Wednesday, October 20, 2010

choosing color to convey mood:painting and cooking

10x10 oil on linen (probably unfinished)
How can color be used effectively to convey mood in a painting? Think about the emotions you want to express and then decide which colors do it. (It really is ALL up to you.) This painting was done from a study I made after my visit to the Ding Darling Refuge in Florida. The study was a memory piece done 5 days after I was there. It is vibrant and intense (see below, pastel.) I took that idea and created a one color underpainting, with small changes in composition. I chose to make a quiet, early autumn painting (very different from the saturated intensity of Florida). Aiming for a more Tonalist, restrainted feel, I restricted my palette. I have no photos, it simply comes from my feel of autumn. One of the biggest problem folks have is relying on their photographs. Yes, I know the top small oil is not as effective as the bottom pastel. But for better or worse both came from inside of me. I still feel my biggest struggle is to get the oils to do what I know I want. Again it's like cooking. I am still working on my rosemary walnut biscotti recipe. Each try I get a little closer to the taste I want. Patience is my key word. I know I need to simply keep asking myself...what will happen if I try this...or this and soon I will figure out how to get the effect I desire.... it's a quest. Painting and cooking...both  are quests of a sort. Enjoy the hunt, the struggle and the elusive, fruitful, discovery.
7x9 pastel on paper


Donna T said...

Very interesting thoughts today, Loriann. You say your oil is not as effective as the pastel but I'm not sure what you mean. It is quiet and moody, a very different feel than the pastel. I hope we don't always have to make a bold statement in order for a work to be considered effective although I know many people prefer some kind of "wow" factor. I guess it's no surprise that in my family I'm not the one who dumps hot sauce on all of my food! I hope you'll share that biscotti recipe someday :)

Caroline said...

Hi Loriann, They both create a different feeling, the first painting is very peaceful, the mind can relax and rest on the gentle warm colour tones and simplicity of composition. That is why I am attracted to paint and also admire simple almost colourfield paintings for their quiet beauty. They relax me. Your second painting is full of energy as if bursting with music that is loud and making you feel like dancing. I think the colours we use and the compositions are incredibly interesting. Cooking is about getting that balance and it is also creative too. Beautiful paintings.

SamArtDog said...

It surprises me that I prefer the subdued oil to the pastel. Must be the season. Or it's the flavor. Your painting and I'm sure your cooking gets better and better.

loriann said...

Hi Donna, no hot sauce for me either. Wow factor is created in many different ways. And yes, when I finally nail this recipe I'll let you know!

Hi Caroline,
Thank you for your accurate assessment and of course for taking time to comment!

Hi Sam!
The subdued one, eh? I must say I am as surprised as you! Still working on that recipe!

Jala Pfaff said...

This one is always one of my all-time favorites. That intense blue, takes one's breath away.
Lovely tree studies, may I say.
Your Inspector is as demanding as mine are.
For me, it's always about that line between too much vs. not enough: this is the eternal conundrum, challenge, frustration, AND pleasure.

loriann said...

Hi Jala!
The eternal conundrum- too much and not enough, the frustration being often we have to go beyond to know it's too much. I know in my head to proceed incrementally and assess constantly, but knowing is different than doing. I prefer to be in the rapture (or pain) of the moment. The glazing in oils takes me incrementally the pastels are rapture. Thanks for your comment- I think we face the same demons and lovers. Perseverance is the key, along with an awesome inspector or two.