Thursday, May 15, 2014

GOOOD MORNING SHARON!

Sharon Wright in the hot seat once again.
I started my second go at Sharon Wright late yesterday afternoon. She still needs work. My objective
is technique-- prowess with a brush, liberal use of oil paints, loose, but wisely applied , impressionistic, expressionist, a fine example of my temperament. Max didn't have any of those qualities.

The application of oil paint is very different from the application of acrylics, the paint I've been using for fifty years.  With acrylics, I have no qualms, no hang ups, no self consciousness, just a free wheeling brush, a series of jars filled with colors whisked to the right consistency and my own excitement, energy, bravado.

With oils, I am suddenly face to face with paste laid out like colorful worms on the painting table. These pasty worms inhibit me. They cause me to stiffen up, to lay down picayune brushstrokes, blnd to a dull gray death --OR to resort to smearing them on the canvas with the palette knife, my finger, a spatula, whatever tool comes to mind.  Rain was done that way.  Rain ironically lacks fluidity.  I am not comfortable using either technique.  I love  swinging my whole body into the gesture, for painting to me is an active sport.  After my color squares, technique and application methods are on my mind--and on page 172 of Richard Schmid's Alla Prima. To quote: "Boring paintings happen if we adopt techniques that do not arise from our individuality." Oil paints squeezed out of the tubes just isn't doing it for me.

Dissatisfied twice with Max. I had to wipe him out with lots of mineral spirits and plenty of paper toweling. Then out of nowhere  I squeezed  about a quarter cup of my precious Titanium into a food storage container and added mineral spirits and whisked the mix till I had the consistency I liked with my acrylics--not too thick where it clogs the fabric, not too thin where it's runny and transparent.  Using a 2" house painting brush dipped straight down in  about  half an inch lifted and shook gently till it didn't drip, I Xed him out while maintaining the beautiful grain of the canvas. The  canvas was tacky dry when I checked it this morning. It should  be ready for Max by tomorrow. Conserving the canvas was a nice, but seeing that oils could be premixed into a fluid state of various consistencies opened up possibilities previously never considered.  Sharon will be the first recipient of my new find. An  interesting experience it will be!

 
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED VIDEOS for Painters who stick their noses up at using a camera or a projector in their work when lenses have served artists since 1420. I admire David Hockney's acrylic paintings as well as what he put into these BBC videos (first two). These were the outstanding videos I watched several times this week. 

I also appreciated Ben Lustenhauwer's video demonstrations on portraiture. The first of his show the use of photography in starting portraits including starting them with a live sitter the traditional way. The last video added a tool  to my portraiture box-- calipers.  While I have one for drafting, it isn't big enough for canvas size portrait work. One that is is now on my shopping list. Also on my shopping list is an LED300 Digital Art Projector.  Portraiture is a business. Business requires proficiency. Camera lenses, calipers  offer a method of speeding things up.

 Have a good weekend. Squeeze out that paint. Squeeze in a video. And draw, draw, draw in the sun hopefully. 



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 

 
 

19 comments:

  1. As I understand all what you feel !
    Studying is important but, in the painting action.,rationalize immediately switches off the creative part of the brain as explains the good Betty Edwards ....What " really " happened to me after much study was sometimes unexpected and strange.
    I am not able to adapt to acrylics, despite so much effort and so much study , in the end it is as if I were bound , by painting a medium that does not flow with the water.
    And when I tried to make the fluid with acrylic mediums appropriate , I did not like the result ... I feel this medium stranger to me .
    My reality seems too thick for watercolors , ... and too thin for all other mediums . However, I paint every day , waiting for wins and losses ( and solutions, maybe one day ) from the battle on the field of practice ! Thanks for the video collection , very interesting ! Have nice week end!

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    1. Rita, I have no feelings about exploring oils, just a curiosity. I think it's a great medium for portraiture. It has been for centuries. Now that I have discovered I can make up the colors in quantities, just like I did with acrylics, the medium has become more attractive. As for which one to use? I think my choice will be based upon drying times, IF the situation is either/or. If not, and most likely not, I think the two mediums can be used together--under painting done in acrylics, painting finish done in oils. To my eye, oils have a richer finish. I'm just studying paint.

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    2. Dear Linda, may be that reading your art evolutions I have the impression that your work is emotionally passionate, when in fact maybe it is not.
      Mysteries of language and understanding, which leads us to attribute to others our own feelings .... however,sometime, also what other people see in us, it is not always so far away from the objective reality!

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    3. Determined is a good description. Interested is good too. Emotional? Not so. Yes, I do love painting. Learning about painting, I do not love. I just think one should know their tools so I've decided to learn about them, to push them to see what they can and can not do. I've decided to study the medium like I never did before as a student, instead of just using it willy-nilly for emotional expression as I have since I was a child. Yes, I am passionate about art, but no, I am not passionate about going through a period of experimentation and mostly failures. That's emotionally trying. :-)) But An emotional landscape every now and then will provide release from the unemotional study of oils and portraiture. What I like about portraiture is that it is unemotional. The emotion comes in at the completion of a piece with good likeness and fine craftsmanship. That emotion is self satisfaction for a job well done.

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    4. Ah, Linda! You give me when I read so many thoughts with your adventures!
      If I comment on it all your post in all its parts ... could be born a separate blog "Commenting Linda Wroth ...questions and answers!
      Sometimes I read but do not comment because it seems too much that I would have to ask .... or to better understand ... ahahah!!!
      You are GREAT!

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    5. I think thoughtful comments like yours, like mine are the most stimulating. I love the give and take. It keeps you thinking, questioning, growing. This image is just a start, and not a particularly good one. But it started a nice discourse that I've enjoyed. Our images should move viewers in some way, positive or not. You always come through with a comment to ponder. I'm not great, you are. Or maybe we are peas in a pod? :-))

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  2. Bonsoir chère amie,

    Je sens un combat acharné. J'aime ça !
    Je suis certaine que vous ne lâcherez pas prise !... Ce portrait en sera la preuve.
    J'ai essayé une seule fois d'utiliser l'acrylique. Je ne me suis pas sentie bien avec. Je travaille personnellement trop lentement. J'ai besoin de cette lenteur pour me sentir bien, vivre ma toile en cours, son histoire. C'est un peu comme déguster une gâteau... arrivée à la fin je ralentis même mon geste...
    C'est troublant et fascinant ces différences !
    J'aime comme vous parlez de votre ressenti. Finalement comme je me dis souvent, la toile blanche est un peu le sofa du psychologue...
    Gros bisous ♡

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    1. You miss understand. i have no feelings at all about what i am doing. i am simply exploring the oil medium, a medium i gave up too many years ago to recall. My current interest in portraiture is what ignited my interest in oils; i think portraits are best done with oils. For the joy of painting, landscapes suit me, either in oils or acrylics. Mountains can be moved if i desire and no one really cares. I am just taking this year to become very familiar with a medium i've stayed away from, but always admired. Turpentine no longer being the only solvent to use is why i came back; it stunk and gave me headaches. Mineral spirits is a nice replacement.

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  3. I like that you are always experimenting...and also paying attention to methods you admire. This portrait of Sharon is dynamite--definitely expressive. I've never been dismayed to learn someone used projection...but that is because I worked with illustrators for years and they could draw anything without projection. They only used it to speed things up. It's not my cup of tea, but it's a great big world with people putting paint down on canvas in a ga-jillion different ways. That's what makes life so interesting!

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    1. I haven't bought a projector yet; it's just on my list of possibilities. I don't like tracing or painting by the numbers, which seems like it might be similar to painting whatever one projects onto the canvas. But if I was in the business of producing images for profit, such equipment would be a help. I also do not like painting from photographs even though I do paint from my own. The colors are unreal--like this sketch of Sharon done from a photo taken with my webcam. Cameras and projectors and calipers are just tools to be used in part, but not depended upon and certainly not to replace drawing from life. Hockney's video about the use of lenses since 1420 did answer a lot of my own questions about certain paintings by the like of Van Eyke and Carvaggio and Ingres. The lighting and the astonishing detail work always made me suspicious. Hockney took a couple of years off painting to find some answers to some of the same questions I always had. Good video. I watched it twice.

      I liked the idea of the calipers because sometimes my eyeing the measurements fails; it's a good tool for checking measurements out.

      Now I'm into paint application. I work too thick too fast I think. This obviously is my year to explore oils. I'm really enjoying the journey. Meanwhile, it keeps raining making the ground way too wet to set up an easel and expect it to stay there.

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  4. Blimey, where to start? Yes, there is no doubt that is me! Not quite how I choose to present myself to the world though! I like it, or I like how you are experimenting and how you are totally uninhibited! I use projection if I am in a hurry and see no sin in that. I love Hockney and the program was very interesting, definitely took away any guilt about using a projector, or any tools. I do prefer not to, it inhibits expression. In the last video I found the endless measuring and the overly precise drawing extremely irritating..........not how I want to paint at all. I understand your need to devour all you can find of the subject, been there myself, but the best advice is to just do it.

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  5. PS I forget you have an analytical mind and must explore.....sorry.

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    1. The webcam distorted you beyond recognition, I think, so I thought you wouldn't mind. I'm sorry if you did. Since this photo of the portrait that resulted, you've changed. What interests me about the webcam photo is the unnatural color. You know I like using photography. It exists. Why not use it if it can give you what you want--like a really close look at "drapery"? Even Sargent used the projector for such. I think those who object to using lenses have either "made it" with regards to making a living with their art, or those who are naïve purists. Rough words, I know, but basically, artists and artisans are craftsmen. All the BS, about how special the talent is, is hype from dealers who are also looking to earn a decent wage and pay the rent and utilities and promotion costs. There's a whole tiresome topic here with opposing camps.

      Never be sorry. I love your comments/opinions and your art. Again, sorry if I crossed the line that day photographing you while we chatted--but you did pose. Mugging for the camera, I took as you giving me your permission.

      PS: I am always in an analytical state when I am reading art books. It's the way I weigh the information. --When would you like to take my webcam photo? I promise to come as I am: old! :-))

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  6. Of course you have my permission, never worry about that, and I love the painting and I envy your adventurous spirit your energy, your ideas. I long ago stopped being Vain!

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    1. Nice conference chat we had yesterday. Skyp has potential for bringing artists together. I'm glad we called Roger and tried it out. --isn't vain that thing on the roof that turns whichever way the wind is blowing? :-))

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  7. This was my favorite post of yours yet, Linda!!! and I still have to return to see the rest of the videos....all of them was so informative and so interesting.!!! Suddenly, I want to paint loose and yet I've tried with no success! Your portrait of Sharon is amazing...I love her expression which you captured beautifully!! I admire you so much...you are always studying different ways to paint where I only paint one way...!! LOVE, LOVE these videos!!!

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    1. I felt the same way about the Hockney videos. I watched them both a couple of times and will probably watch them again. Never in any of the art history courses that I took was the roll of the camera discussed. I was led to believe, I was naive to believe, that all those fabulous paintings I admired in the museums were painted a stroke at a time from life by one person. I never put two and two together about the history of craftsmen guilds and the invention and development of the camera.

      "They say". That painting loose. Painting alla prima is the hardest technique to master. I think they is right. Loose and fast and above all accurate likenesses takes a lot of time and doing and failures.

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  8. Not having ever painted in oils, I cannot follow what, exactly, you do in the process, but I admire your determination in learning. Go get 'em, Linda!!!
    Kathryn

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    1. Well don't start. It's a whole different can of worms. :-))

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