Sunday, January 30, 2005
I did use a palette knife to add some thicker areas in the foreground but the majority of the painting was created with a medium sized hard flat bristle brush. I used the same flat brush for the whole painting never changing to a smaller size. I think this added to the overall consistent look and feel of the finished piece. I created another cottage painting earlier this year that has much more detail I may post it here later. Currently I am working on a seascape now and as soon as I can get my camera working I'll be posting it.
Thursday, January 27, 2005
Jonah's Last Look
When I first started applying the color to the canvas I was using more of muted palette but as I progressed through the painting the colors began to brighten up and become more pure. You can see how the ocean area takes on a brighter richer look than the waves. There should be a marked difference between the waves and the ocean but I think in retrospect I would have allowed just the texture to create that difference without having added a hue change. All I needed to do was muddy the color of the ocean a bit. I'm also getting a spiral overload. There is way too much of a good thing happening. It's like eating two tons of cotton candy. By eliminating half of the outline work especially in the waves on the right side the composition would have been much more pleasant to look at. It's the old More Is Less principle rearing its ugly head again.
And the spirals themselves just lack craftsmanship. Some adept drafting skills would have come in handy here.
Finally, the waves in the foreground have a paint texture that is flat and the ocean's texture is really thick. I believe that should be reversed the waves should have the deepest highest raised texture.
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
The Great Wave Off Kanagawa
"The Great Wave Off Kanagawa" is from a set of woodcuts called "Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji" 1823-1829 10x15 in. and is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
What was so cool was the highly graphic nature of the woodcut it's simplicity but also how the line work being simple was still very inspired. The more you look at it the more the story unfolds. Sort of hidden in the great wave are two boats that follow the contour lines of the waves and you can see the seamen bowing, crouching or (what I would be doing) praying for dear life! And if that wasn’t enough if you look real closely in the background you’ll see what appears to be another wave but in fact is a mountain. I assume it is Mount Fuji. Cool!
I see allot of unintentional similarities in this painting and my concept for "Jonah’s Last Look" a raging sea, the desperate life threatening situation and a symbol of stability or safety in the background.
I also discovered that impressionists Claude Monet, Edgar Degas and Toulouse-lautrec enthusiastically collected and were profoundly influenced by Hokusai’s woodcuts.
Saturday, January 22, 2005
I call the paintings Jonah's Last look. Jonah is a Bible character who asked to be tossed from a ship in an attempt to pacify God's anger and subsequently calm a storm that was threatening to destroy the ship and the crew. The point of view of the painting is after he has been thrown from the ship and before the whale swallows him, which is a whole different look/story.
Unfortunately my first attempt at the painting did not turn out so well. I'll post the finished painting later and included some of my thoughts on how I might improve upon it.
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
My original vision for the painting was totally different from how the painting finally turned out. I did allot of experimenting with movement in the leaves and water. The colors in the ocean were a total fabrication I played allot with different shades of blue, green and purple trying to discover what worked best against the green leaves.
If you look closely at the leaves you can see a texture. The texture is due to an under painting. Originally I create the leaf shapes with heavy short brushstrokes and multiple tones of bright spring green. I didn't like the result so I used a pallet knife to draw new color over the original brushstrokes. The result was a more continuous tone effect.
Since it's winter time again and the weather sucks I'll probably try another version of this painting. I want to try a version that adds more leaves and flowers and exaggerates the movement.
Monday, January 17, 2005
Painting Night Waves
About fifteen years ago or so I had created a music tape from a local NPR program called nightwaves. The tape had contained some really cool progressive music and I liked the tape so much I created artwork for the cover of the cassette case. One might think because of the subject matter the painting has something to do with the recent tsunami tragedy but it absolutely does not. Ironically though I had started the major work on the painting just a few days before the tsunami occurred.
The painting is more about shapes, movement and color than anything else. Deep down though it also has much of it’s inspiration from an area in Florida I visit all the time, at least once a year. I have a tendency to romanticize the area especially this time of year since I live in Ohio where it is always cold and gray. We most likely wont see the sun here until maybe April or so.
The colors I am using are bright deep and rich. I am contrasting the dark blues and purples with the bright white and yellow highlights. I try very hard not to mix the colors on the canvas. I want the subtle difference in colors to lay next to each other on the canvas and be mixed by the eye. I am also testing how I can use hard lines to define the basic shapes and use the negative space to create areas of multiple shades and textures. Sort of like using crayons in a coloring book.
Another technique I really like to use is building thick layers of paint so that the shadow of the light as it shines across the surface creates even more colors and variations in tone that in reality do not exist. It is almost like the light effects you will find in bas relief sculptures. The photo your seeing (If I am able to upload it correctly ) is the painting about halfway completed. I will be adding some more thoughts on this painting as it progresses.