Thursday, December 2, 2010
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...