Monday, July 16, 2012

why are you painting that?

oil on board, 20x20
Another wax medium painting, this time I was really playing with the layers on a textured board.
But more importantly, I want to talk for a moment about why we paint and the concept of "looking." These are just my thoughts.

When trying to understand the essence of the landscape (still life, figure) it's best to do it in a quick glimpse. Oftentimes we think that if we want to understand what is before us that we need to stare and analyze. Hmmmm, that is not the case. This is probably why memory painting works so well. A painter needs to look briefly and think and then respond. That works in the studio and en plein air. What is the purpose of looking and you really want to duplicate what you see?  Or are you trying to make a new special universe which relies on paint and color play rather than just  painting "it"? Count me in on that one.
What do you think?


Anonymous said...

I like this one above. Is the cloudy nature of some of the painting to do with the CWM?
To respond about your post: I think it’s a marriage of observing by sketching, (either detailed or loose), observing light direction and play of light AND memory painting. Terry Miura always makes me laugh as (on his blog) he calls memory painting ‘making it up’…which sounds far less glamorous and arty than ‘memory painting’.
I think it all depends on what type of painting you want to paint. If you like realism and detail, you may need to pay closer attention to observation with detailed sketch prep work. If, like me, your focus is on colour/colour combination and minimal composition then working from initial loose sketchbook studies, colour notes and memory seems to work well. You don’t have to know how to draw to be able to paint, but it sure helps with understanding your subject and the internal analytical process. I know you keep copious notebooks full of colour ideas, colour notes etc, so I’m sure you know what I mean. How are you finding working with CWM? .... I haven’t tried it yet…..and can't wait. Your blog is always an inspiration, Loriann.

Casey Klahn said...

Those shots of yellow work very well - love that.

I was reading @ Matisse' opinions on this. He wanted not to get a moment in time, but to leave that to the photographers. he wanted the essential character of the subject.

Lisa Le Quelenec said...

When I paint I try to capture the total of my experience, memory, thoughts and feelings about a place. I find it very difficult to paint a location if I have only visited once or twice.
Saying that I am in the middle of a couple of paintings of Venice which I visited six or seven years ago. It left a deep impression on me but when I tried to paint it on my return the results were unsatisfactory. I feel more confident now to paint it as all the itty bitty details are forgotten and the (for me) lasting attributes are left.

Have you ever lined up the images that you have made from a location in one view? It's interesting to see over a period of time how your focus changes from the same stimulus. It's one of the reasons I enjoy working in series that can be ongoing for years.

Btw I've enjoyed the complexity of the colours and tones in this piece it's very subtle.

helen said...


loriann signori said...

Hi everyone!
Sorry it has taken so long to reply. I have been in Washington working with Richard for the past 5 days and had little time for anything else. So first,
Maggie, hi,you make a good point that it differs for all, i simply state my feelings.As for the wax medium I really enjoy the buttery feel. the cloudy aspect of this painting was a lucky accident. it happened by the way I layered and when i saw what had happened I was delighted.I think you will like the wax medium. Work it with your palette knife to get it buttery before mixing it into paint. Thanks for all your kind words, loriann

Hi Casey, I agree with Matisse the essence is what it is all about.Thanks about the yellows!

Hi Lisa, You make a very important point. Time distills the information and the outcome from memory is what is important. When Inness painted he would intentionally wait before painting. I agree with you completely about the validity of working in a series. I have worked the river for over ten years and I am still not done. Working in a series frees us from thinking about the subject matter, you paint it so many times it starts to bypass the subject and go straight what matters. No postcards there. thanks for your words about this piece.

Hi Helen! Thank you!!!