Sunday, December 05, 2010

Daily Painting Practice - Painting Flowers means staying balanced

Mum Mum Mia 
 work in progress
oil on canvas
OK, I have made  it through my first pass.

I was thinking to myself as I was working on this painting that there is not enough written (or I haven't read enough... which the more likely scenario) about the importance of Balance as a key ingredient in painting.

I have read a lot about  balance in different aspects of composition, tone, color even the subject matter within the painting, but these are usually under different chapters or topics, not lumped together. It is more likely that the discussion would revolve around the importance of making sure these aspects are not balanced. In other words, the darks and lights should not be equal, or the horizon should be broken, or the use of three elements in a design is better than an even four. But this is not the balance I am talking about.
I mean finding a balance within yourself and using that as a tool for developing the painting.

I know, I know, I'm going very Zen on you here. (That happens to me this time of year, every year... It probably has something to do with there being less sunlight each day or no more vegetables from the garden or the fact that I am out of green tea.) 

Anyway, my point is that I am finding that there is a relationship between finding a point of balance within myself and the ability to express myself in my work...
In other words, if you want to produce better paintings, get yourself balanced!

I am trying this new approach with this painting. I am determined ( not stuck) to develop this thing with a balanced tempo, staying focused while enjoying and expressing myself. It's not as easy as it sounds (at least for me)

Here are some detail photos. They give you a better view  of the painting, similar to how I  see it standing in front of the easel. And I think they are a better example of what I am trying to say.

My approach is to stay soft and fuzzy with the details but clear enough to read the differences between the flowers;  keep the paint thin but the colors muted and alive;  work around the painting in an even loose style but at the same time know where it is I want to go.

I hope this post makes sense. As you can see,  the flowers are really only soft smudges at this point but I think they have a definite character.
This is what I mean by  thin paint yet  rich muted color.

Some paint is brushed on then wiped off, then brushed on again and softened by dry brushing it in the opposite direction.  This manipulation of the  brush strokes is actually play for me.  It  keeps me loose and enjoying the process.

  Oh, that's another good point!  Too much thinking gets in the way of the fun! 

  Now "balance" that with everything I just  wrote about and you can see why artists are so ... unbalanced?


Celeste Bergin said...

I remember seeing a book written about the yin and yang of painting. Always meant to get ahold of it..I wonder if it is about what you've written about here. I suspect that it is. This painting is "grand"! I like the description at the end about dry brushing....beautiful work! said...

Like the title and the painting.