Aerial Landscape III by Gwen Bell


Original Mixed Media on Canvas
10×20 inches Unframed

I used Gilsonite, a form Bitumen or Asphalt, to create this piece. It is a naturally occurring soluble solid hydrocarbon, an organic byproduct of decomposed plants. The earliest known use of bitumen was by Middle Paleolithic Neanderthals who used it to secure their tools and to make Cave Art. In the early 18th and 19th centuries it was used as a darkening agent in paints.

I personally love the organic resist pattern it makes when applied to acrylic paint. The result creates a very realistic aerial landscape pattern that I have been unable to achieve with any other technique. I also love the color. When applied thickly, it dries to a very dark earthy black/brown. When applied thinly, it dried as a warm rich golden amber. Neither color can easily be replicated with traditional pigments.