Thursday, January 19, 2017
In this painting I had an opportunity to execute (!!) a move I learned last year in Joseph Todorovitch's class. I asked him about laying in a highlight and he informed me that the whole surface of the skin had to be prepared to accept it, so it had to be worked up in graded values to the pitch where it took the highlight at the top of the light scale. That entire conversation made me see the surface of skin differently, also for me it it was an opportunity to further break the brush stroke, which I prefer. T.'s work is in the category of "naturalism", where everything is smooth and perfect.
This baby is 2 minutes old and being held by the nurse, ...I would like to have seen the rest of the nurse....her hand is so long and flat. I bet all the nurse's bones are long. Anyway, newborn babies are fun to paint while they are still in the mashed form and a little swollen. Hard to get the photo though - most people are apologetic or thinking it's something not to show around.
I used more color and purposely stepped outside of my palette, ( alizarin, yellow ochre and ultramarine) adding cerulean to get a glowing blue green. I've been reading about people's palettes, most painters seem to pride themselves on a smallish one which is supposed to insure color harmony. Oy, another frontier.
Friday, January 13, 2017
My intentions were to go for color, and worse still, pattern in the background. As I got going it seemed that the folds of my nightgown, which I had tied around my head, made a busy enough area, so I let it go. Maybe you have to hold the intention of pattern in your head in a strong way and not let the painting take you where you are not wanting to go, maybe even do the pattern first and outsmart yourself.
For years I have been trying to figure how to do Van Gogh, how to have the color and the form too.There is a majesty about just the skin itself that might supersede color, maybe you have to give first importance to the skin until you get weary of it, and then you can go for the color. Might be a good problem for exercises. I have a little postcard of a baby's head by V.G. in my studio, the whole thing is mint green, the baby AND the background, and it is just jaw dropping good. There are not that many paintings of babies that I remember as good, or remarkable, but his are always positively gripping.
Friday, January 6, 2017
It is what it is.
How many times I have thrilled, I mean really gasped out loud -- to see that line that Freud can paint on the top of the lower eye lid. It is usually pinkish or reddish, it gleams on the edge of that flap of flesh that embraces the lower part of the eye, and all the complexity of the eye ball and lids pass into my understanding, and also its aliveness, its wetness. I am waiting for that day to come for me. I have painted it, and wiped it out 10 thousand times. Maybe his models had more protruding eyes, his lights were better, they all had allergies.....I don't know the answer. I wanna see that line and paint it and have it work.