Monday, March 22, 2010

March 21- March 22, ‘10

Happy Spring!  Unbelievable.... yesterday was my first day of Painting Outside!  I didn’t see it coming.   I feel that I’ve been blessedly blindsided by the wonderful spring weather of the past few days.  I thought to gather up my things and go Somewhere but because I felt so grateful to feel secure in my Home, decided to stay home and celebrate the outside from the comfort of the porch.  Besides, B was coming to fix the bathroom ceiling and I wanted to talk to him and make sure to remember to tell him how grateful I am for his help in getting the people upstairs to lower their noise volume.

I worked out on the porch and talked to him on intervals when he wasn’t working on the ceiling.  I was happy to report to him that this week with the noise was the best in the 5 weeks since the people moved in, that they’d lowered the volume a great deal and I was again getting a good night’s sleep.

I’ve decided on this landscape scene from my porch; to do a painting of it while it’s still visible.  The trees in the foreground need to be there for the composition to make any sense to me.  I decided that I’d continue experimenting with the walnut drawing tool and frisket so drew in the background scene, then the trees, then covered the trees with frisket.  This part of the painting is very interesting & exciting for me in considering all the possibilities that arise from the act of separating the foreground from the background.  I also love making the meaningful strokes with the pen and frisket.  It’s a sense of something in me being momentarily freed. 

When the frisket was dry, I began to paint in the value pattern.  I decided on my favorite gray for tone, UB and BS.  I tried to keep everything soft for the initial development of the painting.  The actual sky was a light, somewhat grayed Blue, as if there was much haze in the atmosphere.  It seemed soft to me and so did the air.  It was warm, smelled sweet.  A fresh spring breeze has an undescribably sweet scent in it that defies words.

I worked on the painting for another hour or so last night and I worked on it for a few hours this morning.  The weather is still great today.  Not as warm as yesterday, but I’m not complaining.  I worked out on the porch this morning from 9 - 12:30.  I had my breakfast out there and quite a few phone chats as I worked.  I feel totally blessed to be here to so enjoy this beautiful spring day.

Here it is with the frisket removed.  The frisket turns a kind of greenish yellow on the paper.  The painting takes on a different light without the frisket.

March 22, 2010

I worked on this painting for awhile this morning, mostly on the trees.  I’m using a variety of gray made from UB and BS.  For more variety, I’m adding in red and yellow to the gray.  The darker gray for the unlit side of the trees and the yellow to lighten the gray for areas where there’s more light.  I also cooled the grays occasionally by adding in Pthalo Blue, which to me, is ice cold.

At one point I placed the painting on the floor and momentarily left the room.  When I came back, I viewed the painting from upside down.  The thought that came to me was “I like this....”  That’s when I decided to stop working on this painting.  


This morning I read an article on the Internet about the importance of Technology to the Artist.  My thoughts about how I use recent Technology in my painting have to do with the computer, digital camera and a computer program to use to enhance a photo that I’ve uploaded from my camera.

I use the viewfinder in the camera to compose my subject.  When looking through the view finder of the camera, I arrange my subject in the crosshairs of the view finder while mentally applying the Rule of Threes to my subject and how I’d like to arrange the drawing of the subject and all it’s supports on a piece of watercolor paper.  I take photos to remind me of what I may have been thinking/feeling when I took the photo.  When I’m painting I use the camera to record the various stages of the painting.  The viewfinder and then, the image reduced to a THUMBNAIL size gives me a new perspective on the painting and the progress.

Seeing the painting in a very small, thumbnail size gives me an idea of the balance and proportion of the composition.  I think that back in the times of the Renaissance, a series of lenses was used in a tool that was considered a technological advance called a Camera Obscura (?)  which in more modern times was refined into an item that was portable and used as a sketching aid for artists.  Seeing my image reproduced on the screen in a very small format allows me to critique my progress as to composition, value pattern, depth of tone or intensity of color, in a way that feels logical and understandable.

Another thing I like about the capacity of the photo enhancement program is that I can de-saturate a photo, which takes out all the color and leaves the image reproduced in a series of grays from dark to light.  To me, this is highly useful.

I like to imagine my paintings as an image that is carved into stone and then enhanced with color.  De-saturating a photo of a painting allows me to see whether or not I’m sticking with the value pattern I established after I’ve done the initial drawing.

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