Thursday, August 13, 2009

dusk slowly begins to pour the syrup of darkness

finished piece 18x18 pastel on Uart paper
after the first layers of pastel
7/31 watercolor underpainting 2nd layer
7/30 sketch
Using our small plein air paintings as fodder for creating bigger more conceptual works is a blessing and a challenge. While we artists know that photos lie and can not capture the same feeling that painting your own preparatory work can, using one's paintings still is no picnic. Most importantly, you have to develop a firm concept before attempting anything. (Am I sounding like a broken record?) I find that making written notes about the feeling and the place helps.
George Inness made his field sketches and then put them away for later reference separate. He wanted separation. I prefer to start from the plein air to the concept piece as soon as the idea is clear, preferring less space rather than more.

What do you prefer? And why?


Later there is a point in the process when the painting begins to speak. It's like the runner's high. It's that moment all artists love. All reference material can be put away...the trip has begun.

This painting was created from all my work at the slough this July.

6 comments:

Eden Compton said...

Your work is lovely Lori! I particularly like the beautiful colors and edgework in all your paintings. I find that I sometimes can't remember what I was focused on in a reference photo unless I had done at least a few thumbnail sketches and notes, so time is often a negative factor for me. On the other hand, I sometimes notice stronger elements in my sketches and photos that I didn't focus on at the time which results in better paintings (hopefully)!.

Donna T said...

Beautiful painting Loriann! It almost has too much mood and atmosphere to take in all at once - I need to savor it slowly. I'm learning to write down my feelings about the scene whether it's a quick sketch or a plein air. Usually those thoughts tie in very closely with the concept. If I can't get to actually painting right away those words are much more valuable than a photo alone.

Janelle Goodwin said...

Oh my, what beautiful paintings you've been producing, Loriann! Your inspiration certainly shows through which is why you probably produce these so soon after your initial experience. You posed an interesting question. I find that if I paint on the spot, the scene is too literal. Memory and space sweeten the interpretation for me, but that's me.

loriann said...

Hi Eden! Thanks for visiting my blog.Interesting idea you propose, that with time you might notice stronger elements in you sketches and photos that you might have otherwise missed. I guess there is always many good reason to approach it both ways.Lovely work on your blog!-Loriann


Hi Donna!
Wow...too much mood and atmosphere to take it all in....is that bad or good? You are so smart to take time to write down your feelings about a scene. Building the concept is so important and that is a excellent way. I often take notes about the sounds and smells as well. It helps me get into the atmosphere when I am in the studio. Can't wait to see your paintings one day. Hope ..hope.
Till later, Loriann


Hi Janelle, Your compliment means a lot to me since the mood of your paintings are always strong. You are right about painting on the spot sometimes making us more "literal" when we don't want to be. Slave to the scene, yipes! The studio definitely offers a respite from that. Although we can easily become slaves to other things such as photos or even our own work. My recent quote on my easel is "you're the boss." It reminds me to be in charge. I try so hard;-)

Donna T said...

Loriann, I definitely meant 'too much mood and atmosphere' in the best possible way! I should have said it differently; I just meant that this is not the kind of painting one glances at quickly and then moves on to the next. If I ever see this hanging in a show I will be the person standing transfixed, holding up the line! I'm working on a website - one of these days!

loriann said...

Phew! Thanks Donna!