Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Mini Me

The last couple of years I've skipped the annual Miniature Show that the Sierra Artist's Gallery sponsors.  I'm not really a detail guy ~ I'm more interested in the light, colour, and value contrasts of stuff, really.  This year, since I'd been painting so many Christmas ornaments and small Yosemite paintings, I figured that I'd do up a few things for the miniature show.  I was having so much fun with it, actually, that I made waaaaaay too many.  The maximum entry number is six.  I'd made about twenty.  I was able to weed out quite a few of them right off the bat, though, because of the one-sixth rule.  The object in the painting can be no more than one sixth of the size of the object.  Some of the things that I'd produced were flowers. The paintings would have to be very small to be one sixth of the size of the flowers. 

A few things that I did were simply things that I want to do large compositions of, but thought that I'd try them as miniatures first ... like my "Morning Steals Through" ... which is a stile that I pass frequently and it always makes me wonder about doing a composition of it.  I really liked the way that it turned out ... now I'm going to have to go and do a plein air of it.

Other subjects that always catch my eye around here are the farm animals.  There's a pasture of sheep in particular.  One afternoon, near dusk, I got some good pictures from which to work.  Perhaps I'll try to do them from life one day, too.

I also did a miniature version of the large charcoal that I did of Ben's cats last fall for his birthday.  The charcoal was 22" x 30" ... this painting was only about 5" x 7".  I about went cross-eyed trying to paint the details.  Oy.  It was a blast -- and made me rethink about doing details.  Just because I include a lot of details, doesn't mean that I have to make the painting look stiff and niggled.

There were three other pictures that I submitted ... but I'm not going to include them in this post.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Attempting Intimate Atmospheres

I did a sketch of Belinda and Meecah on the couch some time ago.  While I was drawing, I thought that it would make a nice little painting ~ but, due to time constraints, etc, I had to settle for taking a photo.  Here it is, almost two years later, and I finally got around to the painting (I accidentally ran into the photo on my computer and had the same reaction to the image ~ a soft, intimate moment in time ... like a poem lingering in the mind moments after reading it).
I've been trying to go a little deeper lately with my work ... it's not just about the image or the light ... but that extra dimension ~ the quality and handling of the paint itself.  Not just blurting out "here is my subject"  ... nor a great description of the subject ... but all of the adjectives and superlatives necessary to paint a piece of poetry about the ideas and feelings involved with the object ... and their time and space. 
Okay ... it sounds corny ... but I've been thinking about this for a long time and trying to get my head and paintbrushes around it.
In Sergei's book he describes paintings in terms of poetry (I can't remember the exact quotes, though).

So, this is my attempt at a poem in paint.  The light gave me some problems ... a cool light with very subtle shadows becoming warmer and almost esoteric in its moody dreaminess.  Okay, that was a whole can of corn.  Anyway ... it's still a work in progress ... it needs to be softened and lots of edge work, but it's getting there.  I'd like to thank Del for his support and input.  He gave me some advice that both steered me in the right direction, and cracked me up at the same time.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Mail Boxes

Last evening, while on a walk, the late afternoon sun hitting these mail boxes really struck my eye.  Beautiful light ~ and I just had to paint them.  I had intended for it to be a 30 - 45 minute sketch -- one of my "green" paintings ... but I ended up having so much fun that it only seemed like 30 minutes, but was actually about 3 hours.