Wednesday, February 12, 2014

There's Magic in Obscurity

And the painting moves on

To be sure an artist wishes to raise his standard intellectually as much as possible, but the man must remain in obscurity. Pleasure must be found in the studying . (Paul Cezanne).


And studying is what I've been doing as I let this painting develop as it prompts.  All  My Guys are pushing and pulling at one another for attention.  Make a mark on one, another mark is called for elsewhere. So painting goes whether it's a triple portrait or a landscape or a bouquet of flowers.



Working from that horrendous reference taken with a flash, I decided the flash color distortion is appropriate for this painting.  The cool, harsh lighting fits the situation.  My Guys are not close to one another. For the photograph they were seated apart; I brought them together in the painting.  Art can work magic.



Magic can only happen flying solo in the studio. That's why this quote on obscurity from Robert Genn's list of Art Quotes appealed to me.  We can blog, take work shops, attended open studios and meet the gang for an afternoon of plein air, but alone in the studio is where we learn by doing with no distractions.



The colors of the translation shown here are not as they are in the painting. The real colors are more subtle and way less yellow.  I am struggling with warring photo programs in Windows 8.1. I prefer my Dell Jasc Photo Album; it has a greater capacity for getting accurate renditions than Windows Photo Gallery. But the operating system keeps insisting on doing things its way.  Better watch out for Big Brother. I have a feeling it doesn't like my Jasc because I installed it myself and didn't get it from the App Shop?  I'm going back to the seclusion of my studio where all the problems are fixable.

16 comments:

  1. Here I am checking out the look and I hate it. I must rephotograph. This copy is so much harsher than the painting. I'm going back to my oh-so-slow Vista to download a new photo--and republish from there, but first the studio. Learning painting is so much more pleasant than learning Windows 8.1. I left Guy three with only a lower lip and none of them has any decent suggestions of real ears or noses.

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    1. Wow, u are hard on yourself... I thought it looked great.. I like this.. Are u talking about the contrast being heightened? That's the only thing I noticed.. Other than that, your 3 look quite handsome.

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    2. Thanks. I think I'm running scared? The contrast does need toning down, but I am after a bit of a grotesque, free- wheeling look. I think I'm getting there and there seems foreign and makes me apprehensive--so does Windows 8.1 :-)). A learning experience right?

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    3. I have learned that everything is a learning experience... lol... the contrast just needs a little toning down.. btw grotesque is harsh... minus that and just 'free wheeling'... au natural...I like how you made their eyes w/ expression.. They all have that friendly, happy look.

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    4. How about garish? I'm not toning down. I want to tone up. Push the color. Painting is about color.

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    5. definitely not GARISH... how about heightened?

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  2. I have seen this painting in its incarnations so many times that I am going to begin dreaming about it - lol! Actually, from here, I think it looks great! It even looks finished to me. I've said it before, but I am so impressed that you are actually doing a triple portrait. And I think it is great that you are working all over the canvas to even things out because, I am told, that is what artists do and that is what we are supposed to do. Man I wish I had more time in the studio. And the time I have there I spend a lot of staring at what I am doing, and feeling uncomfortable (happily so) wondering what to do next. I'm trying some new things - radically new, for me. And it 'taint easy. So I can relate. Happy painting!!

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    1. You'll probably keep seeing it till I'm satisfied I've gone as far as I could go. :-)). I am not looking for a traditional portrait here. I want something weird. I am getting closer. While toning down their skin tones would seem the way to go. I might want them blotchier? The background needs a decision to be made. This move in my portraiture experience is one I'm going to pursue. It is just a step towards whatever develops as my norm.

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  3. Wow. Go back to your first post on these three and see how far you have come. With respect to your reply to Dan, I think #3 should be less blotchy.

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    1. Or maybe more blotchy? Today, I had a real revelation. Unconventionality is very attractive to me and something to be pursued--if not in my daily routine, certainly on the canvas. :-))

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  4. I like the way it is looking. Very lively and intense.

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    1. Lively is what I'm after in technicolor and adobe sound! It's a nice size canvas. Thirty six by eighteen, maybe twenty. It takes a lot of paint and a lot of breaking up of brushstrokes to get the broken color patches that add motion to a static scene.

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  5. This portrait is quintessentially you! I tend to think it is close to finished but then again, I am not the one making the decisions. I think you have developed (and are still developing) a style of portraiture that is uniquely yours. Bravo, Linda - persistence and hard work does pay off!

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    1. I feel it's close too. These last two years I thought a lot about what I dislike about portraiture. The paintings are static, beautiful renderings of skin, hair and fabrics with people just sitting there posed in their Sunday best. They're like in memorium. I think I want to catch them when they think no one is looking. This expands the painting. My guys doesn't quite meet that criteria. It would have had I followed the reference photo, but the mom in me opted to bring them together. Using false, exaggerated flash bulb colors tells the truth. Now folks might not like to see themselves this way, but the broader scope of the picture makes their reaction mute. Anyway, every morning these last two weeks I've woken up anxious to get back to the studio. That's great.

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  6. An amazing portrait ...they look SO good! It looks finished to me , Linda...

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    1. Thanks Hilda. But I just had to push the envelop--push the painting into being more than Three Guys. Pushing the color as a move in that direction.

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