Hope, acrylic on wood panel with string and paper tree

Regina Valluzzi

Arlington, United States

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Artist's Description

Hope is a sunrise treescape made with acrylic paint and media, stiffened paper and string, along with acrylic based texture gel (coarse oxide powder embedded in clear acrylic). It is one of the works in my second series of Tree of Life Paintings.

The title refers to the mood created by a time of day often called the “Magic Hour” – right around dawn or dusk, when soft light seems to suffuse the sky. The light coming from all over the sky softens all of the features on the ground, making them seem somehow magical. When I was young I would love this time of day because it seemed like anything was possible in that soft crepuscular light. That feeling of dawning possibilities, of the reality of change and of an imminent reset, is a powerful expression of Hope.

One of my favorite features of this painting is the complex leafing pattern that also captures some of the colors of the light in the painted background. Choosing the right colors and types of string and paper and then sculpting them into place just right to harmonize the light in painting was a challenge. I believe it was well worth the attention and effort – I personally love the colors in this one.

The paper and string features were sculpted using Golden’s GAC400 medium to stiffen and fix them into place. There is a barrier layer that matches the reflectivity of the background – acrylic soft gel and matte medium underneath a final varnish layer for UV protection. The barrier layer and varnish provide moisture resistance, structural strength and stability and archival protection for the piece. If restoration or cleaning ever becomes necessary, the outer varnish can be removed with alcohol by a professional restorer. This will not affect the underlying paint and paper (because of the barrier layer).

Artwork Comments

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