Thursday, January 7, 2010

Two New Paintings

Here is the first of the two new paintings -- "Much Gold" is what I have given the name to this painting. Sometimes I give one while working on it and then change it later if needed. This painting is pastel and on a piece of Canson Mi Tientes paper and is 16” x 12”. It was started as a demonstration in one of my classes in Smyrna. It has been put away for several months. I decided to take a few of these demos out and see if any were worth continuing on.

This painting only had the initial lay in on the paper. So, I started adding pastel and used a piece of pipe insulation to blend the pastel pigment into the paper. Canson is said not to be lightfast -- meaning that if you put it into the sun, and left it, the color would eventually fade. Many times in the past, I have used some wonderful colors and let some of it show through. That means in time the wonderful color would no longer be part of the painting and it would as if I had used a very light or even whitish paper. So . . . from now on I will use my finger or something to "mush" the pastel into the paper and create a barrier and soft background to do the remaining painting on.

Here you can see what may be the finished piece and also a grey scale of that piece. I say "may be finished" because I like for it to sit and walk by it for a couple of days to see if anything "pops" out at me as needing a minor tweak. I am very pleased with the outcome of this piece. It is 16" by 12" -- but I have measured up from the bottom to where 12" would be if I want to crop it to a square format of 12" by 12". It looks good that way and I know square format paintings are very popular. I'm not sure the top of the background trees and the sky shape is important to the painting. So, I will have to make that decision in a couple of days. What do you think?

Here are two images of the second painting -- it is not quite as successful -- but will sit there and I will look at it as I work on something else and see if I can decide what it really needs.

So, you can probably see why I don't really know if it is quite right yet. The grey scale looks fine, but when I look at the colors, I'm not sure there is harmony in the painting. The image is not quite as good as the original and there is a little more "wheat", "pink", and "ochre" colors in the grasses. The background trees are a hill and there is no sky showing, which is what I wanted, but I am not sure it doesn't just look like a "brick" wall. I added a small amount of texture to the whole background, using a hard "Nupastel" stick in just a slightly darker shade -- hope to make it look like a bank of trees without drawing too much attention to it.

This is a scene I have painted several times before with different colors, time of day, and a slight change of elements . . . there were bee hives between the left most tree and the middle one. Also, there was a small two-track grassy pasture road in the foreground curing around past the last tree and out of the scene. I left both of these elements out. I am trying to learn to simplify scenes somewhat and trying also to quit "decorating" the images in my scenes. This was also a demonstration started in one of my classes in Smyrna and I thought it had good "bones" and was worth trying to make into a finished painting.

I have made a decision that mostly when I paint, to forget the idea that something needs to be painted to frame and take to a gallery or show. I want to take any pressure off the "production" of my work. It should give me more freedom to try things that might not work, brush off more (which I have been doing for awhile anyway), and just generally free me up to just play around trying out new things. I think this will be the only way I can get better and move my art to the next level.

I have another one I was working on that is still too "iffy" to show. I might do that tomorrow. I have asked a friend what she thought and she gave me her issues with it. Now I have to decide if they coincide with mine.
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