Thursday, June 7, 2012

Just When You Thought You Failed


This may get to be a painting after all.


The reference photo
May be you didn't. Your eye says, don't scrap that just yet. Keep playing. There's something coming here. That's what I thought walking back into the studio after avoiding doing so.

When I left the studio this morning, I figured what was I doing using that photo for a painting reference; it's a good photo by itself, not a painting for me. It's soft. It's fluffy.  All I was doing was making a mess and wrecking a canvas. I closed the door figuring  get the gesso!

When I returned,  I thought  well, maybe not. The spacial depth is there. The viewpoint looking down from above is coming.along.  Hold off.  Trust instincts. I'm almost out of acrylics and this baby is going to need a lot. Worry about it when the kids leave.

This quote from Degas fits this situation: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things." This  morning's palette knife approach, then drawing in and scraping  had a positive effect. I'm starting to see what I see in that photograph.

17 comments:

  1. It is looking beautiful.

    I'm with you on the Degas quote. Mastery is great but the happy accident/discovery/mistake can be brilliant.

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    1. To me Degas was talking about getting sucked into the painting and doing what is natural. There's no analyzing. No scrutinizing. Just responding to the painting. And I don't think there's anything accidental about painting freely. Some happy accidents will happen in any painting, but mostly, all the years of education, practice, failures successes--everything the artist has ever done and learned is responding to her last mark. Interesting topic.

      I know this morning I was just doing. Then I backed away and wondered what the hell is that? Returning in an hour, I saw a painting was taking shape and wasn't nearly as awful as I thought when I first backed off.

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  2. I see something happening here as well!!..I love it already..You have a great reference picture and I can't wait to see this painting finished, Linda.!!

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  3. Very great color lay-in. Possibilities abound, IMHO.

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    1. Coming from you, that comment means a lot. Laying in the middle to dark grays seemed to be the only thing to do after I initially messed the canvas up and broke the ice.

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  4. Totally agree...it is looking really great!

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    1. Great, no. Okay yes. At this point. it still needs to be moved toward good.

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  5. I like it....and surely is a painting, a beautiful "abstract trees"! Have a good week end, Linda!

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    1. Thanks Tito. But it is a strange painting for me. Leafy trees aren't as structural as I like them. But if I can impart a feeling of substructure. under all that fluff, perhaps I'll like it better.

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  6. Really cool approach. It's like your just responding to the natural rhythms captured by a device (a camera, your eye) and then leaving for a while as it gestates in your mind. From here it looks fresh and not overworked--airy--and yet follows light, color and perspective conventions that rule vision. But the autographic quality of the paint clearly shows that it was created quickly and effortlessly. And that's what's so engaging--almost like all this is not possible. Oh, the structure is there all right. I've been trying to paint like that for years which is probably why I took to drawing. Bravo.

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    1. That's exactly how I paint everytime. The trouble with this reference photo is that I think it's a cool photo, but not really my subject. It's looks okay, but I'm not very excited about it--and excitement lacking kills the initiative. I'm going to let it sit for a while.

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  7. That is a great Degas quote. I really like what I'm seeing. Glad you did not get the gesso:-)

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    1. Gesso isn't out of the picture yet. I'm going to reevaluate in a couple of weeks--after my kids leave. I think them coming tomorrow has got me uptight. Going from two in the house who eat healthy and are set intheir ways to six who need snacks and Kool-aid and pillows and towels has got me in a frenzy. I can't paint in a frenzy.

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  8. Just back from London - granddaughter's 21st.

    You've been busy, as usual, Linda. The reference picture might simply be 'okay' to you, but to me it is totally amazing and really is a rain forest.

    Degas is right of course, and is seconded: ‘The magic in a poem is always accidental.’ Dylan Thomas.

    It takes me days to know if I've drawn a picture, or merely arranged lots of lines!!

    Hope you get lots of energy and fun out of the visit

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    1. I got my wind this morning. We have a house full of junk kids like to eat and we haven't touched in years. I'm guessing five pounds over the next couple of weeks. I am a pushover for chips and dips.

      As for that painting, right now I think I'm going to abandon it. I had a bad day with it yesterday, ended up taking it out into the yard and hosing it off, then scraping it. There's still a strong image there, but I turned it towards the wall for now. I like the photo. I'm shocked that I took such a photo. I think photography is an art. I might have stumbled into one I did very well. Change it to black and white, It would be good framed.

      Did you get to any of the Queen's many celebratory events or did you avoid the crowds? I think I would have liked to have seen some of that pomp and ceremony. We Yanks do like to watch the Royals.

      Twenty one is a fantastic birthday if I remember right. I made Ellis take me to all the taverns and strip joints. I had to see for myself what was going on in those raunchy places.
      He and I met when I was fifteen. We married and I was nineteen. I had my first son when I was twenty and thought I was quite the grown woman EXCEPT I couldn't go to bars. Big birthday indeed.

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  9. I can see it too, and it is looking jolly good ! Totally agree with Degas !

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  10. Two years ago I tried to make every line perfect and in my present view "boring". Today I try to rough it up, let faults give character etc. So I totally agree what is said.

    I think the painting has great potential.

    Happy painting and have a great weekend ...

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