Saturday, May 18, 2013

"Awkward" Is The Word That Comes to Mind

The moment I pop  the cellophane wrapper off a new canvas, my artist mind begins what can only be described as a journey.  That white canvas contains unlimited possibilities and my list of things I want to eventual paint continues to grow.  Of course I consider myself a landscape artist so most likely my new painting will be a landscape of either mountains or the desert... two environments things that are dear to my heart.  There might be a dramatic sunrise or a collapsing ruin built by some long forgotten miner or rancher.  No matter the focal point that I eventually decide upon I have to do my research.  I gather up inspirational photos and reference materials that I use to inspire my final piece.  I work up a mental image of what I'm trying to accomplish before I lay out the paint colors on my palette.

Since I have only been seriously painting for the past two years, I'm still working out my exact methods and styles when  it comes to approaching a new piece.  At this point I really start by painting my sky in.  Many artists sketch detailed renderings to consider composition and values before they ever grab a brush.  This is a discipline that I haven't gotten  into but I know that I really need to add this step into my painting process.  I know that I will be a better artist if I slow down and really plan out each piece instead of just hoping it works.

Sky is in, so I then lightly paint in my main focal points such as the trees, stream or that old building.  Often the composition will change and thankfully it isn't difficult to paint out mistakes.  There is a whole period from the first brush stroke to the point that you start painting in the fine details that I refer to as the "Awkward" stage.  Only you as the artist can see the final result in your minds eye and as you bring your piece to life you have to start top to bottom, back to front and so this takes time to create.  I'm sure that it is a similar creative process that a musician uses composing a musical score, an author writing a novel or an architect drawing the blueprints for a towering skyscraper.  There will be a trash can filled with composition paper, writing paper or long pieces of drafting paper.  It takes a while to get it right and painting has that same process.  

After painting over or adding elements, there is a point where the piece begins to emerge from the "Awkward" stage to a "Bonding" stage.  Your heart begins to feel the excitement as your piece  begins to emerge literally in front of your eyes.  I find myself walking past my studio just so I can catch another glimpse.  I take frequent photos as I work because I find it very helpful to study the composition whenever I find that I have a few minutes.

Yes, there is a love-hate process that you go through as you're creating a new piece and you just hope the end result will bring feelings of more love than hate.

1 comment:

  1. Wow these are great paintings Julie! You've got great depth and atmosphere in both of them. Beautiful!