Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Last week I did an 8x10 study first and then a 16x20 painting based on that study. This was the first time I tried this process and I'm excited to say it was very successful. I worked out some design and color problems in the study. And then painted the larger painting, having learned from the study. And when the larger painting didn't seem quite strong, I looked at the study and realized what I had done there to strengthen the composition! viola, I added this strength (a separation of background from foreground) to the larger painting.
Another huge win for me is that I could use one decision to create two paintings. Choosing the photo to use for a studio painting is always a huge challenge for me. I just can't seem to commit to a decision. I think it's all about fear - fear of choosing the "wrong" photo. I usually have several dozen perfectly good photos and just need to commit. If I first commit to an 8x10 painting then perhaps the decision will be easier.
I'll post photos of those paintings as soon as I get some daylight to use! In the meantime, enjoy a Colorado scene above. It's from the same hike and resulting photos that I used in the painting. This was a hike we did in a gentle rain in July using the Dream Lake trailhead in Rocky Mountain National Park.
"Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures." -Henry Ward Beecher. This is my journey of dipping my brush into my own soul and painting what I find. I have a passion for our American West and those landscapes are my primary focus. But, averaging 6-8 weeks of travel a year, I will paint whereever I am. I usually paint on location, i.e. plein air, but also revel in taking a plein air study and my photographs and using them to create a large, more thoughtful, studio work. In addition to bold brushwork and vibrant color, the power of the composition is becoming more important to my work. The work of Vincent Van Gogh, Maynard Dixon, Edgar Payne, Birger Sandzen, and Walt Gonske has been a huge inspiration to me.