Saturday, October 18, 2008

Oct 18 - The large Painting Continued and a Look Back

As I work with laying in the large areas of color, I'm really careful to keep the values where they need to be to carry the design. One advantage of toning the canvas is that the end result of the toning is near to a middle value--not too light nor too dark--and helps to keep the values in relation to one another. Since I'm painting completely with the Cool Box Colors, I can use the remaining warm underpainting areas to guide me. It does this by being a counterpoint to the cool mixes I'm putting on the canvas. I can keep the proportion of warms to cools in balance by having the tool of the background WARM underpainting showing through. In other words, I just keep painting cools until it "reads right" for the balance of warms vs. cools (in most cases maybe 85% cools to 15% warms in landscapes).

Just for giggles, how about an eyeful of a painting I did in the mid 1970s? Before Color System, before workshop training, before almost everything related to my painting--other than a degree in fine art that taught me nothing about landscape painting. A collector's daughter from that time emailed me with paintings of which I had no images. You can see I was painting loosely even then, but sure was all over the place in finding a focal point! And my colors were just ghastly to my eyes today. One cannot tell the time of day in this painting, because I didn't know about such things and how to control color and temperature to get that message across.

Thirty years can make a real difference in one's art! Yet each month and day that passed in between those times was and still is richly lived.

Remember, it is the journey, not the destination or distance traveled, that determines the artist. In looking back, all one sees is a measure of the distance. At the time I painted this, I thought it was a good painting. I was living in Germany, and did a series of my memories of California. Even though I would do it completely differently today, it has a charm of its own. Enjoy!

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