Thursday, February 17, 2011

the sky, bacteria and pastels

9x12 pastel and watercolor on Uart
Another memory painting done completely by James McNeil Whistler's guidelines:
*watch a scene, then turn your back and in words describe in detail. If you have someone with you have them correct if you are wrong. Do this till it is secure in your head. No photos or sketches.
* Wait at least 12 hours, allow the scene to be created in your head
* Paint, using only that memory. Your knowledge and understanding of light will stream in and guide you.
Yesterday's painting was a sunrise, today's painting is a sunset. Notice how different the colors are from sunrise to sunset. A deeper warmer orange is present at sunset. I wanted a golden orange glow, but I also wanted the dusty grayness of the moments after the sunsets to be present. The watercolor was the gold, although I completely covered it with new pastel color of oranges or golds. Your underpainting affects everything about the painting, even when you cover it. Not one part of my underpainting is peeking through. The underpainting guides your heart and sensibility about your goal. Underpaintings are like your skeleton, they support the painting even when they aren't seen.


On another note, I have received many emails from fellow pastel painters worried that pastels were the cause of my infection. I want to put your creative lungs at rest, pastels did not cause it. A bacteria, similar to TB, grew in my lung. Still the pastels most likely aggravated and added stress and junk to my lungs, making it easier for the bacteria to grow. The disease's ability to grow also had a genetic component. It wouldn't grow in most lungs. The bacteria is actually available in the aerated water (read from a shower head) and dirt (read gardening) in everyday living. Will you get it? Probably not, but why not use it as a wake-up call to create a safer studio. Wear a mask indoors when using airborne particles (or get a artists air filter.) Choose safer products...read labels, research. Spray fixative and varnish outdoors. Keep all of your painting rags in a metal, air-tight container. Always cover gamsol, turp, and all mediums; do not allow them to permeate your air.
Stay safe, paint happy.

16 comments:

Nika said...

I'm speechless,Loriann, this is absolutely amazing!
Thanks for the safety reminders, the very same question lingered in my head since your surgery.

loriann said...

Thanks Nika!
No need to worry. Paint happy.

Donna T said...

Beautiful sunset, Loriann. I love how you let the strokes lay side by side to create the sky color. I hope these sky paintings are your way of representing your healthy lungs - wide open space with nothing in the way - and not one bad bacteria!

Katherine Kean said...

I'm really liking the simplicity and almost abstraction of these last two. They are gorgeous!

Thanks for the good advice on keeping our lungs safe in the studio, Wishing lasting health to you!

loriann said...

Hi Donna! Thank you! I wonder if they do express my new openness and feeling of space. All I want to do is paint skies.....I dream of skies. It first started because they were there. I didn't have to move to see them, Now I am exhilarated by their vastness, motion and how the colors breathe. Maybe you are on to something my friend! I hope you are able to get outside and enjoy the day.

loriann said...

Hi Katherine,
Thank you about my recent skies...and I know you know and love skies. I appreciated your post about vegan artist materials. We sometimes forget that the manufacturers use animal products when synthetic is much more ethical and often a better/or just as good product. Thanks for your well wishes!

Double "D" said...

Wow, wow, wow, as I've said before... smokin hot, hot, hot ... she's like butter ... she's on a roll.

Hi B,

For a recovering person, one would never know as you produce some of your best work. This one is amazing!

On another note I'll be posting something about your "do not use photo's as reference" rant the other day.
I think you'll enjoy it.

How's the recovery going ... was it Valentines day or three days after or not yet????

pb

Jala Pfaff said...

Lovely skies you're doing lately!

Katherine van Schoonhoven said...

Love the gold peeking behind the sky -- must be your optimism and joyful spirit coming through.

Thanks for clarifying on the health questions. I have wondered. How are you doing with the mask and easel air filter?

Anonymous said...

Hi Loriann,
I could not stop looking at this painting. You are w/o a doubt the poet of the sky. I especially enjoy how you work with the pastels so that each layer of color comes through.Your commentary on underpainting has made me think of how to use an underpainting more effectively. Caroline Jasper is one artist who uses an underpainting to great effect. I agree with other commentators-thank you for clearing up the health questions. Keep on moving forward.
NJ ART 73

loriann said...

Hey PB, You make me laugh...on a roll, eh?
I checked your site and read today's entry. You kill me! I can't wait to see part two.
As for recovery time- today was 5 weeks and one day.(but who's counting?-me) I can't wait till I am off this stuff and I can drive again. I am missing independence, something I took for granted. I guess I will appreciate more.

loriann said...

Thanks Jala! I am looking up a lot!


Hi Kvan,
That's a good way to look at it. I like that..thanks! I like my new filter..it's funny I almost have to learn to trust it. The mask drives me crazy! Thanks for asking.

Hi NJ,
Thank you so much! Poet of the sky. I think something is changing for me. I am not sure how to explain. I will look up Carline Jasper. Always appreciate your comments.

Kelly M. said...

found your blog via Casey K. It seems in the dead of winter we are blessed with these amazing sunsets -- you've captured the essence of fluid light!

loriann said...

Hi Kelly, Thanks for making the trip to my blog! (and thank you Casey) You are so right, the dead of winter is full of beautiful skies. Thank you about my work!

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Hi Loriann - I felt sure if it had been connected you'd have said so before now.

Although I can well understand people's concerns - the thought also crossed my mind.

loriann said...

Hi Katherine,
Yes, the thought had crossed many minds, so I decided just to say it for the many that didn't write. Rest at ease friends.