Saturday, October 13, 2012

Painting Progress

I've quickly learned that when working in oil you need to have more than one painting to work on.

As all Vermonters know, they make jokes about us sitting around "watching paint dry". Well, I've not been sitting around. I've been reading and watching videos. Two of those videos were so inspiring that I decided to break out another panel and go to my image library.

Before I get to the nitty-gritty, I want to name the two most inspiring videos I may have ever seen: The first--The Art of Oil Painting with Charles Evans was by a British painter and teacher, well-respected and often seen on British television. They are lucky. The second is by Alywn Crashaw--Oils for the Beginner, Part I. I watch it at least once a day. Good teachers are priceless, and alas, all too rare.

After absorbing these two videos I went through my color shots, taken while I was out hunting for black and white subjects. I stumbled on one, taken of what used to be our pond across the road in early autumn. It was simple and clean and I figured it would be a good place for me to start.

And so I began--nervous and excited almost to the point of combustion. Here is the result. I have learned much--beginning at the beginning. This is not the way I want to paint landscape, but I need to learn how to mix, how to use the brush, how to do those two things to get what I want on the canvas. This time I wanted to get this image onto canvas. That's all.

Still Pond - Early Autumn, Fletcher, Vermont 8" x 10"

I learned much doing this. Especially about mixing oils on the palette. I also learned that one needs to leave well enough alone at a certain point. (I did purposely set out to make this brighter than the photo because the part I was most interested in painting was the sky and I wanted a greater contrast.)

And, to further inspire me, this morning on Vermont Art Zine there was a post with two oils by S. P. Jackson. They are wonderful! I wish I could get to Middlebury to see them in the flesh. If you can get there, please go in my stead. What he said is what I want to do:

"...The title of the show comes from the fact I am not attempting to record an exact representation of a particular landscape. It is the lingering impression, the fleeting memory, that I want to capture and hold onto as our lives speed by in time and space.

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