Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The progression of a painting.

As I mentioned in the last couple of posts...I've been working on a big project for the last couple of weeks.  One part of the project was to create a painting to compliment a piece I created several years ago, called "The Nest".  Same size, similar in color palette, but not too..."matchy".

So to get started I sat with my little girl at the kitchen table (see all of the pretty paintings she made while we worked?)

while I sketched some birds based on a bunch of photographs.

Then I started to paint.  The surface was actually several pieces joined together - like the orignal "Nest" painting, I wanted to have a variety of materials to work on - canvas, natural wood, primed boards, etc.  I also wanted the same shape - 24" x 48" - but a different division of space.

I moved the pieces around, trying different formations and color combinations.  At first I really liked the circular feel of the bowl with the eggs, but once I looked at it together with the original "Nest" - it seemed too dis-jointed - like each piece was it's own little painting, and not coming together as one big piece.

So I switched gears a little bit - looked for one larger image that could intersect several quadrants and pull everything together.  This wingspan felt powerful and magestic and incorporated all of the sections.

But there was a new problem - the curve of the tree on the left too closely mirrored the shape of the birds wings on the right - very repetitive, and boring.  So I painted that section over again.

Now we were getting somewhere.  The little silhouettes of white birds created a new sense of scale and pattern that didn't detract from the large set of wings.  The colors were working together, within the painting and as a compliment to "The Nest"

After a little more definition and adding more color to the black wings, I added the bird on the lower right from my sketchbook.  I needed an element in that corner to complete the big arc that was formed by the large black wings - something to bring the eye back into the painting.

This was an interesting experience for me, to re-visit a painting from several years ago, working with a limited time frame and different materials (acrylics vs. oils due to drying time).  I liked that I could re-work the piece over and over, building up a history to the surface.  If I had a chance to stare at it, live with it a little longer, I may have made a few minor changes.  But on the other hand, it was nice to not dwell on it for too long - make a decission, and stick with it!


Lrc said...

I like seeing the progression of your painting. I like how it came together, the wing of the bird and the sections.

Dora Sislian Themelis said...

Looks great. I like where you're taking it. Your daughter's paintings are good, too!

Krystyna81 said...

Dora...I love watching my kids paint! they come up with some beautiful little abstracts.

Lrc...I'm glad you like it! I'm glad I remembered to take photos...it really did change a lot.