Edges, Strokes, Temperatures and more

"Bonsai Experiment"
oil on primed hardboard, 9" x 12"

Usually, I carefully draw my still lifes before painting them. I have always had a burr under my saddle for this because it seems very much like "coloring book" activity when I am painting.

And it is! So, enough of that, already! I am changing that right now!

After yesterday, three big words were banging around in my head this morining: EDGES. STROKES. TEMPERATURE.

Okay. So that's how the teacher put it out there yesterday. That doesn't mean I am to copy his methods or the way he paints. I went there yesterday with big questions in my mind about those three things and got way more than I bargained for.

While this painting is sloppy in places, I was attempting a ton of new stuff all at once: If I was to paint a cool passage, I painted it warm first, then went over it with the cool color . . .which sets up a temperature vibration in the passage. (see the background in this piece).

Next, I realized this morning that I have not been using nearly enough paint on my palette or brush. Fixed thaaaaat!! :-)

Next, when I touched the brush to the panel, I was thinking "which way, with what rhythm do I want these strokes to appear?" I don't feel that I have this yet, but I do feel like there is a recognition and a gut feeling about it . . .and that is growing fast.

Finally, after a crit of six paintings yesterday, the comment was "Edges, edges, edges!!" And it was explained (I had never had and explanation before yesterday.) He was so right! So, I worked on those today, also. (After this writing, I will go back to the painting and fix a few . . .namely the one on the far right edge of the tall vase. Ugly! Sloppy!) And the one on the far left between the negative space and the box . . .it left a shape there I don't like.

Here's was I get from this practice piece: I am getting intermingling of colors that I adore! There is a huge improvement (and reason) of the edge work. I know where to look now! Also, instead of drawing with charcoal or paint first, I looked carfully at the shape and massed it in without line. I had done this with some drawing while in France and had not yet made the mental transer to my oil painting. DUH!! And, of course, letting the surface quality of the paint speak. This stuff is waaay more than making a pretty picture. This is about making paint look like PAINT not a tree or a vase or whatever. This is about making a piece of ART.

I may not be very good at it, YET. But I am determined to get there! More brush mileage! And more and more and more!

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