Monday, September 08, 2008

Taking a stand

After idling away the day Saturday, a spitefully stormy weekend installment if I ever experienced one, I went out painting yesterday and came back with this...
Of course, it looks almost nothing like this, but it is the best I can manage in the photography department. When it gets less tacky, I go outside and get a better one in the sun, I hope. The masses of yellow flowers are more brilliant and the left/right balance in the sky color is more even.

With this painting, I finally realized that I have a thing about a stand of trees. Perhaps you've noticed. I painted some in pastel, but in the last two months, I have painted at least five more in oil.

I think I like them as a lonely front against the long tree line.

It's kinda hard to paint, to differentiate the front ones from the mass in the rear. Usually, you really can't see a big difference in color or value between the two sets. For this, I painted in the rest of the canvas, but used the palette knife on the front trees. It gives them a lovely, streaky gloppy feel with serious weight.

I used to be really good at leaving a plein air piece straight plein air. A purist. What happens outside, stays outside. In the last month, though, I've become a tweaker, a meth head artist who can't leave well enough alone. I don't know if I'm doing more harm than good, but I really hate it. Thing is, to go back and sign an oil, I have to get all the supplies out and one thing leads to another.

Today, I will be handcuffing myself not to fiddle with this one. I hope.


Churlita said...

I'm the same way about writing too. Sometimes the editing helps and sometimes it hurts.

Cricket said...

That's a great parallel, except whenever I edit, I think I generally make it better. However, the way I make it better often is to simplify. That is a good lesson for painting as well.

Anonymous said...

Your work is always lovely and I particularly love this piece.

Are you beginning to love working with oils? The richness and the colors are just fantastic.

I also have a difficult time photographing oil paintings, especially when they are wet and have been researching tips and found two that seem to help.

1. Take photograph outside in indirect light (shadow of tree) and never, ever use a flash.

2. In a room with indirect light (any light coming from door or window needs to be at top or bottom of canvas - never on the side), place painting on floor, stand over (careful not to get feet in picture) and zoom to the painting.

Zooming in from a distance gets rid of the warp size that can often happen.

I am having much better luck photographing my paintings, especially with suggestion #2.

Much love to and yours,


Cricket said...

How exciting to hear from you, Julianna!

I usually take pictures of my pastels just as you describe, plus or minus sun. I could see how the sun would reflect off the oils more.

I started doing oils a year ago and began plein air with them in June. It was an emphasis all summer.

Again, glad to have you around.

Anonymous said...

You have been working very hard...keep knocking yourself, but not too hard. Being your first critic is important, but remember to cut you some slack.

I like the brush strokes, very think and decisive.