Friday, March 18, 2016

Painting like I draw?

Orange Roses and Fan oil on canvas 40 x 40 cm

At the moment, when I draw,  I'm focused on a few competing concerns:

                                        - making order out of confusion
                                        - colour
                                        - rhythm, including pattern, light, marks, shapes
                                        - joy

When I began this painting  I decided to work from something I would choose to draw by building what I thought was an interesting interplay of colour, light and shape. When I make a drawing I usually complete it the same day.   It's different for me with painting. In order to acheive the same sense of colour and light when working in oils I need to let the paint dry and come back to it over a period of time. Flowers don't last and I find that working from a photo immediately changes the feel of the painting.  I also find sustaining the mood over a period of days is difficult too.  Usually I change what I want to say with time, but in this case, even though the flowers had died and I had invent some to make the painting work; even though tthe background had fallen away from the wall, tape had come undone, etc, the finished painting feels believeable and as though one moment in time.  

Looking at paintings on Pinterest has helped me to trust my still life paintings and given me license to do what makes my heart sing.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

How precise should a drawing be?

When The Mountains meet the Sea, (pastel on paper 65 x 45cm), 2016

I'm persevering with my determination to make work in varying sizes and because I find it difficult to understand how to scale up my marks, I am using small drawings and working from them as a way to overcome this barrier. Because the goal is to keep things loose I am mostly using the colour in the original and just focusing on making lively, bigger work.

As a recall, when I was making the original, I wasn't true to the scene before my eyes as I worked.  I moved things around and eliminated things from the view when it felt right.  So, when I go back to work from the drawing, I find things that I believe in the original don't make as much sense when larger.  A small stroke estimates something in a general way when working small, but feels as if it needs to be defined more when bigger.  BUT LOTS OF PAINTERS ABSTRACT, so why do I find this so difficult?

Thursday, March 3, 2016

When to stop?

Silver and Matisse Necklaces, 6 x6 " pastel on paper

As I get to the end of a painting, drawing or print there is is always that lingering doubt about whether I am 'finished' or not.  For me being finsished is about everything coming together in a balance of some sort.  Of course that doesn't mean I use a uniform approach.  I need to have enough interest to hold my imagination and expectation, but it needs to feel intentional and there shouldn't be anywhere in the image that is sticky for my eye, unless that's the objective.  So I look and look and try not to stepover the line between finished and stultified.  

I thought I'd finished Silver and Matisse Necklaces and then I realised that there was some confusion on the right side of the chain mail necklace.  I'm not sure if I rubbed it while I was working elsewhere or whether I just missed pulling it into focus.  I touched up a few other spots tand then the pastel was finished.