Sunday, December 20, 2009

"Purple Shadows"

Connie Kleinjans still life12x9", oil on stretched canvas

I had meant to do another painting in my recent series of paintings with unusual colors in the right value. But I liked the direction this one was taking, so I went with it. I threw some purple in the shadows because I like green and purple together. I should also mention something funny: Leading the viewer's eye is so important that I spent some time aiming the apple stems when I was creating the set-up.

Initially, this one didn't have the striped cloth; it had a blue-green rectangle where the cloth now is. But as I started to conclude things, it didn't feel complete. So I found a striped dish cloth and had a lot of fun working out what its colors would be in shadow. Next time I might add more wrinkles to the cloth, for interest.

So, you know how some paintings paint themselves and you're just along for the ride? And other paintings are fighters? (I sure wish I knew what caused that.) This painting was not a fighter -- although I struggled a bit with the dark underpainting -- but the JPG sure was. I use Photoshop and have done a lot of color tweaking, and don't know why this one was hard. But I haven't taken the time to learn about gamuts and color profiles. Maybe I should do that sometime.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with this. Here's what it looked like after the block-in. (It's not a really good photo, but it was quick 'n' dirty.) There's so often something I like about this phase. Maybe it's the looseness; maybe it's the abstraction, like the mix of rough painting around the sketchy orange lines.

Connie Kleinjans fine artAlso, I was recently blog surfing artists, and ran into this excellent post by Jeff Mahorney called What I've Learned (after 120 paintings). The entire thing is well worth reading, but this is the part that struck me:
If there is one important thing I learned about painting this is it: Learn to tolerate the negative thoughts and feelings. ... Building up a tolerance and acceptance of those negative thoughts and emotions along the way is the greatest and most useful thing I've learned. Often when I am painting and about 45 minutes into it, my head might says "You're terrible, you should give this whole thing up" and I then feel the frustration or despair that comes along with that thought. But by now I'm used to it and I say,"Ah there you are. Come have a seat. You are welcome here, but we ARE going to finish this painting".
There's something so beautifully Zen about allowing the thoughts, but moving forward anyway. You should never believe everything you think.

1 comment:

  1. Very cool underpainting. I like the way you thought it all out including the stems.
    I thought about the 45min point in my painting and I tend to want to rush or hide to just get through it. Most important is to get through it.