Sunday, July 24, 2011

What is Your Purpose?

This blogs simply raises questions rather than provides answers. It will make you think. Painting last thursday with my friend Rob, we pick very different paintings then discussed them. I wanted to compare and contrast the two.
The one below is mine. I liked the historical funkyness of the truck and blend of colors. Rob, on the top, wanted to paint peace. What is better? Do they both convey what was intended? Do you want to make a similar statement or different? Therefore, my "funky" painting (my statement) conveys that to you or something else. (hopefully, not disgust). Robs intention, created by larger masses, subdued color may convey peace to you or something else. What are the purposes of art? Of course they are endless to the imagination--hatred, love, peace, condolence, mood, excitement, despair, wonder, majesty, granduer, nature, house, comfort, disgust--you name it. They can all be there.
I like excitement created by contrasting colors and unusual design. Is my design unusual? Probably not. My colors are exciting perhaps. So I can take this small study (11x14) and blow it up larger improving the design or take this as a learning time and focus on design next time. Certainly, this old truck has sloping angles, showing the age and history. But what do these contrasting paintings say to you? If you were to paint them, how would you do it?
Getting a second opinion always helps. If your unsure, ask friends, teachers, family members. See if what your trying to convey sends the message. My wife used to say, " I hate it, it makes me angry". Now if that was my intention, then great but often it wasn't and that made me critically examine my work. While untrained, she had a visceral response (a gut reaction) that was important feedback which other viewers may have. Upon relfection, the work usually had too many broken masses or angles that didn't work. I know it is hard (all of us sensitive artists have fragile egos) but if your going professional or want to improve your work, get a thick skin. There isn't a week that goes by that I don't experience some rejection from a gallery, critique, or other party. But you know what, if I use that information to improve, you can gain from it. Well, these paintings are for sale. If interested, email me. Hope your art improves and you learn from this blog and have fun. Get to some funky trucks, rusted out old heaps of metal and paint!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Still Life

The still life is an opportunity to bring out your favorite colors and shapes. Selection comes from within yourself; maybe a flower, a doll, a lollypop, the items are endless. I am mostly traditional, especially in the piece above. I love the spout on the vase, the yellow and orange flowers. I picked the background; a mauve grey t-shirt because it seemed to work well with this arrangement. I also tried blue, pink and green-none of these worked as well as the neutral gray that I ended up with. Arangement of flowers. This is critial--try to place them in various directions, all away fron the viewers eye. In other words, right and up, left and down, middle and slightly left. Lighting is also critical. Have it to the side or backlit, not head on as it will flatten out. Show the table, put in objects at differing angles.

Unlike the landscape, this motif for the artist allows you to completely place and arrange all the objects. Put in things that are meaningful to you.I try to paint loose but your technique is your own. In either case, don't tickle a painting to death--that is stroke it all smooth, covering up your intial brush stroke. I recommend loading up the brush, making one stroke and leave it. Of course, if it is not correct, you can scrape and redo it but the point is many amateurs go over and over, obiliterating the paint, smoothing it all out. That makes for a boring outcome.

Why onions and garlic? I don't have a clue. The basket was there and I thought the onions have such an unusual color--that white yellow, green pastel type colors make for a challenging oil painting. I played with greens, gray, pinks and various shade. I like the russian painters who painted garlic that I have seen in Carmel. The red orange flowers were exciting for me to paint, along with their sense of light. Look for my new U tube movie on oil painting. Should be out by July 15th.