Been thinking about this subject lately. A month or so ago, I showed a few of my paintings to a gallery owner. For the first time in my painting career, I was told that my paintings don’t have enough detail, that they look as if done plein air. That is French lingo for on site, which translates into “I’m painting as fast as possible because the light won’t hold still and I can’t possibly be careful at this crazy pace”. Exclamation of Surprise! I LOVE detail! I am a pencil artist, first, last, always! Can’t help it – pencil and the detail possible with that humble instrument have held my attention since 6th grade. So, I don’t have enough detail, eh? Here is my conclusion: my style is still sort of mushy. I don’t mean my paintings are mushy, but that I haven’t settled on the best way to paint. By “best”, I don’t mean best selling, most award-winning, or if I were in school, the highest grade grabbing style. The evaluation and valuation of art is very subjective, and “best” is defined by the viewer, whether a judge, a gallery owner, the artist, or most importantly to me, a customer. As I achieve greater proficiency with paint, brushes, and canvas, I’m hoping that my true style emerges. It will be defined by several things – the subject matter, the level of detail, the way I use light and color, the texture of the paint. My goal is this: to consistently create the most consistently beautiful paintings . Yes, consistent – constant, regular, uniform, steady, undeviating, dependable, reliable. Why? So that people can always recognize my work as mine!
First, the shapes get blocked in, scribbled, just a first coat of the thin color.
Next, another of paint gets added to the background with more attention paid to the correct colors and textures. This only has the far hills covered – my attention span seems a bit limited here!
Now I am seriously out of order. For some reason, I felt “led” to do the foreground details. It’s my painting and I’ll do it the way I want! Besides, I intend to detail this particular painting right to the very edge of photographic realism. Do I have the skill? That remains to be seen, because lately I haven’t pushed a painting to that degree. This brings me to my next subject – style!
Getting better already, eh? It starts getting rewarding and fun when I get to make all these itty-bitty marks that remind me of drawing with a pencil!
How can one be homesick for a place one hasn’t lived? I dunno, but today I have an almost overwhelming longing to return to Blowing Rock, North Carolina. Thank goodness for the internet – it allowed me to see photos of the place in the fall. On the other hand, that may not have been such a good idea since it exacerbated the desire to see the place again, this time in October instead of August. There was a hint of fall in the leaves the day we we left Blowing Rock.
As a realist, both in life and in art, today I will remember the good things about the beautiful place where I actually do live. Fall color is here too, and there is no reason to be melancholy (so suck it up, Toots!) Have a look at some recent paintings celebrating the colors of our autumn:
These and other 6×6″ paintings will be available for sale on Saturday, November 6 in front of the studio and gallery Colors in Three Rivers.
A new art co-operative gallery will open in Visalia on November 1, 2010. The address is 209 W. Main Street and there are 23 very fine artists participating. It is a privilege to be showing with these folks, some of whom I have known for many years. Our plan is to be open in November and December, and then re-evaluate. The space is large, well lit and in the heart of downtown Visalia. (For those of you familiar with Visalia, it is in the same block as Brown’s Shoe Fit Co. and a few doors east of Pacific Treasures and Gourmet, same side of the street.)
Kind of terrible looking with only one layer! Terrible, but with hope.
When all this new background dries, I’ll start on the large sycamore tree.
Yesterday Michael and I took a stroll down to the bridge to see the river. It was peaceful, not too slimy and slow for October.
But wait! What is that??
Someone has been stacking rocks! Now that is a peculiar way to spend one’s time.
Good thing I got the photo yesterday, because this morning all this was under water.
The party was well attended. Very well attended! Here is one area – isn’t that the cutest little building with the grandest oak tree?
This is the Postmistress, Miss Ida Purdy. Can’t remember the years she served but we obviously had a bit of time travel today!
Today I am a bit overwhelmed by the amount of work in my face. I think list might help me (you can eavesdrop):
1. Price the work for Saturday’s Kaweah Post Office Celebration
2. Remove it from the screens and pack it into boxes.
3. Sign all the newly completed 6×6″ paintings
4. Photograph them.
5. Put the photos on the computer, straighten, crop and title them.
6. Decide the priorities – finish ornaments, finish the aspens, finish the fall sycamore, begin the hibiscus (commission), what?
Last week in Mineral King there was only a hint of fall color. Look what happened in one week’s time!