Saturday, March 12, 2016

Realism without detail?

Garden Steps
12"x16" Acrylics on linen panel $175
You can purchase this painting HERE.

I started this one last August at the Villa Catalana paint-out in Oregon City. That day was so hot, windy, and dry that the paint practically dried on my brush. All I managed to do that day was make a bunch of smears and blobs on the panel, so it was a kind of enforced looseness. Somehow I managed to keep that feel when I started reworking it in the studio, and every time I worked on it I browbeat myself into not getting all tensed up about making it look realistic, and yet it still came out as realistic  as anything I've ever done, maybe even moreso. When I did the stones I made the lines rough and sloppy, really trying to do as little as possible as I put the colors on. Up close I see dozens of blurs and blobs, and yet when viewed as a whole, the general chaos and blocked shapes turns into recognizable plants and architecture. I couldn't resist putting in some real detail in the tree trunk and the rose stems; at least it makes a sort of center of interest. I think any more detail would have killed it.

I still have two other paintings from that day to finish up.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Loosening up with some spring colors

May Garden
12"x16" Acrylics on mounted canvas $90
You can purchase this painting HERE.

With my second song released, I'm back to doing some painting, and still working on my current painting goals: To relax and have more fun, to compose an unpremeditated painting just from my imagination as I paint, and to find more opportunities to draw with my brush. This one did all three for me. I don't remember if I was thinking anything as I did the initial paint application, but by the time I covered the canvas I was seeing a flowery landscape in it. I kept working with it, switched to a smaller brush, and began drawing in the trees. As I worked on the flower colors, I imagined a thick planting of iris in blue, violet, and yellow, and when I put in the peach-colored gladioli, I felt that the color scheme was complete.

I certainly had more fun than usual on it, refusing to worry about how it was going to come out, concentrating on the compatible colors and the overall composition, and just wanting to see how close I could come to a decent painting. When I felt it was almost done, I drew some flower details on a few of the iris, and that was it.

I find the colors a bit startling, and the whole painting is a bit of a jolt to the eyes; I keep thinking, Van Gogh on acid. But it really was fun inventing it, and it's certainly not boring, nor the worst painting I've ever done, or even the worst one I've done lately.