Friday, April 10, 2009

Distance: What I know and what I do and the contrast

11 x14 oil- very unfinished -very frustrating

There are so many things I KNOW about creating grand space.
Ah, the many ways to create distance. Let me name the ways:
1. color, 2. temperature, 3. value, 4. mass size, 5. stroke size, 6. texture, 7. atmospheric perspective 8. design elements. There are probably more...these are in the front of my mind.
The problem is WHAT I KNOW AND WHAT I DO are TWO VERY DIFFERENT THINGS. I have glazed and glazed finally I felt I wanted more juice. Out came the palette knife. (Yes Brian and Jala ...it's back.) Oh, dear........ I guess I will let it dry a little and go on to another.
So now I am exposed as I struggle once again.:-)

Thoughts:
I have been absorbed in research about the Hudson River Painters and the Luminists. They KNOW distance. Sanford Gifford's (one of my faves) favorite device was to view from up high while thickening the air to the limits of its ability to hold moisture and light. This veil of haze heightened the sense of depth. ( the desert of New Mexico has little moisture...but I can stretch it)
Bierstadt's favorite way is size. Not only were the foreground shapes massive, but the entire canvas was an massive vertical. (vs. Gifford's elongated horizontals.)

As for my meager painting, at this point I am viewing from above and have used mass size to suggest space. I have premixed some colors and intuitively added others. I am very conscious of temperature of my colors and the size of stroke and mass. I realize I WANT delicious colors. Subtlety is not really me.

10 comments:

Melinda said...

Hi Loriann,
This painting is spectacular. Really. I read with interest your analysis, noting how carefully you approached your canvas and how you held all the elements you admired in the work of others. Then, I thought, but...Loriann's work is luminous, is expressive, DOES work just as well as those she wrote about.

Sometimes when I work in a new way I am so shocked by the changes that I think what I've done is not up to my standards plus, not up to the comparative value of famous works. Could this be something you feel too?

Donna T said...

I agree with Melinda: spectacular painting, Loriann! I don't see any struggle in this at all. It's funny that you say that subtlety is not your thing. I have the opposite problem - using "delicious colors" and pushing them for effect is my struggle. I admire your work and your ability to use color so expressively so I'll keep struggling.

Loriann Signori said...

Hi Melinda and Donna,
Thanks for your support. After obsessing about this one all day I have come to believe it is because it did not match my vision of what if should look like. Instead I was desperately clawing at ways/solutions with no understanding. That's never good. I have decided to chuck this one and begin again. This time on a landscape I know.... I dare say the reservoir? And the beat goes on...eh?

NJ ART 73 said...

Hi Loriann,
I like what you have painted. This a strong expressive painting with some beautiful color. Somehow that strong blue/green in the distance shouldn't work but it does. I agree with your opinion about the Hudson River school. An artist can always learn from those paintings. I also like Sanford Gifford's paintings. A few years ago the Metropolitan had an exhibition of his work. Perhaps Amazon has a copy of the catalog. His sense of space & light was incredible. Everytime I look at either Bierstadt or Church I cannot help but think-they do not paint like that anymore! BTW- Brian is right on the money about the Inness room at the Montclair Museum. You can become immersed in the paintings on display. Altough the museum is near where I live I do not go to the Inness room often enough.

Loriann Signori said...

Thanks NJ!
I own the Gifford book and many other good ones by the HRS. Sanford Gifford's light and luminosity is unsurpassed, in my opinion.

Gary said...

I always love your color! To get distance, simply grey down and maybe lighten a bit those distant bright blue hills. DO NOT DISCARD!
Gary Michael

Jala Pfaff said...

I find it so fascinating how we can intellectually know (and list!) certain techniques for making things look a certain way...but somehow, it doesn't necessarily happen when actually painting.

I also like what you said about realizing you prefer bolder or juicier colors, rather than subtlety. Is doing the Deborah Paris workshop helping you realize this?

Loriann Signori said...

Amen Jala!
I guess I know I love juicy colors but I fully realize for them to be juicy there must be subtlety (Of 6 rows of pastels in my small heilman box 2 are dedicated solely to neutrals...a must.)
Deborah's course opened up the idea of glazing which as of yet I am not quite certain. It also changed slightly the way I set up a pastel. As for color....I realize that is such an internal...unstoppable way of seeing and feeling. What do you think?

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

We're all too critical of our own work. This clearly states distance and atmosphere to me. Also, the color harmony here, makes the painting.

Loriann Signori said...

Hi Mary, How kind of you to say..but accurate. We as artists are critical of ourselves, probably because we see it clearly in our mind's eye, but alas it is different on canvas. Thanks anyway!