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So my paintings weren't going to be very abstract. They still were ending up looking pretty far-fetched, more fantasy-like than natural. I was experimenting a lot, especially with glazes and impasto. I would layer a heavy glaze on the canvas and then wipe it off, producing a smooth surface with a hint of the glaze color over that of the layer of paint underneath. I learned this technique in painting class, and I carried it pretty far in this project. Several canvases have four of five layers of glaze over an already thick layer of paint. This technique produced a lot of pretty eerie areas on the paintings~ there are strange mixtures of identifiable areas of thick paint and areas of mysterious glazes. The glazes were made with a mixture of linseed oil, liquin, and oil paint. I also worked a little with the palate knife to produce thick layers of impasto. Because I was working with landscape paintings, I think my job got a little tougher. Since they were pretty identifiable as landscapes, they were pretty susceptible to criticisms as far as design goes. My brother (also an art student) kept harassing mt: because they didn't have a coherent fore, middle, and background. I wanted to keep them pretty open; the idea of the expanse of space in the desert was a very important one to me, and one that I wanted to keep as a main force in my work. The glazes allowed for this idea of sort of a limitless space, but when I started to put identifiable shapes in. this space began to disappear. This struggle between keeping my paintings free and open and about space and keeping them making sense was a big one. My desire to work with the idea of boundless space was tempered with this nagging feeling that the paintings were becoming too abstract. They would reach a certain point where they had become so abstract that they were just too confusing. I couldn't make any sense of them and I couldn't understand what was going on with my experiments in technique. Its almost as though painting abstractly was just too much, I needed some context in which to place my work so I could fully understand what was going on, both with my techniques and with the work that I was actually producing.