Sunday, February 15, 2009

Great Works, NOT!

If you visit this blog expecting to see great works, please look elsewhere. What you will find is an honest accounting of my trials and tribulations of attempting to improve my skills. I have to admit this experience is a lesson in humility for me. The challenge of putting that simple (yes, very elementary) still life object up and drawing it from sight is huge. Oh, I've done several paintings from life, but I've learned that when there is more "stuff" in a painting, the viewer (and even the artist) will only focus on one area (hopefully) the focal area. If you get the most contrast of values and most saturation of hue there, the viewer's eye will not linger in any of the other areas. Besides, if there are flowers, or cloth covering the eclipse, you can be off. However, when it is a simple thing like a cube or cone, you better git it right.
These practice sessions, should improve my observation skills and eye/hand coordination, so that when I do serious work, be it a landscape, still life or portrait, I will be able to accurately capture the scene.
My buddy John will justifiably chastise me for missing the perspective in this cube. It is strange that when I did quick sketches on paper, it looked right and came easy. Then when I switched to canvas and paint, the ability drained off the end of the brush and back into the turp jar.
Anyhow, this was a good learning experience working in black. Everything in the setup was black. The perfume bottle was highly reflective black glass. The shadow box and table top were black matt board. A 20 watt 5K bulb (color corrected) lit the subject. The only hint of hue was the red design on the bottle and a red board I set up to the right of the shadow box in order to get a pattern of color repetition. Plus I signed it in Bob Ross Red.
I personally dislike seeing artist's signatures stand out on paintings, but that is just my opinion. As you know, opions are like mouths, we all have one. Sometimes they are best kept to one's self.
Many fine artists sign their works in red. Who knows, perhaps when I've painted 50 or 500 small studies like these and get more confident and painterly in my works, I too will sign in red. After all, I'm like Erma Bombeck said....I'm old, so I can wear red, or something to that effect. Maybe that philosophy in life, applies to art too.
Anyhow, happy painting.

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