painted acrylic papers on wc paper
image size 12" x 16" matted to 16" x 20"
Bright ideas right? I wanted to call this "The Balls Get Drunk" or "Lost Weekend" or even "Lime Heads." (Hey, if Green Bay can have Cheese Heads, why not Lime Heads?) Incidentally, when I was in high school we were made to watch The Lost Weekend starring Ray Milland. The movie was meant to keep us from drinking (it didn't) and looking back, I wonder now who decided that movie was such a great idea for some high school students to see! Anyway, public education in the '80s. Sigh.
The above piece was completed earlier this week. I struggled quite a bit with a couple of things. It's very easy to lose track of what I really want to do which is to learn about and to make a good composition. I got very caught up in the details and "making a picture" rather than composing shapes, lines and colors, if that makes sense. It would be like painting from a photograph and including the sign sprouting out of the cow's head because you had to reproduce the photo exactly. Or including every single blade of grass because it is there. How necessary is that to tell a story about a lawn? Focusing on the larger picture, so to speak, is key. Editing in a judicious manner is just as important. (Strictly my opinions, mind you.)
The other thing I learned (again) was about filling the space of the paper/picture plane. Is it important to cover every bit in an equal way? What about empty spaces? Are they too empty? Those questions quite often cause me to add smaller details that aren't necessary. The bubbles at the top are something else new as well. I wanted some curves to direct the eye and rather than do lines, I considered bubbles arranged in a curve. I did 5 smallish bubbles and then 4 larger bubbles. In my mind, the fewer but larger bubbles have the same presence as the smaller and more numerous bubbles. I also learned (again) about proportion of colors. Trying to use less of the purple (reddish violet) color and more of the greens (yellow green to bluish green) was challenging. The gray areas were meant to create a resting place as well.
Lastly, I admit to being unsure of this current direction that my painting is taking. When I painted directly, I became very concerned about filling in pre drawn shapes with paint. It must be a tendency I have because as I started this piece I felt like I was doing just that, filling in pre drawn shapes with color. It's very exciting to see the colored shapes appear on the blank paper though-nice crisp edges and beautiful vibrant color against the white of the paper. And then there are the little surprises along the way, things that you didn't know that you would be doing. The problem solving is challenging and the improvisation is a fun part of the whole process. I just don't want to get to the point where I am in paint-by-numbers mode. And I am unsure about how much more towards representation that I want to venture. This piece came close to being too literal, too tedious. So, food for thought.
Thanks for reading and if you have anything to add, please leave a comment.
PS-Don't forget about my still life sketching class next Friday. If you are local and can attend please let me know.