There is a direct correlation between the availability of the Plastikote paint, my studio production and the evolution of my concepts.
When I started painting on wood, it was to embrace a surface that could withstand abuse and yet not be so precious that I might need help to install or transport it. The preparations to seal the surfaces would alternate between a transparent whitewash undercoat and pastel finish; and a glossy, more direct saturation of color sealed up with a coat of high gloss. On top of the prepared surface, I used a favorite paint by Plastikote, now no longer available, I’m sure because of some horrible percentage of lead or ingestible plastic within the pigments. My materials trifecta required few visits to art supply stores – I could get everything at Home Depot and Longs – and what I needed from Longs I could get 24 hours. For a single artist with a day job who is also a woman with limited storage; the nature of an all night paint supply transformed my schedule. The simple possibility of buying the perfect paint 24 hours a day bore an edict that materials purchases were to be done on “non-studio time” and that (irrationally, I now realize) if the paint supply was open all night long, there was never a reason good enough to reschedule or interrupt studio time. It was more likely for me to buy paint while out on a date than during studio time.
During this wonderful time in my life, from 1999 to 2007, while it may have been an almost ten year avoidance of art supply stores, it also was when I really dug my heels into a certain way of thinking about making artwork. I became very regimented about my schedule: wake up early and paint for two hours, then prepare for day job; day job; go to 24 hour Longs/go out; come home and prepare to paint the next morning. Because of the structure of my schedule, I imposed more structure into my compositions and color schemes. For example, early paintings on wood without Plastikote attempted to discuss contrast of behavior to expectations of form in three color compositions, with some variances in finish (that never could photograph anyway). The introduction of Plastikote into my work expanded my palette to include four then five colors at a time – this in turn enabled me to express implications of motivation through much more complete compositions.