clear, oil-based substrate.  I use the brushes to pull the pigments across the substrate, often in curvilinear patterns, until it feels right to stop brushing (the decision when to stop is definitely more visceral than visual).  Once the brushes are removed, the process takes on a life of its own, as the pigments merge in ways not possible using traditional “dry” canvas.  Before the painting submerges into the substrate, I preserve it photographically.  Like the artwork of Andy Goldsworthy, photography is essential.

The result – infinitesimally small particles of pigments interacting with fluid – is complexity beyond anything possible using traditional techniques.  Only the creation of glass art is akin to it.  Each image is such a cacophony of color and form, and so detailed, that fully appreciating all it has to offer can take many viewings.  There are so many tiny, individual areas of interest that the image is, in a sense, immense.

Liquid canvas abstracts reflect the complexity of nature itself.  As artist, I never stray far from nature as my guiding force.  I view each painting as starting something that nature will finish.  The beauty and detail comes from the physics of solids interacting with liquids, over which I have no control.  I like to think of it as a partnership with nature -- a partnership we all should strive for in every setting.

The photography aspect of liquid canvas abstracts is, of course, a reflection of the impermanence of the paintings.  My photography has always centered on impermanence.  From the historic buildings of a ghost town or a gateway American city or a closed military base, to the fluid compositions of the ocean as it meets the shore, nothing lasts.  But, with my cameras, I manage to wrest some measure of permanence from the impermanent.  Liquid canvas abstracts are a logical next step in the direction my life as a photographer has taken.

Over the last 45 years, I have taken at least 300,000 photographic images.  Most have been seen only by me, but that’s been okay.  Releasing the shutter is oftentimes a spiritual experience.  Even though recording an instant in time is a wholly human activity, with no natural counterpart, it can feel like brushing up against eternity:  The instant in time is gone, but the recording of it, at least in theory, could last forever.

            To some extent, the more ephemeral the subjects of my photographs, the more spiritual the experience.  Perhaps this explains why, as I’ve grown older, my subjects have evolved from historic architecture to momentary, abstract paintings on a liquid canvas -- from “permanent” landscapes to the motion in the ocean’s surf.

            Also evolving is my desire to share my photographic art.  I think it’s fair to say that most artists strive to create something unique.  I believe my photographic abstracts using paint, as well as my photographic portrayals of the ocean’s surf, are truly unique.  And the colors are spectacular.

            For many of us, life has our senses in a pretty constant state of agitation.  We need frequent, if only momentary, respites.  Viewing my photographic art does that for me, now more than ever.  If it provides some respite to you, too, I’ve done something worthwhile.

Canvas Prints.

We offer canvas prints, either as a gallery wrap (part of the image wraps around the side, top, and bottom edges) or a museum wrap
(the entire image is on the face, and the side, top, and bottom edges are black; the black is printed on the canvas as a border around the image). Richard prefers the museum wrap because the complete image, as he composed it, is on the face, and none of it is "lost" on the sides, top, and bottom.

Gallery-wrapped or museum-wrapped images from Gallery I are available in sizes 16x24, 20x30, 24x36, and 30x45. Gallery-wrapped or museum-wrapped images from Gallery II are available in sizes 16x24, 20x30, and 24x36.

Canvas prints are prepared by Richard himself, using the state-of-the-art Epson 9900 Printer, which operates with pigmented ink (not dye) in 11 colors (two of which are green and orange--a new development), using Innova's Photo Canvas Ultra Gloss 380gsm, a truly gloss finish with rich colors, deep blacks, and fine detail (which, up to now, has been difficult to achieve with canvas). Each canvas comes with a Certificate of Authenticity, signed by Richard, attesting that he personally prepared the print.

Fine Art Prints.

Fine art prints are custom-ordered. Contact Richard directly by e-mail or phone.

Fine art prints are prepared by Richard himself, using the state-of-the-art Epson 9900 Printer, which operates with pigmented ink (not dye) in 11 colors (two of which are green and orange--a new development). The paper is the elegant Moab Gloss Entrada Rag Bright 300gsm. Prints are archival to 100 years if properly displayed. Each print comes with a Certificate of Authenticity, signed by Richard, attesting that he personally prepared the print.

Angie and Richard
  • Richard Todd

    and Angie
  • 831-566-7829

    Richard Todd / Artist
    Liquid Canvas Abstracts
    P.O. Box 1824
    Aptos, California 95001-1824

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