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.

January 6, 2012

Houses on the Lake

18" x 24" Oil on canvas.
Sorry I've fallen off the map. Things at CalArts have been so busy I haven't had time to paint for quite a while. However it's the break at Christmas time so I've had the chance to get back to painting for the last couple of weeks. I decided to do a couple of small ones to get back in the swing. Even though this is pretty small I struggled and struggled. It finally came together but it was a pain. I kind of like a painting to look like a bunch of mistakes that go together to make an image.

Detail #1. The darkest area looks black here but it's actually a very dark blue. Like I said earlier I really concentrate on design, and feel that it doesn't just apply to size and shape but to values and even to colors.
To many, many people the more photographic an image is the better it is. The way I look at it is that if someone wants something to look photographic s/he can simply get a camera.
Detail #3. The darkest area is a reflection of the under side of the bridge. It kind of looks black here but it's really alizarine (sp?) crimson and a little thalo green.