Some random moments from The Big Painting, passages seen up close. Nearly all of these things will be covered up in more paint. But then I’ll take close ups of those too …
It’s fun for me looking at the surface. I hope it’s fun for the spectator too. Many things are abstract seen up close.
There’s lots of color contrast in this painting, both in the painting as a whole and in the smaller sections.
The flowers will get more stuff done to them, but these flowers will probably never be anything other than painted flowers with details of paint but not details of botany.
I am contemplating a plate. It may go at the bottom. Not sure. Right now it exists only as a broken arc. Blue jay’s tail is visible on the left.
Not really this blue, but I cannot ever get the color correct. Mentally average all the various photos in your mind and maybe that will be somewhat like the actual canvas …
Anyway, I am taking pictures of the painting at various junctures just to remind myself how it has proceeded. I am SO GLAD that I have been keeping a chronicle of this painting (bloggers, cherish your blogs) because it helps me put many things into perspective: so for instance, it’s nice knowing that I began work sometime in May. This being the last day of July — and of course I took a break from the canvas while sorting out various ideas through drawings — I’d say that’s not bad for time management. I give myself a “gold star”!
Bonnard’s painting has a lattice design along the two far edges and I have indicated something like that on this canvas. I’m not really sure how this will go because his painting includes various things omitted from mine — most notably a spectral Marthe. Thus if I have a lattice pattern, it will be even less clear what it references than in Bonnard’s original. Perhaps it’s a design in wall paper? Anyway, I LOVE lattice patterns and have used them often in my art. I probably get the enthusiasm for lattices from Bonnard’s art (where they are everywhere — even in the foliage). So, I’m all for including it, but I have to figure out the how and why of it a bit more.
He also has patterns in the very topmost part of those edge sections, and I haven’t quite figured out what I’ll do yet. Even something like the stripes in the cloth is not straight forward. Oh, how I wish I could see his actual painting again! (It’s been 20 years.) Color changes all along the path of each stripe are possible things to fiddle around with so revisiting even just that one feature will be exciting. And changes to one element affect the everything else.
Frog teapot and the blue jay figurine need to be made really present. Ditto for the other objects. Lots of painting ahead. The whole scene visible through the window is as yet undetermined. But oh how I enjoy this….
To artists afflicted with worry about green, Frederick Bazille gives us all permission to do whatever we like. I know, “it’s not easy being green.”
But you can be all the green you can be.
It’s okay. There are no rules. Not even for green.
The National Gallery of Art is hosting an exhibition of works by Frederick Bazille, and I am learning all sorts of things from the great artist and his Impressionist pals. And I’m going to share it all with you, here at my blog.
Sometimes people inadvertently impose all sorts of rules upon themselves in making art. Art is supposed in the popular imagination to be “free,” yet artists succumb to the usual doubts and frictions of life that lead to rules — “never do this, always do that.”
I recall hearing someone or other tell me that you need a certain amount of light or certain kind of light to be able to paint. Certainly you should not paint in light so dim that you cannot see the colors. Yet that is exactly what I did with this duck. I painted it (from a photo — another no-no) in light dim enough that I only knew my colors from the lables on the tubes.
I did know
I was making the water green. But other relationships were not so obvious. And consequently the colors (though not the tones) of this little painting are exaggerated. And that’s what I like about it.
Matisse painted very exaggerated colors in optimal light. But you can paint in poor light as well — especially when you are being curious — when you are just making an image to see where it leads.