Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Who is Marsha Hamby Savage?

Who do you think I am?

I have been thinking about what is it that I like to paint? Is there a particular subject matter, or colors, or techniques that show up all the time in my paintings? Is it about emotion, or a story, or is it about my decision to keep on learning something new? Where do I see myself going and why? What is it I want to do?
The start of an Idea!
A good friend asked me that last question on the way to the airport after I had spent a week with her. Can you imagine this question early in the morning? This is the tough question ... what is it I want to do?

My Answer:

I want to continue to paint! I want to travel and teach .... which means I need to make enough money to continue to do that. Travel fills up my well of experience and is where I go to capture an idea for painting ... even if it is just a few miles from my home. Painting plein air (in the open air / outdoors from life) is my classroom and where I learn the most. Teaching is one of the things that helps me keep learning more about what I do ... besides the added benefit of seeing students learn and that "light bulb" go off when they finally understand a concept they have been trying to internalize for months or years!

What do I want to paint? Anything that has to do with how light affects the landscape. That said, I also enjoy occasionally painting flowers, still life, and people.
The Underpainting
Here is my favorite subject matter ... trees! I don't think anyone will be surprised by that comment. I do mostly enjoy painting the landscape with no hint of "man" or "manmade" objects. Another favorite is the landscape with a stream and rocks, or a pathway or road (I know, manmade!), where there is a bend or curve, and some suspense as to what is around the bend... where you wonder about what can't you see. I want the viewer to participate in the painting ... to put themselves in the scene, or know they have been there, or want to go there!

This painting is a 16" x 12" pastel on Ampersand Pastelbord... which is my favorite surface to do a pastel painting on.

In progress with pastel added
I have finished the painting, and have now started a 36" x 24" oil painting of the same scene to see how it translates to the oil medium and what I do differently using the oils and a brush versus a stick of pastel in my hand.

Finished ... "Water Oak"

This particular thought process has made me think more about what I want to teach also! Most students tell me they want to learn ... of course ... but the main thing that drew them to my class is my use of color. I love exploring different colors to help with the use of "local color". So ... I will be including in my classes and workshops how you will choose color to fit your own emotional responses and personal choices and likes. 

My personal colors ... green (of course) and turquoise with the addition of purples, reds and oranges... any variation of these colors also! Can you see they are relatively opposites on the color wheel? Makes for some very interesting combinations!