Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Celebrate Your Own Way

I celebrated today! No its not my birthday, yet. And heaven only knows what a milestone this year is. No, I washed brushes, in my studio, in my sink with hot water!!! Wow. No more freezing hands, out by the pipe, with the wind blowing it all back on me.
Even with a splinted finger, my wonderful husband connected the sink, the new faucet and today, the water heater. I am in heaven. No more moving drying brushes about the kitchen as I prepare dinner. 

But I was in there painting even without facilities, so to speak. I have been painting pieces for a couple of shows here in Silver. Most of the art shows here come in the fall and late summer. So for the last three weeks, I have been mostly in the studio painting. The pieces I wanted to do were larger and my pochade paint box does not allow for bigger pieces. That's what I tell myself. The fact that neighbors have been finding snakes and that they are pretty aggressive is the second and more real reason. 

Doing a studio piece is an exercise in trying to remember what got you excited about the view in the first place and then capturing and maintaining the quality you wanted to get. The show has the Gila River and the Gila area as it's theme. Great! My kinda thing!

When I am in the studio I approach things a little differently than when I am in the field looking around me for the errant bobcat or snake. I have all my materials in the studio, so I just do my prep photographically in Photoshop, cropping down to a workable composition, and then decide how I want to approach it. With this new piece, I had to stitch together two shots and then crop it. I did not have to do any levels or balancing. It was pretty much how I wanted it, but with a whole herd of cows. So I just mentally edited them out to a manageable three. I did remind my self I have never painted a cow before. I had visions of cows that looked like they should have gone "oink".

This first shot shows you that I underpainted a very basic compositional element and toned the linen board at one shot. This will give the piece a feeling of color unity, and allude to the intense heat of that day.

The second shows how I started at the top. Its hard to see, but I did the sky in broken color with a lot of pink breaking through.

This third example shows how differences in color temperatures help to push back the fields. Those cows do look like pink pigs at this stage.

Finally the cows are in, and the foreground has the most intense color, and biggest strokes. 
I wanted this piece to be very impressionistic. To do cows and to have to paint them realistically would have floored me. Title is "Gila AC". Wish me luck at the show.

Heaven only knows how I will celebrate when we put in the studio bathroom.

Fav quote:

"Exaggerate the essential; leave the obvious vague. "                                 (Vincent van Gogh)

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