Saturday, June 1, 2013

Verticals Complicate

Woodland Series, Spring Thaw, Acrylic, 20" x 20"

PAINTING IN PROGRESS

Verticals complicate and prolong  the work process, but breathe excitement into a composition. Nothing but horizontals in Spring Thaw put me to sleep.

Woodland Series; If a Tree Falls
In Progress
I needed some life, action! I knew the composition needed livening up days ago--every time I passed the studio door.  Finally, I took the plunge.  First with pastels, then with paint,I added saplings to the landscape and  the simple, horizontal composition turned exciting BUT also complicated and demanding. Important things have to happen at every intersection, some obvious, others subtle. The real work begins.

Complex landscapes both scare and intrigue me. I drive right past pastoral scenes with clear horizons; it's the gnarly scenes that make me pull out my camera.  SpringThaw is a gnarly one--as is If a Tree Falls. Both finishes will not come quickly. A more relaxing portrait might give me something to break up the intensity.

PHOTOGRAPHY


Lake Walk, Digital Photography

The rain stopped long enough to take my first walk down to the lake.  The air smelled of fish. The Bass and Bluegills were spawning said a guy cleaning up his paddle wheel. The lake was high, back where it was two summers ago, affording swimmers an easier climb up the boat ladder. But the water wasn't quite warm enough for a dip. Just 68 degrees, it was ten degrees shy of what this arthritic lady will tolerate--of course, I could consider a plung into the cold  just as another icing session...I went home to try on bathing suits with this very paintable photograph in my camera. There's some deep  burgundy in the dark shadows of the water.  Can you see ithe flecks?




22 comments:

  1. Wow powerful piece Linda. I thing there's maybe a bit of anger here? Or am I reading into it? In any case both paintings are packed with emotion. And the photo is lovely, how lucky you are to live so near such a beautiful place.

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    1. I can't get enough of it--that's the good news, I am grateful. The bad news is: our surroundings will keep us here during those dark, dreary, winter months the rest of our lives. When spring comes, my evil mood lifts--maybe it hadn't lifted when I started these paintings? Could be? I am a creature sensitive to her surroundings--in other words: moody. But I don't know if I was angry when I took the photograph; the harshness of the winter was very apparent in the landscape. I recognized it. Thanks Crystal. Again not a parlor painter here.

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  2. The color combination in #1 is my favorite. If you looked back at my responses in the past, you would see how much I enjoy both Spring Thaw and If a Tree Falls. You can leave me with a fishing rod at Lake Walk anytime.

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    1. We have yet to add those to our garage collection. And we should. When the kids came visiting last June and we picniced by the lake, they did go fishing and caught either a bluegill or a bass every time they dropped their line! Amazing. --The paintings are coming along with my limited palette. Well both be interested to see what they look like finished. They are definitely related in color and mood.

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  3. Your bravery in taking on the complexity of the scene you've selected is admirable. A good spell of relief from that piece could be had by beginning something based on the lovely photograph you've posted.

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    1. OR I'm out of my mind and have bit off more than I can chew :-)) Yes, that soft lake view would be a nice relief, but so would a portrait. I really have put JD off for way too long. It had to do with my computer problems--then more computer problems--then sodium overdoses and necessary dietary adjustments...in other words: life got in the way. I've been feeling guilty because I know it would be one terrific portrait IF I WOULD JUST START IT!

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  4. The fun of visiting your blog is not only what you post, but reading the comments you get and your responses. I read the first one about anger and went back and had a look at the image to see how it prompted that remark. Yes..I can see what Crystal means. It's all so sharp, almost like barbs! But, of course, that is what is making it beautiful too...Winter is yielding to Spring. Lovely work in progress---and gorgeous photo too!

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    1. Maybe I should call it Winter Thaw? When we think Spring, we do think soft colors creeping back into the landscape. I thought Crystal had a point too--but as I told her I wasn't mad at anything when I painted--it wasn't an expressionistic piece--I was just responding to the reference photo. I do dislike winter however, so maybe there is some self expression in that work?

      I love responding to comments--especially when they are like Crystal's--a meaty response to the work. It makes me think what am I trying to say with the painting. I have an equally dominant literary side. Paintings are expressive conversations.

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  5. The verticals definitely work. Lovely painting and colours.

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    1. Didn't they breathe life into that forlorn place? I was amazed--but then my head had been saying to do it after the third session. Now I'm stuck working out the strategic points.--If only the painter's life was an easy one :-)))

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  6. LOVE this painting, Linda...one of my favorites of your work! I wouldn't know where to start!! LOL
    And this is such a beautiful photo! The splash of purples would make that perfect painting!!

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    1. Yes! I too am 'saw' Red/blue Violet in the shadows--and deep blue blacks and dirty greens...

      Ellis hates Spring Thaw, so thank you for your encouraging words. It is harsh--but so was winter on the landscape. (I wasn't angry when I painted it; I was just responding to the reference photo). I have a few other reference photos that would fit in with that series and that style.

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  7. I laughed at BTH method. Great title - just great!
    In my mind your changes took it from a good painting to an outstanding one.
    Love the photo of the lake. Are those waterlily pads? I would have a bed down by the water so I could paint it at all hours - I wanna go there.

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    1. Come on down! Thanks Julie. The art critic living in my house who would never have been through the doors of any museum if I hadn't pushed him panned my vertical additions causing doubt I could live without. It's nice to get some reinforcement.

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  8. Linda!
    Love the Lake Walk photo!
    I agree with Hilda! I love "Spring Thaw!" The wilder the better! Call it "Winter Thaw" or whatever! It is an exciting work of art that demands attention and a response!
    Bravo! (From an old hippy, "Right On!"
    Your art buddy!
    Michael

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    1. This old hippy says thanks for the go ahead daddy-O!

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  9. I'm with you! I love complicated. There are so many places that engage in this painting! I love the verticals, the angles and shapes created by the trees, the large triangle on the left and the smaller shapes on the right. I love the tug of war of colors in the back, the oranges and blues. There is much movement here. Great painting!

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    1. Thanks Dan! It's a painting that got scary to me. It's either far from finished, or finish is just around the corner? Will I know it when I see it?

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    2. I think you're darn close to right. :-))

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  10. Dear Linda, I'm back from Warsaw. A city that surprised me ...at the 52 th parallel gardens and parks can be more flowery than here, after a terrible spring (even rain today!).
    Your work is going as you like while I wait for the changes you make.
    Beautiful photos of your surroundings ... have nice week, Rita.

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    1. Welcome home Rita. Nice to have you back. I hope your visit with grandchildren was as grand as you hoped it would be. You have a nice week painting too.

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