Sunday, October 02, 2011
The Carrot and the Stick - in progress
Ideas for paintings come to me at odd times. Driving to or from work, in the shower, or when I wake in the middle of the night and can't sleep. In my internal struggles in art there are rewards and setbacks. Paintings that didn't go the way I want, paintings that sell, rejection and acceptance, on and on it goes. For each stick blow, there is a carrot to reward. Sometimes it goes in the opposite direction too. I prefer the stick first personally.
So this thought of the carrot and the stick idiom stuck in my head in one of those random times of thinking too much and I knew it had to be put on canvas.
The concept has sprung, literally, from the ground up. I dug some carrots from the field, trying to find just the right one and then a quest for a stick that would meet my needs. With so many trees around and lots of damage from last year's hurricane, there was no shortage of dead branches to choose from. I finally decided on a piece from a laburnum. The pale smooth branch with small pieces of golden brown bark still clinging to it and little knots adding interest worked well. I also harvested more branches from other species such as larch and maple then headed to the studio to work out composition.
I played with a number of compositions with dominance from the stick or from the carrot, but finally decided that equal representation worked best.
This is the start of the layout of shapes and values and I'll start getting into more depth and detail with it soon. Its being painted on 16 x 20 gallery canvas in oils.