Monday, April 25, 2011

what mood do you want to create?

22x36 pastel on marble dust

I once read somewhere to allow motion to equal emotion. It seems to be true. A calm surface produces a more tranquil feeling and a surface full of "happy dance marks" makes one feel warm, good. The mood of the painting is in direct correlation to the mood of the painter. For example the painting (above) is named Hope and Longing. It was to be called just Longing for it was begun on what should have been my Mom's birthday. She had died 8 years prior so I was thinking about her a lot, as I do each July 29th. After returning from my annual trip to Washington State I was filled with ideas about my favorite field, a place filled with daisies and love. I returned home to the studio and played my Mom's favorite arias and painted. It was one of those times when the painting spoke to me and the course of it was altered. A bright spot of diffuse sunlight appeared in the distance- alas, hope was here. My Mom left too early and I still miss her now, but that painting was a turning point for me. The surface is made up of a combination of scratched and smooth marks.
 This one, a painting from another favorite field on Orcas Island was all about happiness. The mark is like a dance.
Another component to creating mood is carefully choosing your color scheme. Does it reflect the mood you want to create?  To me, Rothko was a the create creator of mood with his exquisite choice of color. Oftentimes I feel warm deep down to my stomach when I view a Rothko.
When painting a mood you have to really feel that emotion and use every tool necessary including:  music, writings, smells,whatever you have in your toolbag, The viewer wont's see it if you don't feel it.
There is more to creating mood in paintings. Please share your ideas in the comment section. Ciao for now!


Double "D" said...

Good Morning B,
I remember the top painting. It has a wonderful mood that shows your loving feelings for your Mom. It shows the sorrow you feel but the happiness of your memories. Always liked this one.
The second I think I remember. It's subtle but shows the excitement you have for being there. Definitely has a feeling of calm and happiness you have for this place.

When do you leave for your trip to Washington?
Paint on oh great one!

Jane Hunt said...

It sure gave me happiness when I saw this piece! So many "moody" paintings can across as melancholy - yours don't, and I love that about your work

Katherine van Schoonhoven said...

For me, it's a chicken and egg kind of question. More often, my feeling comes first and informs my color choice and mark making. I have not been able to paint an intentionally "happy" or "melancholy" painting. But, when I go with the feeling I already have and allow the painting process to magnify it, sometimes it becomes something very expressive.

There are times when I can ignore the feeling, especially if I am focused on getting shapes right or really zooming in on a detailed rendering. But, mostly my mood hangs out there like a red flag and I am el toro and must aim for it.

Great questions, beautiful paintings, wonderful thoughts. You always share with great generosity and I appreciate it!

Celeste Bergin said...

thanks for sharing your "Mom's paintings" with us..I am pretty sure I would understand that the paintings were heartfelt, even if I hadn't read the words about what led you to paint and finish them. It is an extra bonus to know (and confirm what you felt when you created them).

loriann said...

Hi PB!
Thanks for you comment! I leave for Washington on June 16th...yipee!

Hi Jane! I like your observation of moody vs melancholy. Very different is right. Thank you!!!!

Hey Kvan, I like your way of saying it's like a red flag..el toro and yes of course you must aim for it.
Yes, I too can not intentionally paint happy or sad. I need to feel that way. When working on a piece that has that little tricks help me "carry on." Often times the notes I write about my experience at a place really can help. Do you use notes in the studio?

loriann said...

Hi Celeste!
Thank you for your words about my paintings...we just keep trying, eh?

Joan Breckwoldt said...

What an amazing post and what amazing work you are doing. You are doing so much more than painting, you are feeling your paintings and it's a marvel to watch. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, I know I am growing from your "lessons".
p.s. I especially like the painting about happiness!

Jala Pfaff said...

I'm sorry about your mom. What were her favorite arias?

You know what, in the detail, it looks to me like a finished painting, of a semi-abstract Native American type woman in a big white dress. It's what I immediately saw.

Caroline said...

I agree very much with you about the mood of the work being important. I had been working on my expressive landscapes which were of snowy scenes mostly painted with a knife and they were very vital with life the colours of blues. I had a request for seascapes so I took out of my oil drying shelf in the cupboard a few of the seascapes some were works in progress, suddenly the mood of my studio changed it became so peaceful and happy a place to be in, it replaced the wild elements and energy of the snowy oil paintings in blues. It stuck me that day how important mood is in painting. Sad about your mum but it is good you had a day in her memory painting a special painting.

Katherine van Schoonhoven said...

Yes, notes help. Notes and memory of the feeling. Music may help me sustain a mood, too. I often do a stream of consciousness paragraph about the feeling sometime at the beginning of the painting. I write down all of the associations I have and those help me get back to it if I don't paint the whole thing in one chunk.

Love hearing about your mom. Sorry she's gone.

Donna T said...

What a beautiful tribute to your mom, Loriann, and definitely a very moody painting. It's as if the painting is more about the mood than the flowers. I know you couldn't have painted this if your feelings weren't so strong.