Thursday, February 4, 2010

What Gets Your Motor Running?

Beautiful Art, that's what dings my bell. It's art mosaic time again. Oh, and I owe you a synopsis of my last watercolor lesson, too. Ok, onto my blogroll of "Artists of the Week". This week I'm looking at art a little differently because of the things Shirley Schmidt taught me on Tuesday. I not only see the foreground, the picture that the artist is focused on, but I also notice the background. That's what I learned this week in my lesson, all about backgrounds. So, the artists featured in my mosaic produced inspired backgrounds along with stunning foregrounds, all in watercolor.


In clockwise order:
1. Artist: Christine Reichow
  "Hibiscus in Red"
2. Artist: Julia Swartz
  "Red Poinsettia"
3. Artist: Derek McCrea
  "Magnolia Flower"
4. Artist: Christie Ussher
  "Cabernet Sauvignon"

Look at each of the paintings' backgrounds. All four artists have varied the light, intensity of color, pressure of brushstroke. They all added depth and interest to their piece by giving concentration not just to the subject that they painted but also how they framed that subject. They also varied the space around the subject.

This effective technique is seen especially well in Julia Swartz's painting. She intuitively knows that the entire piece will be more pleasing to the eye if there is variability within all the background spaces. All of the works shown here have expertly captured that illusive technique. When the artist has the negative space around their subject too balanced there is something "off" when one looks at it. I've found that I usually can't put my finger on just what is wrong but I know it doesn't look natural, even if it had happened naturally. This is another thing Shirley taught me on Tuesday and I'll never look at art the same way again. Thank you, Shirley. :o)

Onto my Tuesday lesson. What a great lesson it was, too. Shirley said something that I'm going to remember as solidly as I do her "Paint, Just Paint" from our first lesson. I had said that I was considering tackling quite a complicated and large piece as my next painting. I showed her the photograph and the concept behind what I wanted to do. I explained how I wanted to do this and move that; I would add this, change that color and eliminate those. I had reasons for all my choices and I guess I became quite enthusiastic about this next painting as I talked about it. I then asked her if she thought I was taking on too much for only my second full watercolor. She said,
"Many teachers say You shouldn't run before you can walk, I think that's just stupid."
She pointed out the passion she saw in me for this next project and said that's what I needed to be a successful painter. To me, what she said harkens back to that old adage, "Don't hide your light under a bushel." In this case she's also saying don't let anyone else influence you in that direction either.

I am assuming that some of you are wondering what my next painting will be. But I'm not telling. Hehehe. It'll be a surprise. Maybe a Valentine's surprise. I'll try to get it done by then. Okie Dokie, Pokie... I'm done for now except to say this:

I have a new friend.
Her name is Shirley.
She rocks.
And I Luuurrrve her for so many reasons.
She was my little gift from God... thank you God. :o)

We'll talk later, K? I'll be kicking around here somewhere. 
Say hi if you want to, I'd love that.
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1 Comments / Click to Comment:

ArtMind said...

So happy for you that you found Lucy - she sounds amazing! :)

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