Thursday, December 2, 2010

Evolution


Little Performer
Original oil painting 10x20"
by Susan Roux

I'm not in a rush. There aren't any time limits or deadlines imposed. Its just me and the paint and the canvas. I'm experimenting. Pushing. Seeing how far I can take a painting without letting it fall apart. In July, I bought new paints and worked on portraits. Everything was new to me, my tools and my subject. I never took time to explore their possibilities with subjects I was already comfortable with. Yes, I do use them in my classes, but its different alone in the studio, moving to the rhythm of my muse (and Luka). Lately I'm exploring what these new thicker, richer paints can do for me. Or rather, what I can achieve with them.


This was the beginning of my painting. I was trying to achieve shadow on the rocks without punching the values too deep. It worked, I could clearly read shadow verses sun on the rocks, but I felt it looked weak. In fairness, I did have fun with all the colors I was using. Perhaps I'll try light shadows again on something that should be soft, not rocks. My little performer hardly showed when I stood across the room. It was in need of help.

This little seagull was a hoot. He pranced around opening and closing his wings, never flying off. He stayed atop his little rock stage as the other two sat appearing somewhat annoyed. On he flapped demonstrating every position his lovely wings could do. Perhaps the other's were just nervous, waiting for their audition...


I decided to warm things up and darken behind the birds. I really liked the direction it was going. I started to lengthen his wings to give him a stronger presence in the painting. I darkened my rock shadows, but never adjusted the lights. Some might say they looked more like sugar coated muffins than rocks.

Again I pushed.

In the end, I was happy with the evolution. I surprised myself as to how long I could continue to work it. I began this painting almost a month ago on November 10. Its had a finished look since then because all the elements were painted. Its been interesting to keep working it, all over. Oddly, I felt almost in control through most of it. How many times have we been told, or find for ourselves, that we should have stopped awhile ago? Our observation is, It looked better earlier but I didn't stop, only to ruin it in the end. I'm not sure why this was different. Am I understanding more? Is there magic in these new paints? Personally I think its my Napa Valley mentor. Thanks Don for not deserting me...

19 comments:

  1. the patience paid...
    the end result of this is beautiful...
    seagull came into life with beautiful surroundings...

    congratulations...

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  2. Susan, I like this painting a lot. No harm working on a painting until it reaches its potential. By the way, if you stroll among most shore line rocks, you'll know it's not white sugar under those seagulls!

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  3. I love this painting Susan. So soft and yet so strongly done. Beautiful!!

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  4. I think that's hard to do--to keep on pushing with a painting--but I like how you saw this through and made the contrast stronger. I've been trying some new paints too.

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  5. the painting is beautiful Susan. I think when we are into anything creative we are automatically connected with our soul, and we listen to it, sometimes it tells to stop, and we stop, sometimes it says please, please , please continue, and we continue till our soul is satisfied. Both times the results are always good. When we put our soul into our work it is always splendid.

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  6. I liked seeing your progress photos, Susan. I too think it is a much stronger painting now. And Kevin, that's funny!

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  7. Tu vois que la persévérance paie. Belle oeuvre... j'espère que tu es en communion avec elle.
    Lorsque tu vois les phases différentes laquelle tu plait le moins ?
    Bisous

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  8. bientôt ..la miniature! bravo!

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  9. I think it's beautiful at every stage! I think it ended up very rich and beautiful. Are new tubes of paint the best!? (just looked at the other post)

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  10. nicely done. epic in tone and subject. it does have a dymanic impending feel. the moment before flight. I agree with what cobalt said. and rama made a good point. and elfi already took the bravo!

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  11. Darkening the sky was a very good idea.
    One upon a time, a long longtime ago, when I painted a little, like a dilettante, I never made more than a night for a painting. (Or just once.) I had to finish the idea at once, couldn't go back to it later. But we're all different.

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  12. Beautiful painting Susan, and loved hearing your thought process throughout the evolution. That little gull certainly steals the show now, with the contrast of the dark sky behind him! I did love the rocks in the softer stage as well, though. I cannot paint rocks to save myself. Throughout each stage your rocks look fabulous- I wish you could give me lessons!

    C'est fini est c'est magnifique! Bon travail!

    (Haven't used French in a very longtemps, but was inspired by the comments! Forgive me!)

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  13. Beautiful painting and commentary to match! Well done!

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  14. I would just LOVE to work with Gamblin paints, Susan. I am very impressed with the way you sat there, taking in the depth, the static rocks, the animated seagull. Your calmness while working on it permeates the whole painting.

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  15. Susan your tinkering is really working out well. I like where you are taking it.

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  16. Love the drama you achieved here. This photo of the painting looks great.

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