Monday, November 22, 2010

Development of the Human Psyche and the Dutch 7 Layer painting technique

I have been studying the Dutch seven layer technique in oil painting, although I have to admit logically it makes no sense to me and I have YET to paint all seven layers. I keep doing more of a 5 layer technique, which doesn't begin to mimic the results I desire, yet does tend to yield acceptable results, when not comparing them with the intended result. (which probably makes no sense). But what I find fascinating, is how the 7 layer technique seems to be a microcosm for the human psyche.
The layers are:

The pencil: This I compare to when we are born. We are rough sketches of our human potential. We are outlines waiting to be fleshed out and filled in. Almost blank slates, but factoring in biological tendencies and genetics... "nature" (as in nature vrs nurture)

The Ink: Here is where we are exposed to our surroundings, the "nuture" part of Nature vrs, We fill out our minds with the ideals of our families, good bad and indifferent...the pencil is there, still, but hidden by the ink. Some changes are made here, we become more defined, we are molded by our families and we begin to build the shells of who we are.

the Imprimatura (olive colored layer, although i have been using brown) This is where we distinguish ourselves (if we can) from our parents and family influence. This is where societital influences begin to change some of our familial exposure.

the dead layer - a layer of grey (more complex than grey and the layer that perplexes me the most.) This is our grief, our tragedies, our internal sadness, our longing. This layer is necessary for growth and yet makes no sense, logically. I skip this one so far, because it makes no logical sense to me...I am still striving to obtain my most desired outcome and reach my full potential, and yet, I need this layer to complete me as a whole person. As we continue on in our developement, this layer is what enables the "light" to shine through, yet we never really "see" it. It facilitates growth, compassion, spiritual development. It is the most important, and yet, we try to skip it because it defies reason and logic.

Color layer- This is where we become the sum of who we really are become identifiable and detailed creatures. We see form here, recognizable shapes. We are changing and morphing and becoming unique entities. This is the metamorphisis layer.

finishing layer....This is where we reach our full potential, we are constant...we are stil changing, but who we are is solidified. This finish has the spiritual edge to it, an enlightment so to speak. This is where we are present in the now, we are finished and yet, never really finished....

Now once your layers are complete you are supposed to let them dry for SEVEN weeks (I have been doing two weeks) in between EACH layer....

Just something I have been thinking about...

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