Painting Intensive- Day 2
Today I pushed. I’m pooped and pumped.
Decided to work bigger and so prepped some canvas last night for today’s efforts. 30 x 40 inches? Didn’t measure. Doesn’t matter – you get the idea.
At the venue this morning I did a quick acrylic wash of red/ pink over the white ground and then finished up the little (12 x 12 ?) square Variation 2 while I waited for the big canvas to dry.
Taking my cue from Jef Gunn I started this Variation 3 upside down. I first did a drawing to move away from using the photo as a reference and did a couple of color studies to see where I wanted to go. Chose the bolder colors – why not go for broke?
Again listening to Jef’s suggestion I did not do a drawing on the pink ground, just a few marks to keep the thing in bounds, and then I started laying in color. I am so enjoying working with oils again! Slippery, creamy, stays wet to work into: Yes.Thanks to my time with Gabriel Lipper I have huge tubes of oils that fit into a caulking gun so I can squoosh it out in big googy gobs onto my glass pallet. Gabe’s philosophy is that it’s more important to feel free to load on the paint than to have the highest quality paint. You can always use the extra special stuff on top if the painting warrants it.
I proceeded with Variation 3 using my sketch and the first two paintings, all upside down, as my references and didn’t turn it over until Jef came to talk to me about it at the end of the day. His advice was to go ahead and work on it right side up until I caught myself getting too concerned about the realism of the subject and then turn it 90 or 180 degrees and concentrate on the design. He suggested I read Matisse’s essay “Exactitude is not Truth” and Clive Bell’s “The Aesthetic Hypothesis” (summery here).
I was glad that there was a group “critique”/discussion about a number of the paintings being made by these talented women; many different styles and approaches and much to learn from each other and from Jef.
My notes are these few nuggets:
“front porch” entry into a painting
call and response with color, contrast, crisp/soft, shape
if all bright colors then drawing is needed to define the space
shape behind complex patterning holds the pattern together (eg tree trunk behind leaves)
overlap trumps all re perspective
If you are a painter these notes might make sense. If you are not I’m sorry you are missing this agony and ecstasy.