Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Memory and the Key Bridge, more Carlson

9x6  pastel and watercolor on uart

 The Potomac River in all its glory is right near the hospital where I stayed. The bridge closest is the Key Bridge, a beautiful old arched bridge- a bridge Whistler would have loved. I tried to paint it as I saw in autumn when I went to the hospital for tests. (back then I was afraid to try all memory paintings, heh) This is of course, all memory, no references.
All I am trying to do is create a believable landscape with the kind of color that makes me say ,"ahhh." Some parts in this one work  and some parts need tweaking. (next time) One thing  have learned is that it is just as important what colors are underneath as what colors are on top. I carefully dance the pastel on top so that the light from the color below glows through the top layers. Some marks are smudged, pressed, brushed, erased and some just placed on like a whisper.
One more great quote from Carlson,
"Trust your feelings entirely about color, and then, even if you arrive at no infallible color theory, you will at least have the credit of having your own color sense."

It was perfect timing to read that. I am now beginning to reread Robert Henri. More about his writings next time.
By the way friends, I am sorry if I have not made it to visit all the blogs I normally enjoy seeing. I still love seeing your work and reading your posts. In time I will be back completely.


Nika said...

Loriann, I like the last few paintings, your memory painting is growing by leaps and bounds! I'm still too afraid to try it...
I appreciate your quoting these wizards of landscape, they make me realize things that I knew but never formed into words.
The sky in this one really sings, it's a very fine balance. It seems simple, but oh so easy to mess up. You ace it every time.
Glad your recovery is on track, be well.

SamArtDog said...

You've always had a delicate touch. Memories are delicate, too. They work well together. You've made a sky that's a veil of colors.

There's something so right about the plein-air between your ears. I'm in awe of your ability to keep all of that gray matter out of the way.

loriann said...

Thanks about the small painting Nika. You are right there is something comforting about reading word of the wizards and realizing "I think that too." Thanks for the well wishes. Life just keeps getting better.

Hi Sam,
Funny, keep the gray matter out of the way..I will continue to try to do my best.
Memory continues to surprise me how ripe it can be. I expect different things of it and it responds.
Thanks for checking in.

Anonymous said...

The funny thing about painting from memory is that you not only end up painting what you remember about a particular scene but somehow all of your past landscape experiences are brought into the painting that you are working on. Painting from memory reminds me of something Dr. Wayne Dyer said about being in the present moment. I usually work from memory using plein air sketches and notes to get the ball rolling. I will refer to photos that I have taken but I never follow them because
I prefer to have the painting tell me what is needed
Your past few paintings have displayed an incredible sense of light and atmosphere. Loriann I close with this quote that has guided me through many many paintings

"What we carry away from our experience often lives in our memories more intensely and more eloquently than that which we can actually see"-Karl Schrag


Wm Cook said...

Just found your blog, and am very excited to see your wonderful skys. Reading through some of the recent blogs, I'm happy to read that whatever you had is behind you. Your new friend. Wm

Maggie Latham said...

Just love this one! I used to live just off of Lee HIghway (court house metro) on the Arlington side of Key Bridge....so have been having a flash back of memories when I read your post! Love the textural effects in this one..the kind you can only achieve in pastel. Kind of wish I had never given my Carlson book to another artist friend, now!!!!! You make it sound much more exciting than the author, though!

Lisa Le Quelenec said...

Hi Loriann, your quote today came from the page that I got to on Carlson last night. The book is giving me much food for thought.

Just so as you know this post and the previous have both made me 'ahhhh'. Wishing you a wonderful day.

Anonymous said...

Good Morning Loriann, I hope this will be a good day for you. I just recently found your blog and admire the paintings you create from memory.

Donna T said...

Beautiful piece, Loriann and I agree the Key Bridge is a work of art. It's good to know you are feeling well enough to paint! The colors underneath always make their presence known, don't they? They speak up and influence the whole mood of a painting.

Joan Breckwoldt said...

What a beautiful painting! (Pastels are called paintings, right?) And a great quote by Carlson, every time I look at your blog and see a reference to Carlson it makes me want to get out my book by Carlson. The thought and depth you put into your paintings is admirable and inspiring.

loriann said...

You are so right NJ. Carlson talked about that too...a compilation of our experiences that is our memory, not just one.. Love the quote form Karl Schrag.I will have to check out Dr Dyer.

Hi William and welcome to my blog! I appreciate our kind words.
Yes, I am getting better every day and I am glad it is all behind me.... bravest thing I ever did! Thank you about my skies, each small painting is another learning experience. Come visit soon!

Hi Maggie, I can't believe it! YOU loved next to Key Bridge. You probably noticed that I added more water turning left (by the Watergate) a body of water that doesn't exist but felt necessary for the painting. Carlson's book really is an excellent read...especially the memory chapter...maybe you should purchase it again...It's SOOOO good.

Hi Lisa!Sounds like we are running in the same circles. Carlson is like a banquet don't you think?

Thank you Anonymous..have a good day creating as well.

Hi Donna, Warm is everything and so important underneath a landscape. You are observant about so many things!

Hi Joan,
Sometimes pastels are paintings, sometimes they are drawings. The way I use them here is the same as I use oil...same pigment different vehicle for spreading. If I use it to draw, with a focus on line, I consider it a drawing, like charcoal. Good question! Thank you for your kind comment! Carlson is by my bedside...love that book. Enjoy your copy.

Jala Pfaff said...

Love the eye-catching cobalt blue bit.

loriann said...

Hi Jala- YOU would notice that! I can't slip anything by you!