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.

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