Thursday, April 15, 2021

So Many Ways

I am so thankful for my blogging. I often use it to reference and remember my art journey, which is what I was looking for today. But as I searched back through the years, I was blessed with photos of my mom, grandkids when they were little, raft trips, parties, etc. But I was looking for . . .

April 2009. This was the year I took a workshop with John Salminen ( He is best known for his very detailed city scapes, but in this workshop, he taught an approach to abstract painting and this method stuck with me. This week I came up with 2 very different paintings using the same subject, egrets. For a while now I have been fascinated with their shape while flying and have painted them in several ways starting with realism.

Then I painted them quite realistic but in a made up strata design.

This week I started an abstract, putting 3 simplified bird figures into a pyramid composition and began the tried and true Salminen start.

Egret Shapes in an Abstracted Design

Here is the first photo I took after creating a cruciform shape that I blocked off with tape. The egret forms are still protected with film and tape at this point.

Here you see my addition of warmth with yellows and red. I am beginning to lift and paint squares and rectangles.

This is where I stepped back and decided on two things--I loved the art nouveau feel as it developed, so decided to do more, and I thought the yellow was a bit much.

Come Fly With Me
Watercolor on paper
21" x 29"

It took me a bit to determine I was done, but once I did, I wanted to challenge myself to something very different.

I decided to explore both shape and color using the same egret images. I rarely go for muted and neutral colors, so this was a challenge for me.

Going Neutral and Curvilinear 

I started the same way as I did in Come Fly with Me. I protected areas before applying grays, both with a brush and then with my mouth atomizer.

I did really like the painting at this point. It is foggy and mysterious. The story is there for the viewer to come up with, where Come Fly With Me is more of a visual adventure. This painting could certainly be interpreted as spiritual. But I didn't stop there, and would like to revisit how I finished it. You see the almost finished version below. 

Watercolor and Collage on Paper
21" x 29"

Before putting the painting under the weights for flattening and after taking this photo, I lifted some of the quinacridone gold off the rising egret. It seemed over the top to me, I was looking for warmth. I may try another version, leaving it more in the neutrals. After all, it's only paper!

No comments: