by Petar Meseldzija

The underpainting – This
is always a fun part for me. It is relatively relaxing because I don’t have to
think about the color, or the brushwork. My only concerns during this stage are
the FORM and the VALUE arrangements.  I
find this moment very exciting and inspiring, for the world of the future
painting starts to reveal itself for the first time. You see a kind of magic
evolve in front of you, as the white shapeless gesso surface turns into a
suggestive two-dimensional world. True magic, indeed. But that’s the essence of
Art, after all.  In its core, it still
echoes the ancient magical ritual.

These are the colors
I use for my underpainting. From left to right: titanium white, yellow ochre,
cadmium red light, alizarin crimson, burnt umber, permanent red-violet and
cobalt blue.

The underpainting in progress.

The finished
underpainting, and a detail.

The real work starts from this point on. I leave the relative
safety of the “harbour”, and “sail” towards the unpredictable open waters of the
“Ocean”. Before that I might address Minerva ( the Roman goddess of poetry,
wisdom, art, magic, etc.) in a quick prayer, asking her to help me and my
little “ship”, to reach the other side safe and sound.

Each painting is (should
be) a new adventure, a unique act of discovery.  

As Marcel Proust, a
famous French author and critic, said: “ The only true voyage of discovery …
would be not to visit new landscapes, but to possess other eyes, to see the
universe through the eyes of another, of a hundred others, to see the hundred
universes that each of them sees”. (Also often seen
translated in the shortened form: “The only real voyage of discovery consists
not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes)”.