Sunday, November 28, 2010
I painted again at the crack of dawn. It took a lot of fortitude to
neglect household stuff yet another day but I held my ground. My
mother is horrified by all that I leave undone. I realized a couple of
months ago that she loves folding laundry and that she's agitated
when she has nothing to do. So now, when there isn't a new load,
I unfold what she has so carefully folded and bring her the same
clothes, sheets and towels and she's happy for awhile . . . long
enough for me to be in the studio for a few hours. It's ironic, our
personal relationships with time: some of us have too little and some,
I can see that I've used brush and paint differently again . . . the way I
painted yesterday and today are not necessarily what I envisioned
or aspired to, but they document where I was yesterday and today.
This tangerine tree is two blocks from my house . . . I asked the
owner at a neighborhood Halloween party if I could clip a few. It's
almost a month later and I finally got to it . . . story of my life lately.
There's all the daily maintenance and then there are disasters. I
awoke 2 days before Thanksgiving to find a flood in my kitchen.
My beloved refrigerator had died in the night. If I took care of everything
that needs attention, I would never paint. So I wave to the dust bunnies
and mounds of cat hair and shrug at the dishes in the sink.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
This is a departure from my usual. It follows two "wasted"
painting sessions trying to paint an amaryllis blossom--just
could not get the values right however much I squinted; they
were quite pronounced as shapes but so delicate, getting their
relationships right was too much at this point. But, trying to
achieve that delicacy meant holding the brush differently, which
got carried over to these more solid forms. There's a burnt umber
value study underneath, something I usually avoided because
of time, but now find so helpful---like bones for the forms and
structure for the overall painting. It also offers a map of the
composition in terms of value that can easily be corrected before
color enters and confuses. My composition struggles in the
last post have also led to a realization with this one that composition
is also as simple as relationship between lights and darks. The good
thing about trying and failing is that the process itself transforms
your brain so it's less obsessed with capturing likenesses of objects.
Bottom line: time spent painting is never wasted!
I plan on painting this again, but not before I attempt "Sky" the current
challenge for Some Texas Artists Like To Paint.
Friday, November 19, 2010
This turned into an epic effort over 3 sessions. I wanted to try a different
composition where I didn't cluster all the objects together. I threw myself
a curve by setting beautiful red pears toward the left side of the panel
then needed something interesting to the right. Started with a white
napkin which was too weak, then a pink napkin and red cup in the right
back corner. I felt I'd painted everything well enough but the composition
just didn't work so, being the ruthless person I am, wiped off the right side
again and tried out different things. I'm withholding judgment on its overall
success, but feel good about sacrificing things painted pretty well to push
for a better painting.
My art store had its annal sale and I treated myself to a tube of cerulean . . .
had forgotten what lovely grays are made when it's mixed with burnt sienna
or burnt umber.
Posted by Lorraine Shirkus at 10:18 AM
Friday, November 12, 2010
No self-torment or suffering went into making this painting . . . I actually
had fun! I got lost in the concentration, that meditative experience I recall
from the past that has eluded me in the last couple of years. When I set
it up, it seemed so complicated that I did a full value study in burnt
umber over a transparent red oxide ground to paint over. It forced me to
compare values from the start without color complicating the process.
The only moments of angst were when I "came to" and thought, "oh please,
don't let me screw this up." I photographed it and slapped it up here before
I could start picking it apart. I feel like I'm on the right road. Thanks every-
body for your encouraging comments . . . the answer, as you said, is
simple: just keep on painting . . .
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
I'll confess . . . I felt desperate to post today. Too many days had passed
since the last post, too many wipers, too much struggle. I needed to
redeem myself. I had started this yesterday and felt it was true to the
set-up but still had a nagging thought: "so what?" I've given that a lot of
thought lately . . . I spend time looking at paintings online every morning
and most are competent, good paintings. But what makes a painting
really really good, or even great? Attacking it again, it seemed the answer
was "risk." I didn't push far enough, could have done some areas better
but, there's also the danger of thinking nothing is good enough and the
risk of getting too insular and putting nothing out there. There's risk in the
doing and risk in the exposing . . . all part of the process.
Posted by Lorraine Shirkus at 3:57 PM
Thursday, November 4, 2010
I spent my painting time over the past 3 days trying to paint peaches
and had a devil of a time! Jean Townsend mentioned the difficulty of
including color and value changes in the same 2 inches in her current
post . . . I also find it very difficult. Over the days of trying, however,
I did notice a brain shift (caused by sheer frustration!) ---I stopped being
conscious of the object and, instead, began to zero in on shapes of color
and value and how they related to each other. I wasn't able to rescue
the dang peaches, but then found it effortless to cram in color and value
in these pears, but they don't have the extreme dimples and cleavage
that peaches do. It's funny, but as I painted these pears, I thought I was
seeing their backs as though they were in a "time-out." :-)