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John's Blog

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Off the easel, out the door

Originality is not novelty, but progress based on sincerity. Insincerity in art is like a firework display; it creates an effect for a moment only.

These three paintings have been hanging around the studio for some time. When you're in a creative slump like I've been since March, there's all kinds of indecision and uncertainty one must deal with. The way I've dealt with it is to not deal with it. I just put paintings aside and start  new ones. Now I have at least eight paintings in process in my studio. Having partially completed paintings laying around just adds to the building frustration, so I forced myself to press forward and actually try to complete something. These are the three paintings that I decided to "finish". Even then, they sat around for several weeks as I worked and reworked areas, all the while asking the question, "Can I make them better?"...all that did was create more indecision and uncertainty. So, finally I just said, "Out the door you go".

Preliminary color study - 4.5"x  6"  - Oil on paper

Brush drawing on toned canvas

First application of color (Palette: Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium Red, Lemon Yellow)

Hillside Barn  -  12"x 16"  -  Oil on canvas

Plein-air study, on location in Camden, Maine  -  4.5"x 6"  -  Oil on paper

Sketch and canvas were proportionally gridded. Drawing with brush begins.

Values are thinly washed in. Red line indicates horizon. Everything below this line ascends, everything above descends. (Palette: Ultramarine Blue, Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Red, Cadmium Yellow Pale, Lemon Yellow, Ivory Black)

Camden Harbor  - 12"x 16"  -  Oil on canvas

Preliminary color study  -  4.5"x 6"  -  Oil on paper  

Road to Tularosa  -  12"x 16"  -  Oil on canvas
(Palette: Rectangular Quadratic - Blue Violet, Red, Yellow Orange, Green...mixed from primaries of  Ultramarine Blue, Cadmium Red, Lemon Yellow)  -  Canvas was toned with Yellow Orange

"The painter is an artist. That is to say he has something he wants to communicate concerning the subject of the picture he has painted. He communicates this by means of his art, using the medium art, that is by means of drawing, composition and color. He has to tell the spectator what he felt about the subject, what qualities in the subject interested him, the nature and depth of these feelings and so on. And he has to be able to tell these things so clearly that the spectator will be able to understand, or at least to feel an echo of the painter's emotions". 
(From a very old, The Artist, magazine. Author unknown)          

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Next week will feature a great interview with Marc Hanson



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