Tuesday, January 25, 2011

looking at russell chatham

I was browsing the internet and I found this. Russell Chatham speaking about painting and fly fishing. I love it when he says, "It all happens on the palette, it's just as simple as that in the beginning. If you come to a place you don't know what to do stop. It will tell you what to do later."

Seeing the video made me research more and find an interview of his in Artworks magazine. Here is my favorite part:
Everything is a matter of gray. It’s the relationship of one color to another that matters.” You have to look no further than Chatham’s studio to know he takes that philosophy to heart. He starts with primary colors, mixes his own hybrid hues, and then meticulously applies the paint one horizontal line at a time. Each inch he brings in just a dab more color – orange or red -depending on placement. His touch with color is so delicate that the changes are almost imperceptible. “I like the 30 feet, three feet, three inch rule. A painting should be interesting at all three distances,” he says. No question, Chatham’s paintings are indeed compelling at all three, but it’s up close and far away that they pack the most punch. At three inches, you can see every deliberate brush stroke and its relationship to the next. At thirty feet you can appreciate the whole – invariably a soothing sublime and always emotional experience. 

Put those two nibbles together and you get pure bliss. Now push those watercolors across the bed and let me keep working. I think I will limit my colors to 3 primaries and Chinese white.

Thanks again for all your supportive words my bloggie friends.


Double "D" said...

O no, not Chinese white ... well OK. I might even try some in Sedona if nothing else works. If anyone can make Chinese white work with watercolors I know it's you! You've demonstrated that in all of the watercolor underpaintings you've posted.

We're outta here tomorrow a.m. and on the road. I'll be in touch along the way. I hope your recovery continues on a positive pace. Don't push it and just let it happen.
Hope the Doc thinks you're doing well when you see him.

Hey, I lost your address from the package you sent me ... ok, I know, get your stuff together. I'm going to send out some watercolor cards if you feel like leaving your address on my email.

Hugs coming your way,

loriann said...

Hey PB, yes, the dreaded Chinese white. I feel I can get away with it because I paint on a tan toned paper (not white). Plus it makes watercolor a bit more familiar to me. Try it you too make like it, watercolor king.

Have so much fun in Sedona. I am completely jealous.I will email you my address. Have a safe trip. Say hi to Mary.

Casey Klahn said...

I admire your research abilities. I could find very little on RC, since he comes from the school of "before internet."

Love his work. Esp. his California abstracted landscapes, and his big, atmospheric Montana valleys.

Casey Klahn said...

Russsell Chatham, "I view my enemy...as being a white canvas."

Anonymous said...

Permanent White gouache by W&N is a great alternative to Chinese white. I often use it watered down on the paper (especially good on coloured papers or craft papers) first, let it dry and then go in with various watercolour washes on top. Makes things really interesting if you leave areas that are just paper. Turner used this technique and it is known as 'body colour'. I also like mixing perm white gouache with my watercolours. It is different from using pure gouache that can get heavy and chalky. Try working both flat and to an upright easel.... different affects...both really nice. Hope you are feeling more like yourself.....

Astrid Volquardsen said...

Hi Loriann,
thanks for sharing the words and pictures of Chatham. I never heard of him before and he is very inspiring. The blogging world is just great.

Caroline said...

Hi Loriann, thank you for Chatham I really enjoyed the video.

loriann said...

Hi Casey, I wonder why his enemy is the white canvas? He seems to quietly approach it (in the video), interesting. Glad you enjoyed the little RC nibble.

Hi Maggie, I am curious why gouache instead of chinese white? Are they that dissimilar? Right now my paper is flat and bedside but when i work outdoor with watercolor (under pastel) it is usually upright. Every day I am a little better. It will require more patience to get back though.Time.

Hi Astrid, Glad you enjoyed your introduction to Russell Chatham.

Hi Caroline, I am glad you enjoyed it...it made me think. Always a good thing. Did it make you think?

brian eppley said...

Hi Loriann. What a surprise! I've never heard of master Chatham. I looked up his work and immediately thought of my art buddy Richard Harrington. He too lives for flyfishing and painting and enjoying life. I have a link to his stuff right above you on my blog.(Rick must have studied him)
Great to see you back in action and I love the primaries theory. That's all I use; 3 on the warm side and 3 on the cool. There's real excitement in subtle mixing. Did I mention it's great to see you back:))

Jala Pfaff said...

Thanks for the link.
I have studio envy.

It's funny (funny-weird, not funny ha-ha) to me that artists can feel so differently about mixing on the palette vs. on the painting surface. I'm so not a palette mixer. It's just not my artistic nature. I like order and calmness in my daily life, and I like chaos and spontaneity in my painting life. Go figure.