Friday, October 10, 2014

Paintings are like books

 A painting is like a book, there is a beginning, a middle and and end. But paintings seem to come with more twists and surprises along the way, although some books can do that too.

There is a beginning to each painting; this is where the planning takes place.  It involves subject, composition, sketches, value studies, colour studies and palette choices.

The middle can be no man's land where things can go very well or go very poorly.  That section rests on mindset and experience.  There is a point where every artist believes their painting is beyond disgusting.  They believe they should never paint, why did they ever believe they could paint and that they'll give it all up and start knitting.  With experience comes the knowledge that this is simply a phase of unfinished work and progress is not often pretty.  Knowing that fact and keeping in mind the vision in your head sees me through to the end.

As the end approaches, all that angst from the midsection is eliminated and you can see things coming together.  There are still moments of trouble, where those 'just one little stroke here' can be the death of a painting that you spent hours on.  Like approaching wild animals:  slow movements, gentle touches and never look into its eyes.  That last section is putting the painting far from you and not looking at it for a week or more before deciding if any adjustments are needed.

I've just put #7 to the wall of the series of 15 wooden boat paintings that I'm working on and #8 is at the beginning stage.  Unfortunately I can't show you the full painting until the exhibition, but you can see glimpses here and there to pique your interest.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Glassy Jack

 Glassy Jack - SOLD
5" x 7"  oil on panel

Glassy Jack always makes an appearance in October, gearing up for the season of falling leaves, cold nights, candy corn, shiny smiles and long shadows. He's looking for a permanent residence to share his brilliance. Could it be you?

I have a couple of glass pumpkins that seem to find their way on to table tops in the fall and provide a warm glow in the evenings.  With a small candle casting light and shadow across a surface, its a prime candidate for a small painting.

There is an illusion that glass is difficult to draw or paint.
In reality, its an investment of time to observe shapes and values and patience in ensuring colours correct and in the right place.  Easier said than done, you're saying.   Like the old carpenter's rule of "Measure twice, cut once.", something similar is true in painting.  I observe much more than I paint, meaning that I look carefully a number of times, check shape and proportion, colour hue and value against the subject and my colour study, THEN I put paint on the panel.  And one stroke only, removing the knife and going on to the next stroke.