Paint Out Loud...the story behind the art
Even I am fascinated when I look back at the beginning of a painting and then forward to the finished piece. Often I feel "How did that happen?" sometimes it is "HOW did that happen?" - you see the difference? There are times when I am dismayed.
One of the reasons I love oil paint is that it smears so well, it makes great texture, and it will cover up what I don't like . If you have read my "About" you know that I try to proceed with as little thinking as possible. You could make lots of jokes about that, but it is harder than it sounds. I want to guide the paint gently, but I want it to take its own path and time to get there. So much happens along the way that makes the painting beautiful. If I have been controlling it, those beautiful areas would not be there.
I started this painting on a large canvas - 30 x 40, turned vertically, which seems to be my preference. I had a photo to start with and I laid in loose areas and lines with wild colors in acrylic. Then I put the photo away and had fun.
Often I am not sure what colors will be used. Maybe I have thought I want to use red. And I'll start with red, but possibly the other colors I pull out don't look good with it, so then everything changes. Maybe the red will have to go.
Below is my progress on my painting, "Evening Lit", Oil on Canvas, 30 x 40. Click here for information.
A little video about how I started this painting. This is really a fun part of painting for me. I believe in the beauty of paint and I want to provide the hands that allow it to smear and drip and change colors and intensity. For me it is important to work up some energy on the canvas.
Typically when I am painting, I like to know that I have the time to take it almost to completion. I used to do alot of stop and starts, but I try not to do that anymore...it breaks the energy. I will take breaks during the process. Step away and come back and look at it again. Or I will take it outside in a different light to see what it looks like, or put it up on a wall in my house and get some distance from it. But I do that once I have started moving the painting in a direction.
At some point in all the fun I have to start making decisions. For this painting those decisions are directed by my inspiration. I must leave some things out, I must choose a color direction, I must make sure there are enough darks. But even when I do that, I try my best not to think too much, and to be as intuitive and spontaneous as possible.
I am looking for the surprises that happen with the paint and this spontaneous approach and almost always they are the most beautiful.
I started with a canvas that has already been painting, but for a number of reasons just did not make the cut. I like painting-over. Lots of nice texture and color alrea;dy there. The photo below is right after I covered over the canvas. It is beautiful just like this!
If you want to watch my progress go on to the next post: http://www.nandavisart.com/paint-out-loud/aretha-and-i-working-together
Aretha and I working together
Aretha and I Part 1
Can you think of more fun than grooving with Aretha Franklin while you do your "thing"? This is a series of how Aretha Franklin helped me create a lovely painting....I had so much fun. Never underestimate the power of great music! I am sure you know that.
Often I paint in silence, it feels soothing to me, but for this painting I was definitely in the mood for some great rhythm and soul and Aretha was my go-to. I got great energy from her music - who wouldn't.
The canvas already had a completed piece on it that was nice - but nice is all....so I decided to use the great texture that was there and paint over it. The music helped to distract me from what was already down so that I could go in a completely fresh direction.
I hope you'll follow the series and see how I go from painting over a piece, to a new completed piece...ah, what would I have done without Aretha?
Next post shows photos of stages in the painting, and then the final painting:http://www.nandavisart.com/paint-out-loud/aretha-and-i-completing-a-painting
"Sunflower", Oil on canvas, 24 x 30
I want to show you the stages of paint. You've seen the videos in my earlier posts, now this shows you another shot of the development.
Thank you for staying with me through this painting process. This one was fun and I am happy with the results. Did you see how I started? It might be interesting for you if you missed it: http://www.nandavisart.com/paint-out-loud/aretha-and-i-part-2-painting-energy-and-inspiration
"Sunflower" Oil on canvas, 24 x 30
Instead of napping I started going through some old photos. You know how that is - you can get lost in those. And I have lots of nice photos that I have taken in various places thinking I might paint them one day. And this one image just called to me "hey, paint me!"
Maybe it was the colors that I needed on the gloomy day - the yellows and touch of orange - but I was hooked. Just what I needed to get a little lift.
I decided this one would go with the other oil paintings in my small works:
I squeezed out lots of paint, pulled out my palette knives and laid in the areas. Next I loaded up a knife and started pulling luscious paint across the panel. And I got lost in it - and the image also allowed me to carve into the paint. Look closely and you can see how thick the oil paint is in places - all the elements I needed to brighten my gloomy day - gloomy no more.
I've been "dancing" with this canvas for a couple of days now - but we are not hearing the same music...LOL. I've been painting pretty small for a while and have this nice big canvas and I want to cover it with luscious color and texture and I will want you to oooh and ahhh. Hmmmm.
We haven't become one yet and so I am pushing paint from one side of the canvas to the other side hoping there will be an interesting collision and this painting will start taking shape. I know it will happen, but I don't know when.
I made a commitment to myself in the last couple of years is to paint the way I want to - make the strokes and marks that I want, that feel good to me. Actually it was a decision to give in to what I do naturally, and just like with the paint, let what I do naturally take over.
My theory is that if I do that, and am persistent, that I will create work that I feel very good about and that also someone else will connect with it. I will no longer paint what I think will be popular or in a way that I think will be popular. That was hard to give up - following what I thought would be "popular" - because, yes, it is important to me to sell paintings.
Those actually were hard decisions. It means I have to free myself from so many things. For approximately the past year I have been able to paint consistently for the first time in my life. It has really changed everything. I began to understand that my specific hand and eye will create something with my spin on it - and that will be satisfying and sometimes exhausting, but it is a big step forward for me since I have never truly trusted myself.
Deep subject. And I wasn't trying to discover any of that, but in the process of working to become a better painter, I have learned some things about my life process. And to get even deeper there seems to be a correlation with this painting, and how I do it, and the themes in my life. More on that later.
For now I am waiting for the dance to begin with this canvas and the paint. I'm just getting warmed up, following the steps I know and some time soon we will hear the same music. It's pretty exciting when that happens. Beautiful things appear.
Be sure to watch Part 2 and don't miss Part 3.
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Part 2 Watch the colors grow!
Although most of my work now is with oil paint, I love starting with acrylics. They are everything that oils are not - fast drying, easy clean up and so great for finding your direction. And because they dry so quickly I can put layers on and often I can scrape through the oils and - there they are! Fun! It is very easy to be spontaneous with acrylics and warm up and get set up for possibilities.
I have been working pretty small for a while so a large canvas feels good. Alot of space to cover, however, so you better have some pretty interesting things to "say". And one of the things the early part of a work is about - is finding out what I want to say.
The acrylics give me a chance to practice what I want to say - and they give layers of color and texture, that will mostly be covered over, but parts of them peek through or I scrape through to them. They are important. Sometimes it is hard to leave behind those beautiful accidents when I move on to pull a piece together and make it really work. - does that sound philisophical? I think it is.
Even though I am wanting to know what I will "say", in this painting the first part for me is about not controlling. My favorite painting tools that keep me from too much control are kitchen spatulas. In Part 3 when you see the finished piece I think you will appreciate the beauty of loose movements with the painting tools.
As the areas of color began to work together I can see where to assert myself. It really becomes fun. The colors grow and support each other. One makes the others stand out more, and they take shapes, and combine and the canvas moves toward becoming a work of art. My gift of color and texture and content on a flat 2D surface.
I am beginning to feel excited as it comes together - I must be moving in the right directions and I got here by letting everything , including myself, work together - with a little nudge here and there.
If you missed the videos of me starting I think you'll find it interesting in Part 1 and for sure don't miss Part 3!
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Part 3....It is a Painting!
I was interested in painting emotion. And I was interested in painting figures
I hired two dancers and spent a couple of hours with them - me with a camera . I put on great music and let them express themselves. They started moving around, "warming" up to the music and the presence of one another.
I stayed silent and out of the way and took lots of photos and at that time I wasn't thinking about how they would look in a painting - I was also lost in the music and in the movement of these two dancers.
Slowly they began to come together and instead of poses, they let the music lead them, and they moved and danced and it was wonderful.
"Two" is one of the paintings that came from that session. I actually love it.
When I began painting "Two" I decided that I wanted darker colors - not bright, and as the painting developed I decided that it was important to lose some of the lines and shapes that would separate the figures. In places I wanted it to work as one figure. I feel it is a very intimate painting.
I painted it about 6 years ago and it has been one of the pieces that I decided I did not want to sell. Now, 2017, I am taking it off my wall and offering it for sale.
It is 24 x 36, oil painting, unframed. Shipping is included and the price is $825. This is at present, a part of my collection that I am offering...available only through this offering for now. If you are interested, please contact me at email@example.com. I want to find a good home for this wonderful painting, "Two".
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