Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Have I painted myself into a corner?

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As you can see, I grounded my characters from the previous post with lots of solidness--rocks.

My intention with this painting is to create that image of a family at its birth, when everything is perfect. The spheres in the tree will be the fruit carrying all the hopes, dreams and expectations parents have in the beginning, before the reality hits that the perfect little beings come with their own personalities, gifts, quirks, and limitations. I'll do some calligraphy on the fruit, giving them labeled attributes to fit this theme.

So then came the tree.

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There are not many nuances here. Everything is painted with almost childlike simplicity. This is the difficulty with painting from one's ideas and memories, rather than reference materials. So I'm at a halt, unsure of where to go. Here are my questions:

-What kind of background can I put here? Light? Dark?
My ideas so far have been 1-all black (a coward's way out),2-hilly landscape, 3-abstracted stuff

-Should the figures get more details?

-Should the fruit become round and more realistic?

The last question is one I've already asked and answered for myself.
Is this painting worth finishing? It is teaching me a whole lot, so, yes, I will complete it,


Anonymous said...

Well, you amaze me. This is really a fun piece. I have some answers to your questions. But first, it looks to me like they have erupted out of a volcano and that they are a "lava family". I think the colors are what's doing that. I wondered that the father and mother could walk on hot lava and then answered myself that they were just born and came from that lava. But then I realized that it wasn't lava, it was roots.

What to do with the background? I would make it like a sunrise to keep with the newness/birthing. It would be a new day as well. But not too busy because, like hills or something like that might take away from the tree and family. I would go light.

Love the rocks and the colors in the rocks.

The only family member I seem to need a tiny bit more detail on is the baby. I like the others just as they are.

I would leave the fruit size the same and maybe add a tiny bit of detail so that it's fruit and not bubbles.

And I definitely think this is amazing and you should finish it. So much passion in this one.

Anonymous said...

I really like your ideas for this new painting. I think it may be worthwhile to try some risky things with this one & then do another version of it. One of the things I like is your repetition of the round shapes. However, I think you could use more color or value changes within those shapes... in general everything seems to be painted very simply, as you said... and I think it would be better to complicate things a bit.

As far as the background... I would try to stop thinking of it as a background, but more as an integral part of the painting. Look for areas to repeat shapes & colors & to lose edges or tie the subject into the remaining shapes on your paper. Perhaps then it will also look a little less symmetrical. I like the idea of the people becoming the trunk of the tree, but what if it were less centered? Then your shapes on either side might be more interesting. All just suggestions from my humble side of the fence...

I would really encourage you to do one that takes more risks (go for broke!) and maybe a safer one, and possibly a third or 4th one that combines your favorite parts of each. ruth