Saturday, February 9, 2013

A Different Perspective...

On this lovely afternoon, I was able to spend time painting.  I realized that the little still life I just painted was OK, but...something about it isn't sitting well with me.  I'm happy to be more comfortable working with acrylic paint, but it's still falling flat.  That contrast that I like to emphasize just wasn't there once the colors dried.  Also, I wanted to try something a little looser now that I'd solved the question of colors and mixing.  So, I decided to try it again from a slightly different angle.

First paint (left) and today's painting (right)

I definitely like the 2nd one better - it has a greater level of contrast and it is slightly looser (although I think total reckless abandon just isn't how I was created to paint).  There's still a little tweaking that I'll do, but it shouldn't change too drastically from this.  One thing that I thought about while painting was how much easier color mixing has become.  In the early days of painting, color mixing was a little confusing - sort of hit or miss.  But now, I have a better sense of whether I should add a blue, a brown, or a black for a shadow; whether I should add a white, a yellow, an ochre, or some other color for a highlight.  I'm actually quite happy with my painting now - I want to have one foot in the natural world and one foot in the expressive without swinging too far one way or least for now.

This doesn't exactly accurately represent the saturation of some of the colors, but it's close...

I've been watching some art programs on the Ovation channel lately and I had to pause one episode of Art in Progress to write down a quote.  The show focused on the artist Donald Sultan - I was not particularly familiar with his work and I liked it to some degree, although it was a bit to conceptual for my tastes (a topic for another time).  But, he said something that really struck a chord in me as I so often "overthink" things.

"One of the mainstays of making art is that you don't think of new ideas - you discover them.  So, that's why you have to work all the time.  If you go out and just lie around and start thinking and waiting, you know nothing is ever gonna happen.  And, the longer you wait, the more you realize that when you come back to it, you're right back where you were.  You're not any further along even though you thought and thought and thought - you didn't really go anywhere."  Donald Sultan

I appreciated this thought since I often like to spend time - too much time - thinking about what I want to do.  And, sometimes it's paralyzing.

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