October 25, 2013

What Would (Artist) Do?

I find myself stuck sometimes and I think about how another artist has solved a painting problem.  Usually, what I find is that by looking at ways other artists tackled an issue, I can find ways to approach something bothering me in my own work.  The painting I started a while ago with the big shadow in the front was one I tried to solve with many hours looking at other works with a dominant foreground shadow, examining ways that the form was integrated into the palette and the composition of successful paintings.  That unfortunately didn't reveal any answers, ultimately, as I'm still working on what to do with the large foreground of that painting.  The painting is screaming out to be freed from its stretcher bars and cut into a different shape ... and I may have to listen to it.

I had a small painting I'd worked on in September and it was just a mess of muddy color and a composition that didn't (although it should have) break into foreground, middle and distance.  It was flat.  So I was thinking about my friend Ed and what he would do .... so this is what I did to the painting.  It was very interesting to try to wrap my head around his thick paint, no oil, strong brush strokes that followthe forms they are creating (trees brushed vertically, etc.).  It did make the painting work in a way, and I think I gained some insight from the exercise.

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