Saturday, August 14, 2010

searching for dreamy

9x12 pastel and watercolor on Uart

Maybe I should have stopped with the watercolor, when the drifting and dreaminess worked. I am searching for something that I can't quite articulate.

If you examine the underpainting you can see that I did what I know I should do:
1. set the color and value relationship- very important to establish immediately.
2 add the drama of atmospheric perspective

In the pastel I was aware of creating the diva and the supporting cast (could be stronger.)
Then it comes down to the intangible- the feeling. Dreamy...hmmmmmm, how to make the dreaminess I wanted. That will be the holy grail forever. The feeling, the elusive feeling.

On another note, yesterday I unpacked all my shipped paintings. Now that I had distance from them I could see their strengths, weaknesses and patterns. It made me think ... the absolute best thing for any painter is to separate her/his self from life and just paint. I know it is VERY hard to get away from life (jobs, kids, life responsibilities.) But when you can  immerse yourself in your art, it is an amazing thing. I can feel it already now that I am back...all the competing a pack of wolves howling.  Sometimes it can be hard to quiet those wolves down.  That's why I love to leave. It turns on a different brain.  Yes, I realize I am very fortunate to be able to do it. I do work hard to make it possible. I consider it a priority because it makes me whole.


Sonya Johnson said...

Hi Loriann,

You feel the same way about painting [in a distal location, as you describe] as I do about going on backpacking trips, far away from society and all the unpleasantries associated with it: it makes me whole.

Why do these things have this effect on us? It's because when we are engaged in them, we are truly living in the now. Most of the time, we aren't. Once you've experienced what it truly feels like to live in the moment, you crave it. When you are painting in your field up in WA, nothing else matters, and you are 100% engaged in painting. Sadly, I don't think most people will ever truly know the feeling...or how to re-create it if they've experienced it incidentally.

I hope at some point to arrive at the point where painting is like that for me. For me, it will no doubt be doing plein air painting in remote locations around the Colorado Plateau, where I now live. Studio painting isn't the same.

This painting [and underpainting] is wonderful, BTW. Your handling of water and reflections is superb, as always, and the painting has that dreamy look that gives the viewer a strong sense of space.

Weatherhill said...

They both have strength! and yet, leave me ...weak, feeling anemic in the field.
I must find a video to see how 'you guys' do this (what is Uart etc) and after seeing photos of spraying paintings with hoses??!! and then working the piece afterward!!?
So much to learn!!
Thanks for keeping my feet to the fire!

Adam Cope said...

Ah yes... to get away from the daily chores & paint. Most of the great painters made 'trips' too. Monet, Sargent, Turner... they all made painting travels.

I enjoyed reading & looking. Paint on & make more of your charming pastels :-)

Donna T said...

The dreaminess comes through loud and clear to me in both versions, Loriann. Those soft edges really do it for me. I hear you about the wolves howling. The "For Sale" sign posted by my house has attracted them big time. Wolves and pastels do not mix!

Nika said...

They both are beautiful, but the watercolor is ethereal, treading the edge of reality. Definitely dreamy. The pastel has more "intrigue". It just depends on what you're after.
Wolves, can't do without them:) They are there to keep us on our toes.

loriann said...

Hi Sonya!
I hear in your voice that you understand. We do crave it. Being 100% engaged is so very hard to do when life continues..we do it, but OH the bliss of "away." It's almost like a whole different brain gets turned that doesn't have to think about the dailies.
Thanks about the painting.
And you are right (for me and for you)studio painting isn't the same wonderment.

Hi James,
Uart is a kind of very sturdy sanded paper. Here is a link that will (hopefully lead you there.)

As for hosing down works and the surface costs money and can be reused/reclaimed so we do it. Yearly I have a "hose off the gremlins ceremony." I clean the studio, hose the paper and board I want to reuse and burn the others (now that's wonderful catharsis.) Oil painters do it by scraping, wiping and sanding.
We are have so much to learn...if the learning ever stops, worry.

Hi Adam, You are right. I sure understand why they made painting travels. You use a different brain and it never needs to turn off. Thanks for following my blog. Love your sunflowers!

Hi Donna!
Yes you do understand..your wolves are very loud.I hope your house sells soon. Thanks about the painting!

Hi Nika!
Thanks you about the paintings I really appreciate it. Still I do wish those darn wolves would go away. I LOVE painting in the other blissful state...only painting on my mind. Spoiled rotten, I know;-)

Weatherhill said...

Oh, So much too learn!
{I'm reading viewing old posts of yours and other artist... it's AMAZING} !!

Double "D" said...

Evening B,

Made it up north, hot and humid, no AC. Jump in the lake and go to sleep.

OK, you know there are times when you should step back from the underpainting. If I accidentally pulled off a watercolor like this I would be out in the street shouting "look what I did" awesome underpainting B.
A question ... do you do any blending with a stump or your finger tips. Seems like that would soften up some of those edges that need to be lost. I know I'm just a lowly watercolorist and know nothing of pastels. I'll leave it there.

"Hey lady, step away from the underpainting and drop that pastel and kick it over here. Do not make another move towards the watercolor. OK boys, cuff her.

Heeeeeeeeeeee, pb

loriann said...

Sorry PB, I can't stop myself. I guess I need you standing there to tell me;-) Hot and humid in the north??? You did the right thing.

B Boylan said...

Hi Loriann,

These are beautiful expressions of your love for art! I am on the same plane as you with the distance factor. Went out yesterday to paint, 100 degree weather, and thought it was a total dog of a painting. Came home, cleaned house (the wolf) and then some time with the kids. I"m wishing I was still in my workshop with no one home, and the time to think and feel as one with my art. Keep up this great work Loriann! You are awesome!

loriann said...

Hi Brenda,
Thank you so much for your kind, supportive words. We chase the grail and she seems easier to see when we are removed from the wolves. I was away 32 days...almost started to seem like that was my real life...wishful thinking, eh?

Sounds like you had a great workshop. Can't wait to see how you process it all!

Karen said...

I never learn more than when I'm by myself for some extended period of time,'s like all of the other voices (teachers. etc.) get filtered and clarified...

I don't know, I see the dreaminess in the pastel version...but I know what you mean when there's "something" that you can't quite get...