Thursday, March 3, 2011


12x16 Pacific Grove Iceplant Right, actual area

Reconstructing from nature is important when considering design- the interesting placement of objects and material so the eye can go back into a painting and enjoy and its unique characteristics. The painting Ice Plant, below , didn't look that way. In fact, you can see the actual landscape on the photo in upper right--not much to work with, huh? There was a big blob of ice plant on the right with a nice shadow but that was it. By making a path and having the upper left trees go back via graying pushing them into the distance, I created a much more interesting picture than mother nature gave me. The tree on upper right I pulled down, forward and enlarged it. I also developed a path so the eye would go up and back. In other word, don't be a slave to what is front of you. Move things around, push em back or forward for interest.
Paul Strisik was well known for this. He was an artist back east, died some 10 years ago but he would have a most boring bottom third of a painting before him and changed it to fit his design. One student asked me if it was okay to change the subject in front of him-not only is it okay but important and necessary. You are the creator in your painting--occasionally mother nature drops you jewels where you needn't change a thing, but that is not the rule. Enlarge, shrink, push back your subjects to arrange a better composition. The rule is have a way to get into a painting, leave and stay in a painting. You will have better art that way.

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