January 12, 2012

Houses and Dinghies

 18" x 24" oil on canvas
Originally I wanted to see if I could make this painting fairly quickly. After all it's smallish, 18" x 24" and at first I was going to use fairly realistic colors and contrast. Also the composition is fairly simple. But as I got into it I could see that by changing the colors slightly, and boosting the contrast, it could be much, much stronger. Where the central house is now, originally there was a dinghy, but I could see that it was way too conventional. The colors and the contrast were actually very difficult. I would paint something, realize it didn't work quite right, change the color the tiniest bit (and I mean tiny), and then repaint it. I like a lot how the painting turned out but it was definitely a struggle getting it there.

Detail #1. You can see some of the original grass color poking through here and there.

 Detail #2. Here's a piece of the ocean and yellowish sky. Here again I wanted to see if I could make the ocean work with a graphic pattern.
 Detail #3. Although this painting looks like it was done fairly quickly (and I like that look) it wasn't. It drives me crazy when a painting looks like it was carefully done. You know, every color transition is smooth, every blade of grass is fussed over, every detail is carefully done, etc. It doesn't mean it's wrong for an artist to do that, it's just not my taste at all.

Detail #4. Here are some of the dinghies. To the left of the red one you can see that I ruffed out another, didn't like it, so painted over it.
Currently I'm working on another painting of the same size, and hope to finish it before classes at CalArts get going again...we'll see.