October 17, 2014

A little breakthrough on the Vuillard-inspired painting

close up detail of the face & flowers
 This painting went through a lot of stages. It was inspired by a Vuillard painting I saw this summer and wanted to see if I could set up a painting in that spirit (it's posted earlier in the blog).  I started with a model in a dining room in Maine and a sketch.  After a second round on the painting a month later, I had added paint and lost the loose feel of the sketch and hadn't really come closer to my goal.

Today I simplified the space by eliminating the view into the room beyond on the right and darkening the doorway on the left.  The dark doorway was in the Vuillard painting and (no surprise) had a vital role to play in the composition.

I loosened up the whole thing again, what an improvement.  The detail close up on the left really shows what a great change that was.  One funny thing about cropping an image to show a detail is that it also highlights another way the painting could have been set up and suggests where I need to be thinking next.  The expansive room has its advantages, but I can see how the close up painting is pretty appealing.

When people ask me about how my art has changed from working in a studio in the last 10 months, I think I can now point to this series of painting stages to say -- I could only do this with the dedicated studio time I now have at Studio B.  It's made a huge difference in the way I work.  While I still enjoy the immediacy of a painting done "alla prima," I now can rethink work and take it from that first impression to a more considered and (I hope!) better result.
the finished painting

an interim step

the original sketch, painted in a dining room in Maine

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