Saturday, March 30, 2013

Accidentally created a link for a show here, so to avoid misdirecting everyone. I created a new post to replace it here. You should be able to read todays post below now.

In a fist fight with detail. Patience on Trial...and, "Cosmic Rocks?"

 I posted the current stage of this painting first.  That's because I knew this would appear as my thumbnail pic, and I didn't want to deceive the viewer into thinking the mid stage pic was where I'm at.  I'm completely aware that the mid stage picture might look better, but in reality it is not.

 Current Stage:The camera loves to pick out that light blue (Cerulean), but this was as close as i could get to showing the actual colors. That Light blue is not as evident in the actual painting.  Maddening.
Mid Stage: This seemed to be going in the right direction here, but I wasn't happy with the forms, mostly because the left side, which I didn't get in frame, wasn't blending with the rest of it.  I thought about leaving the bottom blank.  When I went back to it, I decided that was actually drawing too much of the eye.  Keep in mind that the bottom was completely white, not that cool looking color the camera gave the blank area.
I went into this one with the intention of grinding out the details in small bits and pieces to make one cohesive, identifiable painting...The more I tried, the less it worked.  I'm disappointed at the result.  Not so much because of the painting at this stage, but because of the amount of time I invested in trying to make this work in the way I had intended.  I could not find the right color of blue show what I wanted to portray.  The cool reflection of light on the surface.  This was frustrating, and I had to leave it the way it was for now.
I woke up this morning thinking about where I can make a studio space for oil painting.  This would have been so much easier in oil.  And I don't even work in oil.  The writing is on the wall for me, and I have to make the commitment to making this happen.
With watercolor I have found that as much as I try to work from light to dark, I can't resist throwing in some darks before I have finished under-laying the lights. I have to have a visual reminder of where I'm headed.  I think this is where I get myself into trouble.  Because I have to keep pulling those darks back out where they have bled too far into the light areas.  I also have a hard time accepting too many hard lines in my paintings because I feel they look forced.
You might think by looking at the first painting that it was going well.  But as I mentioned, the painting wasn't looking cohesive with the lighter, sharper lines on the left side (which are out of the frame in that photo).  I do see that the light reflections are more successful in the earlier stage, and I'll probably go back in and make them more prominent in the finished version.  For now I'm moving on to my next project, taking the lessons learned here into account.
Andrew Wyeth once said.  " If one could only catch that true color of nature - the very thought of it drives me mad."  And I thought it was just me.
One final note.  If you can't tell what my subject is, don't worry.  Part of my disappointment comes from knowing that the subject is not evident.  Nothing is more discouraging in my mind as when someone has to ask what it is you're painting. Suffice it to say that I have now decided to classify this as an abstract and title it Cosmic Rocks. 

In a somewhat unrelated note.  One of my favorite painters is showing in NY.  Heres the link to the show.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Library "Study"?

Woodstock Library from the Lawn
 Our neighborhood (Woodstock) Library is a modern icon. When I decided to paint it, I was concerned that the art of the architecture would overtake the art of the painting.  It has a lot of very nice designs (not visible here) that are etched into the panels along the front.  I'm drawn to certain buildings, usually older ones because of the historical value they hold.  I wanted to paint something important in the neighborhood for our local organization Southeast Uplift.  Since the Lutz Tavern is not exactly an acceptable representation of a neighborhood...I really like how that one came out, though.
The Library was rebuilt in....2000 I believe, and even though the new building itself has a short history, the Library history is there.
This was intended to be a loose rendering of the building but as I progressed through, I had to tighten the lines a little.  I wanted to include a library goer in the final painting, and this would be from an angle looking opposite this, but I was pleasantly surprised how this one came out. I spent considerably more time on this than I originally planned, trying to work out the reflections in the windows, the grass in front and the trees that are beginning to bud.  I still plan on painting the nice lady that I photographed in my reference photo.  She asked to remain anonymous, so I won't mention her name when I paint her.  Anyway, I think this painting came out better than I thought it would, so I might just choose this one to submit if the next one doesn't work.  Sometimes the study offers more interest to the viewer.  I will have to see.
I guess I would be remiss if I didn't mention the other neighborhood Icon in this painting.   The Joinery

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Garlic and Banana

I made some small adjustments to the Garlic and Banana painting, but it didn't really make much difference.  I have moved on to the next project.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Portlandia season Finale: Banana and Garlic too...

This is my daughter Adrianne Neal on last nights episode of Portlandia.  I was obviously very proud that she pulled this off, having never acted before.  Playing the role of Candace, she did the lines and Fred Armisen voiced over so it would sound the same as his Candace character...In her scene, they decide to light candles during the blackout. The candlelight transforms her and her partner Toni into a young beauties.

I wanted to leave the post of Adrianne up a few more days, but I also have been painting.  So I added this recent Banana and Pickled Garlic to the post.  It looks better from further away. It's pretty rough but I'm done with it.