Monday, September 10, 2012

Alla Prima Still Life #1


My Acrylic Table With IPod


Still life is not my favorite genre--actually, far from it. Yet I chose to do one to get the drift of alla prima, painting from life. I staged no set up. I painted my acrylic paint table just the way it is,in need of straightening. The spread of brushes and paint jars was too ambitious for a first attempt, but I kept painting till I ran off the 9 x 12 canvas. I let the composition be whatever it turned out to be. I did no predrawing--even with an oil wash. I just painted patches of color. This is the result.

36 comments:

  1. Linda, I truly love it! It's just so simple and clean, and it looks like you had fun painting it, too, despite your antipathy towards still life.

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    1. You used the right word 'antipathy.' Still lifes are dead. Stuff just sits there. But thank you. I did have a good time. I took my time for a while, then became a little looser, actually more like let's hurry this thing up and be done with it. That's really more my style. There's a lot of crap on that paint table--enough for a few more studies.

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  2. It works. I don't think there is any "just" about it.

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    1. It does work and was a great exercise for evaluating values/colors. I used the word 'just' to state I didn't do a damn thing to the things on that table to make the items more related to one another. What you see is really how it is.Exciting huh?

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  3. It doesn't show that you don't like "still life". It works for me, it is lovely. I do like a simple still life, but I never have a fixed outcome. I do all the surroundings from what I think will suit, which is both fun and frustrating.

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    1. What I don't like about still lifes is the false arrangement of objects to make a pleasing composition. With this one, what is there is there as it was there. I didn't lift a finger.
      Thanks Roger. I appreciate that. All the time I was painting, I was wondering what are you doing? I was putting down color/value shapes alla prima.

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  4. This is a fascinating piece in that it exudes a spontaneity that shouts 'real'. The lack of artifice that troubles many still life pieces is totally absent here. Great placing of shapes. A very pleasing work.

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    1. That was my trick. There was no placing of shapes. That's how my acrylics are stacked and how the pots of brushes are placed. I learned a lot about using my brushes and about muddying up shadows--but then I have found that a good mud is very important in a painting. Thanks Mick.

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  5. I love this unplanned painting! Loads of texture and nice patches of color - very arty! Great!

    xoxo

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    1. Thanks Vicki. Unplanned is the way I like to do them. Not in this case, but in many others. We often put things down that are totally unrelated and that's the subject for still life I find intriguing for it says, there's someone about who has a multitude of interests. Whoever lives in this space is interesting. thank you for commenting.

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  6. And a great result it is!
    Much fun, great color, movement, nice design, and more.
    It certainly works.
    I think you can do anything you set your mind to Linda!
    Keep it up!
    Your art buddy,
    Michael

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    1. Thanks Michael. So you think my eye can read light, medium and dark values okay. Sometimes I wonder. I'd like to get to the point where I could read a value right off without checking it out through a punch hole in an index card.

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  7. Excellent still life, Linda! My eyes take me all over the canvas...!

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    1. Thanks Hilda. That was a lucky break. I did start at one end of the canvas and stop at the other.

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  8. Looks like you have a full studio. Lots of tool for doing what you love!

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    1. Probably an overload:-) I'm a push over when it comes to art supplies. Aren't we all?

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  9. Hi,Linda!lines ,colors, volumes,
    everything sings in this still life
    full of rhythm!
    If you LIKED painting still life
    WHAT could you do???

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    1. Thanks you so much Rita. You are always encouraging.

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    1. Thanks. It's a start. The paint table is a long one. You might see every inch:-)

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  11. I love the painting! It is not a 'dead' still life at all. It speaks of your passion for painting, your lively and colorful surroundings when you are painting. So that is what I think!

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    1. Thanks Judy. I appreciate that you see something there. I did have an interesting afternoon with this approach.

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  12. Rita says it all!
    Now I'm an ignoramus who doesn't know one end of a paint brush from the other!! So I'm allowed to say stupid things to a friend... SO ... why is still life driving you? Why don't you drive it? Why paint paint-pots when you, with your enormousness design capability and dynamic intellect could reinvent the whole thing. Take a look at the themes that Cathie Waller (On my sidebar) is doing: she's painting whole narratives about writers & poets with her still-life. You could rebuild the whole *!&88%%** world if you really wanted to!

    But what do I know? :0))

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    1. John didn't you get it? I don't really want to paint still lifes, but I want to try schmid's shape/color/ value pattern method without having to drag my stuff outside to some park or field. I chose still life because it's convenient--and my paint pots were really convenient.
      The paint pots were just there. So there they are:-)

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    2. I'm not the brightest button in the box ...

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    3. Sure you are. You were encouraging me to take still life to another level. I'll take a look at Cathie Willer's work. I've been a bit closed minded about the genre ever since art school and all those flowers in a vase challenges.

      The most inspiring still lifes I've seen involved dead animals. One was a rabbit laying dead on a plank top trestle table. The other was a couple of pheasants hanging from a rusty nail on a rough plank wall. I thought they were brilliant: lifeless animals in a still life. The painters, obviously hunters, had an excellent sense of humor. I, however, have a sense of humor, but don't hunt. :-)

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  13. It does look like you were enjoying yourself! Terrific example of FEELING that paint and using it very well.

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    1. Is that what I was doing? I thought I was just trying to put down the shapes of different color values.I was doing what Schmid said: painting what I saw. I really wasn't feeling anything. I think with the Schmid approach, the feeling comes in when you select what it is you are going to paint.

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    2. You don't paint with feeling? I get the feeling from your work that you love paint, (and charcoal) and really enjoy slapping it on and pushing it around? No? Must be me then!

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  14. I love that you didn't rearrange things. It looks very natural and very inviting! I love the repetition of the round can tops throughout the piece to pull it together and keep my eye moving. Very nicely done!

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    1. Thanks Katherine. The repetition of white tops is what is there. I really did just stop when I got to the right side of the canvas.

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  15. Hi Linda, I have no words.....if I think that is painted "alla prima"! What to say : fantastic! Ciao!

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    1. Thank you Tito. I can't get over the wonderful responses to this painting with no planning, just painting from one end of the canvas to another a subject that is in front of me every day. It wasn't great fun; it truly was a study of an approach to painting--a lazy gal's study. I didn't lift a finger to arrange anything. I don't plan to either. Thank you again for your kind words.

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  16. I cannot believe that this is your first attempt in still life.
    It is really very good.
    Your are a natural, my dear!!!

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    1. Thank you. It's my first attempt at still life with oils and using the direct painting method. I'm not all that natural --ask my hair colorist:-)

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