Monday, April 18, 2011
Greg Albert has written a book on design that deserves mention. His main idea that everyone can remember is no interval should be the same. With this dictum, you can make your paintings stronger. In the Santa Barbara ranch house on the left, you will find a line showing the uneven distribution of lines with the mountain, orange tree (focal point) and dark foreground oak tree. Note the placement is uneven in all respects, including mass size. According to Greg, a painting needs a focal point and a focal area, the former should be the brightest colors and sharpest edges. The Ranch House meets this criteria and the dark oak? Well, that is known as a foil, a device designed to add perspective. It may have been there or I made it up, I can't remember now but it adds an interesting element to the painting.
The coastal rock painting is another example of good placement of masses and line design. The strong dark sharp on the right is one line, distinctly angled differently than the mass on the left, in light. Notice the simplicity in design, this painting is large, 20x24, but effective. Other thoughts in good design--what is the statement? In coastal rocks it is sunlight. In Ranch House, it is mountains. Although the viewer may have different views, at least this was what I had in mind at the time of the painting. Sometimes the statement will be colors, or grandeur or peace and mood. Of course, it can be anything but let your painting state one idea.
Lastly, why do you paint? To create, to fill in time, because you're still in childlike state wanting to play? Is it a calling from higher up? I have toyed with this question since reading Richard Schmid's blog years ago. I know several days without painting and I go slightly insane , blubbering to myself like an idiot. Seriously though, it might be useful to identify your motivation. One time, I went without painting for weeks and I dreamed of eating cad yellow and cobalt blue--after all, they are delicious colors aren't they? Well carry on, if you got something from this, comment. I would like to hear from you.