Friday, May 13, 2011

"ALL ALONE AM I" 6" X 6" Oil on panel

  I have been inspired lately by the works of  Lorraine Shirkus  in her efforts to paint in a looser style. This goal has mirrored my own for quite some time. It is difficult for me to give up the need (compulsion?) to render subjects closely to their actual appearance. I think that has to do with the fact that it's "safe." If you paint something as it actually is (with a little originality thrown in) it seems logical that it is then "correct." Where I fall down in my attempts to break these bonds of exactness is that uncertainty it might look like mayhem. Will the colors I use work? If I just imply a leaf, for example, will it be successful? If I lose edges will the viewer understand?
I know, also, that I do not "play" or experiment enough. I tend to want to bring each painting full circle and have a completed, ready-to-hang piece each time. I watch my grandson (age three) paint, and his primary goal at this point is the process...the testing of materials and technique - the "What happens if I...?" I think I need to go down his road more often. 
All this being said, I am pleased with the onion above. It has more of the spontaneity I've been looking for.                                                         

18 comments:

  1. Carol, I know just how you feel. I always think I need a completed painting every time. And I tend to want something to look "just like" my set up. I am slowly learning to be a little more spontaneous, but it's a hard job. I think I need a still bigger brush.

    Your onion is great. The skin look very thin and translucent. Love the colors, too.

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  2. I know just what you mean about painting things the way you see them. I have that problem myself. One art teacher once told me I had a lot of things to "unlearn." On one of Diane Mannion's posts she said, "it's a painting not a photo." I admire your ability to be able to successfully accomplish a looser style. It still looks like an onion only nicer!

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  3. Hi Virginia,
    I agree. I think spontaneity IS something we have to relearn from childhood maybe and keep pursuing. I think the next time my grandson paints I'll paint along with him. I'll just bring out the paper canvas and have a go! I think a bigger brush does help, and I remember that DPW Challenge of painting in 10 minutes. That made a difference as well. Thank you for the nice words about my onion.

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  4. Melanie,
    I LOVE your comments. I think as adults we have all learned things along the way that keep us where we are. Some can break into a different style easily. For others, like me, it's more difficult. When one considers how many hundreds of years Classical Realism was the only way to go, the "open-ended" and freer styles are very young.

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  5. That is an onion with flair!

    I do get it about painting in a looser style. Hard to unlearn what you already learned! I do think you should sit down qith your grandson and see how he does it:):):)

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  6. It's absolutely beautiful!! My heart beat fast when I saw my name in your post :-) . . . so nice of you. Thank you! One of the things I've had to grapple with is becoming accustomed to looking at what I've done and seeing what's good about it. Actually set the painting aside overnight and sneak up on it the next day pretending I've never seen it before. That little break provides some distance and breaks that compulsion for result. Choosing which color to put next to another is so much more fun than struggling to make the object look right. This is a very beautiful piece!

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  7. Lorraine, thank you so much. I think you offer excellent advice. Someone also recommended that I take a photo of the painting, let some time pass, then look again at the photo. Photos often take you a step away from the original piece and you can see it more objectively. I love what you say about choosing which colors to put next to another. What a delight!

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  8. I agree, Libby. Can't wait for my first opportunity. Thank you for your kind words.

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  9. Beautiful, beautiful, BEAUTIFUL! Absolutely perfect color choice and I love the movement and looseness of the background! Bravo!
    Brenda

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  10. Brenda, you should see the grin I have at this moment. I am honestly humbled. I had more fun with this onion, and all these thoughtful comments just make my day. Thank you so very much!

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  11. What a strong and well thought out painting this is. I love the onion color in surface and background. Background paint application is great as well. A very three dimensional look. Fantastic!

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  12. Karen,
    Thank you for your very supportive and gracious words. I am so blessed to be a part of this wonderful "Blog World" where thoughtful people commiserate and celebrate with each other!

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  13. Superb painting of the onion. I thing you should paint more in this style, your brushwork is amazing.

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  14. Thank you, Violetta.
    I appreciate your encouragement. I'm certainly going to try to continue to use this approach as it's so satisfying.

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  15. Lovely painting. Take a win on this one. That is what my favorite instructor would say.

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  16. Thank you so much! I'm going to hang onto that saying - it's just great.

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  17. Carol this onion is fabulous , the colors are so beautiful, and those little roots...just perfect. This onion surely won't make anybody cry :-))

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  18. Thanks, Jane. It was fun to do! I'm glad no one will cry. :)

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