Sometimes it is hard to know if changing the original idea is improving matters or not. Below are three takes on the same subject. There is not a photo of the set-up, but the first image below is the closest to the subject matter, which was painted from life last week. I decided to remove the red pomegranate shape on the table level, which I thought dominated the pattern of the light roses above.
Goodbye pomegranate -- now, with that strong color removed, the roses came more into focus. Then I started thinking (uh oh) that the red berry shapes by the roses were too dominant, especially without the red shape on the table, so I muted them, as below:
Take Three, "Welcome Home," 30 x 20, Gallery Wrap
Now, looking at all three, I'm not certain that I improved matters, but c'est la vie...At least Take Three is softer, more about the roses, and quite different, just by changing a few elements. Such judgments, large and small, are the stuff of painting that can't be defined. It is a personal call, not always right or wrong, but surely different!
Subtle color, rhythm of dark and light -- these concepts are a kind of fall pattern for me! The brighter colors of the summer paintings no longer inspire, and I have been playing with simple shape and design. I now think I need more PAINT, perhaps some palette knife work, not sure...but I want to shake things up!
The good news is that I finally have the month ahead to paint without travel or much distraction. I'm excited, since I want to try some new approaches. Perhaps I'll do some figurative work, or some simple and universal landscapes. It should be a fine time to slip out of comfortable patterns and see what bubbles up!
Me, in action at a petite workshop last Sunday at Huff Harrington in Atlanta
(thanks to Kathy Cousart for the photo)
This was the second "demo" I did on Sunday, from a photo of fellow painter Sandy Overton's granddaughter. Well, it was obvious to me and all who attended that I hadn't been doing my nightly drawing for a while. I had to state and "re-state," the angle of the arm with the watering can, the shape of the head, the hand, the skirt -- you name it!! So, I am back at it: the nightly 5-minutes of drawing -- drawing my hand, my wine glass, Michael's profile, etc -- hoping to align my hand and mind to make life easier. Drawing is a wonderful way to stay out of daily concerns, while focusing on the task at hand.
Reference Photo -- Reese at the Botanical Garden
My (somewhat) Quick Sketch of Reese, 12 x 9
“Drawing is the best way to meditate, while staying
connected to the world around us.” Elsha
“Drawing is the basis of art. A bad painter cannot draw. But one who draws well can always paint.” Arshile Gorky
Just returned from a great week in Colorado, attending my niece's wedding and having lots of fun with our kids and little grand kids too. I must say, however, that there is no place like home -- I love being here to paint and to have time to get some ideas cooking. Above are a couple of Provence plein air pieces and then a life study I did this week from the camellias in my yard. I think that the contrast of being away most of the past month and the returning to routine makes each experience the better!
Sometimes magic just happens, as it did last week at Les
Murets, the elegantly simple and gracious provencal home that a congenial group
of painters and friends shared for six days of conversation, laughs, amazing
meals and wines, and most especially amazing paintings! How to describe? Let’s just look at the impressions of
Provence below (each done in an hour or so), done by my fellow travelers:
Martha Elder, Isle sur la Sorgue, beautiful and strong
Debbie Bruce, Isle sur la Sorgue, shimmery with great light
Cathy Groome, Oppede le Vieux, good shapes and sun
Sheryl Lott, Bastide de Voulonne, essence of the golden hour
Sandy Cox, Oppede le Vieux, great design and light effect
Jean Dortch, Bastide de Voulonne, simple and true
Ann Currey, Oppede le Vieux, beautiful color and light
There were so many nice paintings, studies, impressions -- that I could barely choose which to post!
Everyone made the leap from “Literal-ville” to creating pieces based on the subject in the atmospheric light, joyfully interpreted…so, here are a few more!
Jean Dortch, Isle sur la Sorgue, sophisticated palette
Ann Currey, Bastide de Voulonne, captured in a nut-shell
Cathy Groome, chez Les Murets, breezey and colorful
Martha Elder, Bastide de Voulonne, sparkly and open
Sandy Cox, Bastide de Voulonne, tres francais, non?
Debbie Bruce, Bastide de Voulonne, spontaneous color and light
Sheryl Lott, Bastide de Voulonne, immediate and painterly
Cassis was our last day of painting, and I only got photos
of 2 pieces, below:
Jean Dortch, Cassis Harbor (we HAD to stop for lunch) - strong foundation and composition
Debbie Bruce, Cassis Harbor, rocking those spots of color
I DID get a shot of Cathy Groome at the easel in Cassis,
with her admirer, who watched her paint the entire time : )
Finally, SO many thanks to Ann Huff, who owns the beautiful
home known as Les Murets, and Meg Harrington, her partner at Huff Harrington
Fine Art, along with sweet Sarah, our liason and detail organizer, all of whom made it possible for us to have this great week together!