Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Surface quality....... hmmmmmm. It matters, no matter what your choice medium. I guess that is why I am back to loving the marble dust boards I make. You can embed the color deep inside the ground, then the top level of texture can dance with color that is totally separate, exciting in a new way. It creates a tension- essential for a successful painting. You can also sand down areas to make a smooth, glassy area. (and not wait for it to dry!) Then as if that wasn't enough fun, you can also make marks like calligraphy on top!
Below is an oil that I am working on in the studio. The goal is the same, but this time the surface is a glassy smooth Art Board, onto which I am building surface.
Here is another quote this time from the Belgian master, Alfred Stevens,
"A picture in order to be truly great must excel from two different points of view. When seen from a distance it must be handsome in color, fine in composition and true to the scene depicted; and when examined at close range the pigment must reveal jewel-like surface which is described by the word "quality."
With part of this I agree and another part I disagree. For me surface quality does not mean enamel like beauty, although that can be splendid. Instead I think it is a mix between the bravado strokes of Sargent or Turner and the glassy, licked clean, jewels of Ingres or Whistler's saucy nocturnes. Show process, but be discriminating. Balance.
What do you think and why?
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