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I believe that art enriches and informs our lives everyday in many positive ways. Sharing those experiences, whether as an artist or as an appreciator, is part of the pleasure. I welcome your comments and hope you find something of value: a laugh, an insight, a new idea or just a happy moment. Enjoy art!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Foraging a Garden

I take comfort in the numerous different styles
of Picasso, that he constantly found a new way to paint.
And I love that he said : 
Art is the elimination of the unnecessary.

I'm not a Picasso.  But if he can change his style and paint as the muse moves then why can't the rest of us?  I confess that I get restless painting in the same genre over and over again and often choose to play with a piece before I tackle it realistically.  Sometimes I like the "play" better than the "intentional." 

I have a supply of 12 x 16 black supports designated for "experiments." Color just seems to pop off the page when placed on black so I am having fun doing some simple pieces as I get familiar with my subject matter.  I can't wait to paint this foraging basket on an old chair in a more realistic manner but first I wanted to play as a way to get familiar with the lines and shapes of my subject.

chalk sketch of chair and basket

While this will result in a very simplistic painting, it actually involves a lot of pre-thinking.  To keep it simple I need to slow down and think about each color.  Using pre-mixed acrylics means I need to eliminate the unnecessary even before I touch a brush to the canvas.

step 2, the centerpiece

I start with the main focal point and eliminate everything else.  Where the chalk lines are will be a black outline, something I am trying hard to maintain.  There is no blending or shading of color; each segment is one color, forcing me to think about the shape of that color (something very useful in other applications).

Garden Forage, 16 x 12, acrylic

Here it is.  Part of the challenge with a colored support is to utilize that color in the composition.  Just like I did with the Angel Tree I wanted the black to play a major role in the subject matter.  I think it is very clear what we are looking at, no?

This is a great exercise.  It forces me to slow down and take the composition apart piece by piece and color-shape by color-shape.  It is almost meditative in its execution and a wonderful way to become very familiar with the subject at hand.  With an inexpensive support and fairly cheap paint I can play to my hearts content while learning more of the lessons that will show up in more complicated pieces.

Happily foraging,

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