Sunday, May 04, 2008

Artistic license

11x14 acrylic painting on canvas board 'Megan'Someday, I will have a decent camera that takes accurate pictures of my paintings. The colors are off in these pictures.

The first painting is an 11x14 acrylic on canvas board of an idealized memory of childhood - it's Megan. When I first showed it to my painting teacher, he seriously criticized it. He said it was too contrived. Even when I told him that was the point - an idealized memory - he still couldn't see any value in it.

When we did our critiques Thursday, the other students in the class had a different opinion. They were quite impressed with how bright the sun-lit portions of the picture were. I suppose if we had a decent teacher, he would have taught us all how to create this illusion (Jerry Yarnell will teach you for free on PBS).

I love it, and that is all that really matters.

The next painting is a 16x20 acrylic on canvas based on my charcoal grapes drawing. It turned out ok. I might yet change that front leaf to look more like the one in the drawing, as I like that one better. 16x20 acrylic on canvas 'Grapes'

It was quite an experience painting this. When rendering something in black and white, the only thing you have to worry about is light and shade values. When you paint in color, color has to be considered (who would have guessed)! I spent a lot of time on it. It looks better now than it did at first. At first, the purple was pretty constant and dark throughout. I decided to lighten up the area around the grapes, and I had to lighten up the grapes that were most lit by the sun, which changed the warm/cool values a bit. I might try to figure out how to bring the grapes back to the original warmth. I also increased the darkness of the leaf shadow, and glazed some green into it because the sun shining through the leaf would cast a green hue.11x14 acrylic on canvas board 'Maple Leaves'

The final painting is an 11x14 acrylic on canvas board of maple leaves. I started out by using the rest of the paint on my palette to create the background. Then I decided to paint leaves on it. Then I decided to paint maple leaves, and had to google them to figure out what shape they come in. Then, I decided to color them with fall like colors. Then I decided to paint in veins. So, since none of this was planned, it could be called a process piece.

I like it, though, because the colors are so vibrant even though they are repeated in both the fore and background.

The other students liked the background brush strokes. They appreciated the texture the brush created. That was a happy accident. I just wanted patches of color, and I didn't want to switch to a sable brush, so there they are.

Steel wire on roughened steel conduit base 'Weeping Willow'
This is my home project sculpture. I will take it to school Tuesday for the critiques. It is a steel wire sculpture of a weeping willow tree, epoxied onto a steel conduit that I grinded to get such a cool shiny water texture.

One would think such a sculpture would be easy to do! It isn't. My hands are so tired from twisting wire, and a little scratched up as well. I suppose I could have worn gloves to prevent that, but I like direct contact with skin. The epoxy I used to glue the tree to the base dried with an opaque yellow color, so I bought some metallic silver paint, sprayed some into the cap and used a junk paint brush to paint it silver. Now it all matches (mostly).

I really like how it turned out. It has a grace and elegance about it that I so love about weeping willow trees.

I also created another sculpture that I welded together, but it is at school so I don't have a picture to post. A picture wouldn't do it justice anyway. It's kind of ugly, but when you tap on one of the ends, it vibrates - forever! It is really cool. It reminds me of the flowers on a Star Trek episode that vibrated and hummed a song. The weeping willow tree vibrates too, but it isn't cool like the junk (I mean found art) sculpture is.

What I learned this semester in art is that being afraid to try something because you don't think it will turn out the way you want is not the way to be. You just have to jump in and make something happen. Sometimes you will end up with something even more interesting than what you had planned.