Thursday, April 29, 2010
Weeding It Out
"Parsley", oil on canvas, 16" x 16"
I paint fast. Abnormally fast. I'm not even sure why. Impatience? ADD? The addiction to the feeling of paint flying and quick mark making? Keeping pace with Jason Mraz's scatting (that is on repeat in my studio)?
It's probably a combo of all of these things, but on the odd occasion I am not painting fast red flags seem to pop up. "What's wrong with this painting? or "Why are you having an off day? You don't have time for an off day!" or "Is the turpentine getting to you? Did you open a window?!" goes through my head. This is the point where I sit back and think, "If I were painting a person, how would I do it?"
Sketch it out, find the lights and the darks. Don't think about what you're painting. THINK SHAPES.
I went about doing this, painting shapes, filling in lights and darks, and trying not to get wrapped up in the details. The reason I started painting my vase of parsley in the first place was because I love the fact that its just a bunch of wild fresh green leaves, like I picked it out of the garden and let nature create the center piece. However, painting just a bunch of wild fresh green leaves is tricky, because I had to give it depth, but keep it true to my style. I don't use small brushes, sharp edges, or photo realism. I like natural and loose paintings; paintings that allow you to see something else in your regular, run-of-the-mill object. However, finding the balance of all of this caused me to have to stop and stare all morning.
I honestly almost stopped here. I liked the unfinished layers, and thought the piece might say enough to achieve the depth and freshness I wanted. Then I realized that I needed to go the extra mile and let go of my need to finish a painting so quickly.
I like the end result, and feel good that I pushed through; I even painted the white on white background! woo hoo!
Life is good. Happy Thursday.
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