Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Reworking it

Remember this one from earlier this summer?  There were aspects of it that I liked, such as the mountains, but I was never very happy with the foreground.

So I cut it off.  I've done some cropping before, but this was the most radical one yet, especially since it involved a saw.    But I was in a rather frustrated mood on Saturday, having just returned from a show in which I received no reward despite expecting one.  And really, it shouldn't be a big deal.  It's happened before, will happen again, and the pieces that did win were certain deserving.  But this one bothered me for some reason.

I moped around for a bit, then decided I needed to just do something.  My daughter has found that her soccer playing is better when she is mad at herself - I wanted to see if it would work for my painting.  This time it did.   

This is probably the most reworked painting I have ever done, even requiring a title change.   Now I just need to figure out what to do with the other half.

First Light 24x9 pastel, copyright 2012

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Scenes from the Fair, part 2

View from the Ferris Wheel  20x16 pastel, copyright 2012

Friday night at the County Fair is the most popular night.  Most of the animals are gone and teenagers (including my own) roam the grounds enjoying the rides and greasy food.  My original intention that night was to sit around with other artists and get some painting done, but instead two of us wandered the grounds taking reference photos.

The sunset that night was quite beautiful with pinks and purples behind the lit Ferris wheel.  A number of my fellow artists had taken photos of the Ferris wheel, so I decided to try something different - the view from the top.  It has always been one of my favorite rides, as I get the thrill of heights without the stomach plunging queasiness of a roller coaster.  

This painting presented a number of issues that I had not really tackled before, including artificial lighting, an unusual perspective, and throngs of people.  The perspective issue wasn't too difficult, although I did have to rework the shape of the round carousel top a few times.  Using black paper helped with the artificial lighting, which caused the pale greens and bright yellows and oranges to really pop.  And to my surprise, dashes and blobs of color read quite well as a crowd of people.  I knew that this was a technique used by other artists, but I wasn't sure that I could pull it off.  Happily, it all seems to work.

The public reception for the exhibit is on Saturday from 1-5 if anyone local would like to stop by.  It is also the grand reopening of the Art Center following extensive renovations of the gallery space.  Come on in, take a look, and as they say, buy local!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Scenes from the Fair, part 1

Carousel Horse 20x16 pastel, copyright 2012

My pastels for the Scenes from the 2012 Preble County Fair exhibit are finally finished and framed.  I debated quite a bit on what to paint and finally settled on my two favorite rides: the carousel and the Ferris wheel.  The latter painting will be the next post.  

When I was a kid riding on the merry-go-round was a special treat.  Like many girls, I had a big love of horses and even then an appreciation for the artistry of the carved figures.  They were rapidly disappearing from the landscape due to neglect and the attitude that they were old fashioned so a ride on one was a rare occasion.  

During the fair I took a number of photos of real horses, but the dramatic lighting and pose of this one caught my eye.  It was a spontaneous decision as I had been working on another painting which was frustrating me.  After setting it aside for a bit I started on this one and nearly completed it in one go.  All the wonderful curving lines were a lot of fun and the pressure of making it look like a real horse was not as strong.

This now has me thinking about how much fun it would be to paint a series of these.  Unfortunately there aren't any carousels near me.  Perhaps some time when I am in Columbus I will have to make a trip to the zoo just to see the beautiful, nearly 100 years old carousel there.