Monday, August 20, 2012

memory and luminosity

This is a recent pastel memory painting.
Many people have asked me about painting from memory, feeling it is an impossibility for them. Let me tell you it's not. The most important thing is observe carefully and to record the memory with precise words. Words like orange water or light blue in the sky will not bring the memory back clearly. Instead descriptive passages like- dull orange glow with underlying green or dusty cerulean in a value 2 steps lighter than the water, those words will work. Those are the kind of words that can bring a memory back months later. Making a strong vision in your head, so strong you can see it when you turn your back on the inspiration.
Why go through all this when you can just paint plein air or with a  photograph? When you rely on memory you distill. From the distillation you receive clearly that which is  important.

For me it is the only way I paint the real it- luminosity.

7 comments:

Casey Klahn said...

This is an impressively observed pastel from memory. It illustrates your idea perfectly.

When I paint from memory, which includes over half of my work, I tend to capture the line and shape ideas. Your thoughts on the colors are very informative. Perhaps I do record simple color ideas in my mind, but I very much like your description.

~KC

loriann signori said...

Thank you Casey! It makes sense to me that half of your work is done from memory. Without fussing, you follow your idea and then your intuition. Intuition and trust-good stuff.
Turner was an amazing intuitive painter, who unfortunately didn't care a fig about archival needs. Still his work with luminosity will blow me away.
Paint on my friend!

Celeste Bergin said...

I am completely in love with your memory paintings!

loriann signori said...

Thanks so much Celeste!!!!

SamArtDog said...

One of your best posts ever! You made a great point clearly. And as for the memory painting, well, as my grandfather would say, "That painting can take a lot of looking."

loriann signori said...

Hi Sam, Was your grandfather a painter? Thanks about my post.

SamArtDog said...

Yes.