Thursday, March 21, 2013

Balance and Belligerence

I enjoyed making an offbeat (for me) painting of the reeds and water on Friday.  I was feeling belligerent and decided I was just going to see and record COLOR -- I felt a longing for color, as if I needed to drink it and re-color my insides. 

I had trouble with the composition at first, and then, belligerently, wiped down most of what I'd done and painted instead the FEEL of the composition, very loosely, and put in the colors of the water and reflections as they occurred.  My feeling was:  I'm just going to get them as I go, and not worry about it making sense.  At the end, I had to adjust the tones—I needed deeper darks in the grasses below to balance the dark of the cattail heads.  And I almost didn't put in the highlights on the heads, because the painting as it stood felt UNrealistic, and I hesitated to put in a realistic touch that could throw it all off.  But the highlights made it all work much better (as usual:  the more contrast, the better). 

I'm not sure if what I'm doing at times like this really "works"—this balance of abstraction and realism—but the very fact that there IS a balance feels right to me.  I'd like to try to push myself in that direction, that is, collecting color, making sure I have high-enough and low-enough tones, and working from the scene but not obsessing over details (sure death).  Just enjoying what happens IF I manage to capture color and tone adequately.  It's bizarrely fun—the freedom from representation, I guess.  And best of all, at the end, the results can surprise me.

No comments:

Post a Comment