Thursday, April 7, 2011

the slough and the secret of life

18x18 pastel on art spectrum
Neutrals are the secret of life. It's as easy as that.

Each summer I spend as much time as I can in the Northwest, in particular La Conner and Orcas Island. Those two places just fill me with awe and inspiration. This painting had its start in the studio last summer. Memories of my favorite slough ignited the work. It's the same slough where I lost my key, met the baby bear (while looking for the key) and painted with Casey.
Since summer the painting has sat in the corner (staring at me) for 8 months. Yesterday I looked at it and I knew what to do. It was simple. The secret was in neutrals.


Jala Pfaff said...

Wow, wow, wow!

loriann said...

Thanks Jala, I see you keep odd hours as well!

Donna T said...

Wow is right! I expect to see this one in a show with a ribbon on it! Thank you for sharing the secret of life :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Loriann,
This painting has some beautiful color transitions. I like the gestural lines & the reflections in the water. You have made the water the larger part of the painting while the sky is compressed. The yellow in the trees {upper right hand corner} and the light on the water this is a wonderful touch that pushes the space further back. The placement of the horizon line helps to create a feeling of looking up not across the scene. I also like the mix of blue and green on the left side plus the dark colors above that. Also by not showing the sky on that side combined with the dark colors you have pushed that area forward while the right side is pushed away from us.

I agree that neutrals are the secret for they provide a resting place for the eye and to help connect the shapes. It is also a question of working between being too balanced or having too much of either darks, mid-tones or light values. Painting is like cooking-too bland and it is blah-cannot be eaten, too spicy -you cannot really enjoy it. You write that this painting sat in your studio for 8 months-reminds me of old fashioned Italian cooking in which you let it simmer on the stove until it comes together


Casey Klahn said...

Answer to Brenda's question 6 April: that was a Wolf Kahn quote. I apply it constantly, now.

Are these greens from your Girault set?

As a witness to this slough in real life, I can vouch for Loriann's ability to simplify - that is remarkable. This is a favorite among many.

I am more attracted to the intensities and lack thereof, than I am the neutrals. That's just me.

Total YES on the gesturals. They are many and varied, and the casual observer won't see that.


Lisa Le Quelenec said...

I love the markmaking in this, the way the marks and colours weave together. The sweet spot of limey/yellow sings of spring to me. Happy painting.

Pam Holnback said...

Great composition. Love the close-up feel.

Deb Stewart said...

I think this may be a favorite of mine. I love much of it - composition, colors and depth.

loriann said...

Hi Donna and thank you very much! I appreciate your confidence in my work!

Hey NJ,
You are so right, painting is like cooking and I can NEVER follow a recipe..I always have to wing it! Being of Italian descent and learning how to make a good sauce at a very early age, I know that it is never any good until it has sat in the fridge for at least a day. I guess that's the same with paintings.
This was one of my push the envelope of space paintings. I wish i had taken a picture before I began the total reconstruction. You wouldn't recognize it! My motto has always been,"if it isn't delicious it's not precious." I attacked it with complete abandon!
Thanks for your comment!

Hi Casey,
The greens in this come from so many different makers. The only pastel variety I don't own are Henri Roche pastels (too expensive of a habit to even think of beginning!).
It's always interesting to hear others' thoughts! Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Hi Lisa and thank you. It really was fun to bring this one together!

Hi Pam and thank you!

Hi Deb! I am delighted that you like it!