Sunday, February 22, 2009

Subtle Song of Teal and Magenta

6 x6 pastel and frozen watercolor on Uart paper

Decisions, that's what it is about. What's the concept? Where is the major area of interest? How does one "travel" through the painting? Tools we use are many. Today's focus was edge and where to put the exciting color. Both things demand the viewer's attention. Therefore they must have mine.
You can see the spots where the fat snowflakes fell on my paper. I would have stayed and painted many small paintings today but the wind was whipping my umbrella away and today I could not be without that!!!!
The reservoir is my friend.


Brian McGurgan said...

This has a beautiful sense of late winter, Loriann, with cool, rich color and a crisp freshness to your pastel strokes. Your handling of all of the elements (water, trees, sky) is really very nice thoughout. Thanks for sharing the underpainting, too - it's always nice to understand better how a painting like this was developed.

Regarding all those key decisions, I find myself asking these kinds of questions after I've finished and am trying to get into the discipline now of considering them first.

Did you get to New York this weekend? The Hudson River is beautiful up near Olana (not far from where I grew up, actually). I'm looking forward to doing some day or weekend trips along the Hudson once the weather warms up for sketching and pastel studies.

Loriann Signori said...

WOW Brian, you grew up by Olana! I have long admired Sanford Gifford, Thomas Cole, and Frederic Church and have "seen" Olana and the lands around thru their eyes. When I showed my husband where I was planning to go he wanted to plan a longer weekend trip around it. So we will go to Olana in late March, early April and do the Hudson River School trail. Please tell me what you know!
We landed up going to Washington County Museum to see the Bierdstat and Frederick Church paintings they have. I drooled a little and then went walking on their part of the 185 mile canal (my canal).
Let's talk Olana!!!!
Thanks also for your comments. Yes those key questions are so important. Long ago,the way I would make myself think ahead was to place a post it on my easel. On the post it I would write a few words to remind myself as I painted. Now I think about it when I drive there and then periodically stand back and ask my questions.
Now to the river!

Leah said...

Nice colours!

Brian McGurgan said...

Now I'm embarrassed, Loriann, because I have to confess I haven't been to Olana yet despite growing up nearby. Actually, we moved upstate from Long Island when I was eleven and my family still lives about 25 minutes drive northeast of Olana and the Rip Van Winkle Bridge. I see Olana up on the hill every time we cross the bridge over the Hudson and make mental plans to go there. Most students in the area go to Olana on field trips but I missed it by moving upstate at the start of 7th grade. Nowadays we don't get upstate as frequently as I'd like and there always seems to be something in the way of going to Olana, although I've been planning to go this spring or summer (and almost went once last summer). Current exhibits at the Clark Institute or Boston Symphony concerts at Tanglewood (both in western Massachusetts) have been taking precedence on recent visits upstate. I'll definitely go this year, though, especially since I'm planning to sketch along the river myself this year. I agree with your husband - make a longer weekend of it and plan to do some painting along the river. There are some nice little towns and probably some bed and breakfast places in the area around Olana.

On a somewhat related note, I've been reading alot about George Innes these days and he was loosely associated with the Hudson River School for a time. His work is a real inspiration to me and I got to spend some nice quality time with two large landscapes of his at the Clark Institue over the Christmas holiday. I bet the Washington County Museum was nice, too.

The sticky note is a great idea, I'll give it a try - thanks!

Jala Pfaff said...

I love how in this one you decided not much had to be added, just mostly that sparkle across the water...lovely.

"The reservoir is my friend"--now there's something I would never be saying myself, as the wind whipped me and the snowflakes battered... :)

Loriann Signori said...

Thanks Leah, It's so good to hear from you again.

Loriann Signori said...

George Inness..Oooh lala. His work is delicious. He is wonderful. He was affiliated with the HRS, but moved away from it. His work is much more emotional and he paints with more abandon. Love it. Right now the HRS draws me because of their grand space and light key, especially Gifford and Church.Inness was much more intimate in scope. My long term goal is immense landscapes. Last year I painted one 5ftx 3ft pastel-Shenandoah Mountains. That's my reason for moving round in oils again. Size.
Where is it you do live?

Loriann Signori said...

Jala, Thanks for noticing.I am still trying to say more with less. I may have painted underneath too much, but I did like the pastel part.
As to my friend...I love her through thick and thin. I guess I am getting weird, eh?

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

You brave and intrepid soul! I applaud you and the painting is lovely. I can feel the frigid air and hear the wind. Brrrrrrrrr..

Brian McGurgan said...

Yes, I like the emotional quality of paintings by Innes, too, and the rich spirituality of them. He was a serious thinker on many subjects. One of the books I've got on him is a collecton of his writings and I can't wait to dig into that, although I'm midway through a thick analysis of his paintings in another book right now that I want to finish first. Quite an interesting guy, and there's no shortage of entertaining anecdotes about things he'd said or done.

I'd love to see some of your work on a massive scale, Loriann. Your paintings have such a nice sense of space and atmosphere - standing in front of a large one would be a treat. Oh, and in answer to your question my wife an I live in Queens in New York City. We're next to a large park and a half a block's walk from the East River so despite living in the city we've got some open spaces around us which I really enjoy. The park and river make regular appearances in my drawings. Thanks, by the way, for not reprimanding me on my failure to get to Olana yet - hopefully my self-disappointment is sufficiently evident!

Jala Pfaff said...

I love Inness too!

Loriann Signori said...

Thanks Mary! The colors make it worth the cold. I never thought I would say that, but it's true. I have come to believe I love winter colors the best. No more overwhelming greens, just beautiful violets, mauves, blues touched by gold and melon. OOOOOH.

Chris Bolmeier said...

Your outlook on the landscape, or should I say "how you see" is very refreshing, and your colors are divine. Subtle but powerful, and less is more. Love to see the painting you've developed from the bottom up. And I love each version, especially the underpaintings.

Loriann Signori said...

Thanks for dropping by Chris! I'll bop on to your site now.