Tuesday, June 22, 2010

More Small paintings

A summer's Sunday evening in Middleburg Va. The town has quieted down but the sun is still bright and high in the sky. This is a view down Washington St. I am always amazed that by painting this shape in one color and adding another color blog there you end up with a painting of a scene.

Of course, all that throwing of color on the canvas has work and time behind it. Working with the same colors on the palette for years will enable you to mix colors almost unconsciously.
And we have to learn how to translate the incredible range of values (light and dark) of the world around us into that narrow band we can create on canvas. How do you create the luminosity of an awning glowing from the sun behind it with just paint? How do you paint a black wall in the sunlight?

When painting is going well, and here I am using "painting" to refer to the action of painting, not the object on the easel, I seem to be holding a running conversation with myself, or more accurately, I find that a part of me is telling me what to do next, "Mix a bit of cadmium orange into that blue. Make that shape darker in value towards the bottom. Bring that line over to the left..." All that practice and lessons learned come back as they are needed. Then at some point I will look at the painting and think to myself, "Wow, did I do that?"

To me, this is one of those paintings.

Middleburg Afternoon
4 x 6 Oil on Canvas
$100. shipping included

Of course, it isn't always this way. Sometimes I look at my subject, at the canvas and the palette saying to myself, "How the heck am I supposed to do that?" or "What am I supposed to do now?" A painting will often go through a stage that an artist friend call "the uglies." So persevere and you can bring it on through.

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