Monday, July 27, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Our model sessions are scheduled at two different times: 0930 or 1100, all depending on various factors. We three painters: Bruce, Jackie and myself have all noticed a distinct mood depending on the time of the session. 0930 sessions are full of energy, lots of give-and-take, serious concentration. 1100 sessions are much mellower, slower, and shorter. This past Wednesday's session was like that.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Sometimes, no, most of the time I really feel like I'm hitting my head against a brick wall. Over and over again. I'm not sure if the wall has a dent in it yet - or if it's just my head with the dent. Things get way worse when I look at work by other representational painters. There's a very good blog here http://thehiddenplace.wordpress.com that has lots and lots of work by contemporary painters. I haven't fully explored the site, but from what I've seen all the current rock stars in representational painting are here - the painters usually gushed over in American Art Collector and American Artist. But there's others I hadn't known about, with a strong showing from the UK and continent. On the blog there are links to the artists' websites, as well as examples of their work. It's a very depressing place.
The author has a few words to say about each painter. I like the way the author's mind works. Each painter is given about a paragraph. The remarks about Lipking I found especially interesting. The author is right that really there isn't much depth to his work. It is beautiful, but is that enough? Shouldn't there be more than a beautiful subject rendered beautifully? Then again the same was said about Sargent and Bouguereau. Go figure.
But tomorrow is another day, and I'm very much looking forward to tomorrow. We have our new model and I plan on exploring a variety of themes and ideas. I've got a 20x24 I've plans for, and hopefully I'll find my painting tomorrow. The plan is to throw a lot of ideas in the air and see where they fall. Poor girl.
One idea intrigueing me was sparked by an artist on TV talking about looking at herself nude in the mirror. She wondered if that was really her, if her outside had anything to do with her inside. (She was a conceptual artist.) My opinion is, well yeah...of course it does. We may not be able to choose our height, skin color or how big our feet are, but the choices we make throughout our lives sculpt outside appearance. If a person smiles and laughs a lot - it shows in their face. If they've struggled throughout - it shows. If they enjoy eating and dislike exercise - it shows. There is no Descartesian divide between body and mind. It's all one. And it's one reason I like to paint people.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Saturday, July 4, 2009
"Try again. Fail again. Fail better." Samuel Beckett
The idea with these exercises was to pick a shape, draw the shape, get the value correct and go on to the adjacent shapes. I had to judge each value relative to the adjacent values, then compare the whole. From simplified shapes create a complicated picture. It's not as easy as it sounds. I tried it three different times, then wiped each effort out. The last time I used the scaffold of a contour drawing to relate the shapes to each other. The colors used were transparent oxide red, ultramarine blue and white.
I wipe out each effort because I'm working on belgian linen C13. They're exercises so I want to keep the same surface that I'd use in a gallery painting. Wiping out an hour, hour and a half effort is strangely liberating too. I think it gets away from the "preciousness" of an image and places the emphasis more on the process. Or as I like to mutter to myself, "It's the process, not the product." I'm usually muttering that to myself in front of a really bad effort.
"1. Pick a target.
2. Reach for it.
3. Evaluate the gap between the target and the reach.
4. Return to step one"
Here I used a rough contour. Then I explored the temperature variations with value. It's a beautiful pose by a pool so there was a lot of reflected cool light and warm sunlight. Unfortunately I didn't do the pose justice. She looks like an amputee.
This summer I'm hoping to pose some more models by the pool. I'd also like to get some pictures from underwater, and in the water. I bought a plastic sleeve for my camera so I could do just that. One of our models was a diver in high school. We talked about some pictures of her diving.
In my upcoming show there are two paintings of figures swimming underwater for the ladder. The mix of pool light, bright suit colors and strong gesture is addicting. The one painting is of my son; the other is of a neighbor girl. I'll be posting them on my website soon. Or you can come to the show? July 24th is the opening. See you there.
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- J Perrault
- Elmira, New York, United States
- In many ways I think like a photographer. The image itself is becoming more and more important to me; the actual application of paint less and less. Blasphemy in some painterly circles. I choose to paint figures and portraits because I consider them the most difficult subject.