Wednesday, January 2, 2013

making mood

Mood is the reason we look at paintings again and again. Certain paintings just make us feel. Calculating the mood ahead of time can make the painting struggle and feel contrived. After the initial "feeling" you received from the subject/concept it is best to allow the painting to talk to you and make it's mood.  A direction will develop. A complex mood, something you can't easily name, will be a more interesting direction.
It seems that in a landscape the mood is created by the sky and the way it affects the land. The big question is, how much detail do you really need?  This question constantly haunts me. As I study the idea of detail and just how much is necessary for mood in a landscape I am studying the landscapes of Charles Warren Eaton. My painting above was done with his Winter Solitude (below) in mind. Last week, when I was in Connecticut, and I saw the beautiful swamp-like,  frozen waters and red tinted skies. Once the skies were soft lemon yellow and green gray. Another time the snow brought the melon slice to the horizon of gray. Those visions started my ideas moving.

Charles Warren Eaton's painting is truly inspirational.

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