Painting and Prose by Janet Whittle Freedman



Ever since I first encountered the Synthetic Cubist works of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque in my freshman art history class, I have been interested in the creation of texture in a painting.

“Synthetic Cubism was the second main movement within Cubism that was developed by Picasso, Braque, Juan Gris and others between 1912 and 1919. Synthetic cubism is characterized by the introduction of different textures, surfaces, collage elements, papier colle and a large variety of merged subject matter.” – Wikipedia

Excited by the possibilities, I headed for a nearby lumberyard to purchase a bag of sand to experiment with adding additional texture to my paints. At the time, I shamelessly copied the style of the Cubists as well, having not developed a direction of my own. Over time, as my landscape work developed, I have continued to play with texture. Landscape itself presents us with an infinite variety of natural textures which continue to intrigue me.

Back when the Cubists were working, but also in my school years of the 1960’s, materials for creating texture were limited. Today, the choices of material are greatly expanded, particularly in acrylic lines. There are various polymer mediums, gels, molding pastes of varying weights, pumice pastes in fine, medium and coarse textures, pouring mediums, retarders, etal to be applied with specially designed applicators and pens; with brush, knife or spatula, imprinted on or drawn into, carved and shaped with stylus, knife, bamboo pens & various devised instruments – these are all areas for further experimentation and play that meld texture to landscape in new ways.