I already wiped this one down, but I'm posting it to prove I did something with the painting day. I liked the composition when it was in drawing stage, but of course once color was down that huge slab of white, and it really WAS that white, and I wanted that white in it for the contrast with the eggplants, and anyway, blah blah, it just doesn't work. It's funny, those little round eggplants are sort of - unpleasantly round and sort of unfriendly, so I don't know what is best to do with them, how to present them at their most alluring. Maybe by morning, I will have an intelligent thought. Most alluring might be in ratatouille.
I think you should tackle this again on the same panel after it dries. . . it's not that it's not a decent painting, it is, but maybe you see too well. Everything in our setups carries the same weight and contrast to my eye but for the painting to work on the panel, it can't if the painting is going to succeed. Some thing, some area has to be a focal point and the rest has to be a supporting cast. This is exactly what I struggle with in the "paint what you see" conundrum. I see it all as equally strong in the setup, but don't look enough at or consider the canvas. Ultimately, whatever we see as our subject has to find its place relative to the greater whole---the canvas. You've already nailed painting the objects well. Considering how they all relate to each other on the panel seems the next challenge?ReplyDelete
thanks for this thought above, it is helpful. The thing is, I WANT every thing to be equal, I sort of strive blindly to get it that way, because I want it to tie to the surface - like Matisse. I don't want a focal point. But maybe you can't paint realistically and NOT have a focal point, I don't know, I have to think on it. Maybe you can't get color and modeling to work well together because they are different approaches to using space (TIME).
I'm so glad you both shared your thoughts about these very different approaches. I love learning from blogs. I have a feeling you can paint realistically and not have a focal point, but perhaps pattern, texture, or line needs to be most important? Maybe modeling draws attention to the object as object? I really don't know, but you both made me think! Good luck!ReplyDelete
Ahhh . . . this goes back to a time when you said you wanted dimension AND flatness, I think? It went over my head at the time . . . like you were trying to achieve two conflicting things that could never be reconciled. But now, I think that if it's what you strive for, you must persist. Space and time are just constructs and no more "real" than what we paint, as is being proven by quantum physics. I need to relook at Matisse . . . he progressed to flattening everything eventually??? His earlier work (I'm remembering on the fly) was recognizable as objects but painted in a way that modeled and defied modeling on the same plane, ie., it was instantly recognizable as a still-life but not as realism. Diebenkorn's early work relied on Matisse---look at the Russian wallpaper painting. Matisse had flattened out a couple formally facing each other against a patterned wall and window. D tried a female figure against the same kind of pattern and pushed it more into abstraction although it's still recognizable as a figure. And then he pushed farther by making PAINT be the main thing even though the subject was recognizable. And then there's Paul Wonner who gave equal weight to each object in his later paintings and I haven't the damndest how he pulled it off. I'm not after the same goal as you but I'm on the same journey. I'm committed to painting from life and thinking the key is to use real objects as the anchor, get them down and then shift your focus to the canvas and see how you can manipulate paint, vary the viscosity, blur, scrape, throw thinner on it, anything you can think of until you can get the surface to resonate with you. Bielen has an innate sense of value so his blobs become objects---there's modeling and then there's modeling. You have a vision, so it seems you'll have to shift your focus from likeness and accuracy to focusing on paint and painterliness. I think. If none of this resonates with you, it sure helped me. :-)ReplyDelete
OMG, a huge help! thanks for taking the time with that. This whole thing is like that scene in Close Encounters, when Richard Dreyfus keeps building that dirt mountain to find an answer to something he can't even make into a recognizable question. I just have the feeling, it's not right, it's not right. Even though in the last year I have got much better at painting the recognizable object --- it doesn't feel right. I was thinking I could paint myself out the other side of it, such as get so comfortable with the paint and the object I could TRANSCEND the object! This is sort of funny, but I don't know how to tackle the issue. I guess you have to whack away at it, trial and error. Being able to paint the object - this alone - is a very seductive skill and I don't want to stay there - although a year ago I would have said, yes, let me have that and I'll be happy. Of course, what you say is right, it has to be given up to go to the next place. I have been looking at all the boys you mentioned. Very helpful comments, as usual, thank you.ReplyDelete
As far as your own work, I have a much better understanding of what you are doing from the above comment...I can see it!
The Close Encounters analogy is so apt! I still don't know where I'm going but it dawned on me a few months ago that continuing to paint in the same way wasn't going to open anything up and reveal a direction. That's where people's blogs linking to artists I hadn't heard of was so incredibly helpful. I think you're right that you can TRANSCEND the object but not if we keep thinking in the same current way. I was so seduced by trying to master the skill that it's been hard to veer away. It needs to be organic . . . can't just jump into an abyss and work totally differently, I don't think, because you have to bring your inherent self along with you to progress towards an idea. (That sounds cryptic!) Here's to trial and error and not too much suffering!ReplyDelete
Damn, ya'll are good! I need a glass of wine and both of you here and I can just sit and listen!! :-)ReplyDelete
You are a funny girl, Linda Popple.ReplyDelete