Saturday, October 16, 2021

A Wrestling Match: Me vs Painting - I Think I Won


Six months ago I was painting egrets using a particular technique, starting with a spray from the mouth atomizer. 

One I named Spirit Egret, and thought enough of it to enter it into a competition. Recently my art friend, Liz Walker, visited and took a look at the painting. She made a remark something like, "I think this has potential, why don't you finish it." Finish it!!  Yikes! I'd already put it under the eyes of a scrutinizing juror!

But of course as I looked at it, I realized it was missing something, mainly color harmony and unity. I spent last week in the wrestling match of trying to make it better, if not great. Stubbornness is my middle name. Instead of telling you each change I made in the process, I'm presenting a slide show. At the end, let me know if you think I can raise my paintbrush as the winner!

Spirit Egret when I thought I was done

With a little warmth added in the lower part of the painting and completing the halo and putting collage on the top egret

Finally letting go of the golden egret idea and turning the halo into a sun while adding one more warm spray over the entire painting after protecting the birds.

The final touch, collage the edge of the sun. Patterns are my thing!

Spirit Egret
22 x 30
Mixed Media

Did I win?

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Changes and Growth--A Painting 11 Years in the Making

It's been a year now since our home burned to the ground. A new house is being built, and my old art and website need a revival. It will be a few months, but my studio will move out of the barn into a new studio. Part of this process is sorting through my flat files, looking at what's worth moving, what might be edited, and sadly, what needs to just go. During this process, I occasionally see a painting I still like, but could be better. Consequently, this fall leaves painting from 2010 has been given a new life.

A really cool thing about blogging, is that I can look way back in my art creating to revisit how and why I painted this in the first place. I enjoyed looking at this old post and, in a sense, revisiting the day I found these leaves and brought them into the studio. This painting represented who I was as an artist in 2010, but I've learned a few tricks, developed a sharper eye, and have become a better critic.

So what is wrong with this piece? Perhaps nothing, but I think it is hard for the viewer to really connect with the painting. Maybe there is just too much activity, especially on a 22" x 30" piece.

What I decided to do was to frame the areas of most interest. To do that, I started with containing two areas that I would develop into more interesting leaf and negative shapes.

Using my mouth atomizer, I darkened the uncovered area with a mix of browns.

Next, I painted two brown frames around the squares I had protected from the brown spray. Already I think you can see it is more interesting.

Finishing of this piece was applying black outlining--something I've become a big fan of. For this I used a black watercolor paint and a brush which sometimes created small rough edges that I left, just because I liked them! Not only are the leaf shapes prominent now, but I also outlined small interesting negative shapes. So here is the painting, 11 years in the making.

Blemished Leaves
22" x 30"
Mixed Media