Friday, March 12, 2010

From Flowers to Portraiture; From Carefree to Carefull



I got into painting ten years ago. Up until then I had painted off and on--mostly off. Then we moved into this place and finished the lower level.

In our neck of the woods, a lower level is what we call the basement when it has windows and doorwalls and you can walk out. When we were finished, ours had a place for me to paint and a great room 33 by 15, with two walls uninterrupted by windows and doors. One, I mirrored completely so I could see myself suffer on the elliptical trainer and scream encouragement. The other backed a combination bar/holiday gift wrapping station and desperately needed some wall decor.

I bought some large canvases and looked around for a subject. Flowers were my choice. They filled my new garden, were colorful and quick and easy to paint in my carefree style. This was the first of three floral paintings I did for that wall and then quit.

Till now with my exploration of portraiture.

Portraiture is so exacting--it's a lot like space planning for a construction project. I, who love to splash and splatter, have no idea why I suddenly find the genre attractive--except that with the construction business being down, I probably want more structure in my life. Well I've found it.

This is a scaled layout for my double portrait of the two women. It's one and a half size larger than the original photograph and one quarter as large as the finished painting, 48 x 24.
The a grid system is red; the scale is large, but smaller over the faces of the women to aid in obtaining a closer likeness. Whether I choose to paint flatly or freely, the grid system is helpful for getting all the parts where they belong and in proportion to one another. It's a way to enlarge a drawing--or make it smaller. In the drawing stage,it's objective.It's a map, and I'm the navigator. In the painting stage, subjectivity hopefully will creep in and breath life into the picture.

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