Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Nocturnes continue to fascinate me. When I was in NYC this weekend I sought out all the ones I could find.
 I noticed a couple of things they had in common.
*limited color, most artists chose burnt sienna in the land and blue in the sky- some were green blue. Lights were often done with yellow ochre/yellow .
*it's all about value and the values are often closer together
*my favorites tended to have blurred masses


Robert Henri

This is a long way of saying yesterday I began a nocturne, but by bedtime I had wiped the whole thing away. I decided that I needed a "removed grisaille" to figure out the masses of value and not get stuck in the details. I continue to experiment with making the grisaille off the painting. Yesterday's painting had the grisaille on the board. Simple shapes, close values. I don't know if you can tell in the drawing below: there is a house, a shed and trees. I will try to see how little information I need to give.


Casey Klahn said...

That is a cool collection of nocturnes, including yours!

I could learn a lot from this study.

Astrid Volquardsen said...

Isn't it always great to look at the masters for inspiration?
I am curious how it will influence your nocturnes.

Gregory Becker said...

Good drawing. I love nocturnes. Rembrants are my favorite.

loriann said...

Hi Casey,
So do you find nocturnes fascinating as well?Thanks about my painting and i am glad that you enjoyed the nocturnes.

Hi Astrid, yes the master can teach us a lot... I look to my contemporaries as well. I visited many galleries. There seems to be many more nocturnes out there and NYC is an amazing place for finding them! Let's see where it goes...I am curious as well! Thanks for dropping by!

Hi Gregory! I remember you love nocturnes too. There is something so quieting about them. Don't you think? Rembrandt and Whistler are my two old masters favorites as well.Cheers!

Katherine van Schoonhoven said...

Wow! You really saw a lot of beautiful nocturnes. I think that they are magical, mysterious, and subtle. Same is true about music "Nocturnes" (listen to Chopin's Nocturnes and I'm sure you'll agree!).

You are doing some heavy lifting here with working it out for yourself. Inspiring!

loriann said...

HI Kvan!
I can't say I remember Chopin's nocturnes. I will give them a listen. Maybe it can help the inspiration.
Aren't we all on some kind of trip of discovery?????

Brian McGurgan said...

Lovely nocturne drawing, Loriann - I like the subtle values and texture.

It sounds like you had a really busy time here in NYC. Visiting the Whistlers is a must for me when I'm at the Met - the Degas pastels, too. I'm glad you got to New York Central - I'm feeling overdue for a little shopping there myself, although I still have plenty of paper here at home that I should probably make use of first!

Karen said...

What a stunning set of images! And what a beautiful way you describe the negative spaces in some of the pieces you saw. Clearly the trip left its mark!
I don't know that you need much more info than you've got!

Jala Pfaff said...

Love the top and bottom images especially.

I think I'm going to ask my library if they'll order a copy of that book. It sounds enormous.

SamArtDog said...

I think Whistler wins. He's got the mystery of night down cold. I think yours proves less is more.

loriann said...

Hi Brian, Yes, it was a wonderful trip!You are so lucky to live so close! NY Central Art Supply was fun too I can see have it could be addictive.

Hi Karen, Yes, it was a POWERFUL trip. i am full of ideas!

Hi Jala and Sam, Yes the Whistler wins hands down...always does. The book is enormous...definitely worth owning your personal copy.