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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, January 19, 2018

Painting with Artistic License

It took me years to realize that permission
to change things was granted when
I picked up my "artistic license."

I love to look back on my own process and see where certain decisions got made about the direction of a work.  Somethings can be changed as the closing marks are laid down but some decisions get made right up front.

photo of a parkway overlook, cropped by folding

I liked the shadows in this photo made by the light coming through the trees.  But I made some executive decisions when I laid out the piece in a black/white/grey underpainting.

Already you can tell that I wanted more sky and background and that the brightest lights would be in the sky, the edge of the largest tree and then to the road.  I liked this layout and really thought it worked fine as executed.  The bits of orange I was trying to leave were from a painting underneath.  As I choose my final color palate however I decided not to leave them.  (Perhaps I should have stopped right here?)

I did ok  keeping my middle tones together and laying out where I thought I wanted the lightest lights to go.  

Then I lost all organization and decided to abandon the piece for a bit.   I had lost most of the original lights and the darks were mostly a blackish brown which was not very interesting.  I began to lose interest when I realized I had not kept the light areas connected as they originally were.

NOT looking at a piece for a while can be as helpful as taking the time to look closely.  I would occasionally set it back up on the easel and play around a bit never really being totally satisfied.  Keep in mind that the reason it has blue tape around it is because I was painting it in the frame.  Yes! Not something I suggest you try at home but I was experimenting on top of an old piece that I could not remove from the frame so what the heck...the fact alone made me willing to take some chances.

finished?  for now.

So I'm done.  I think.  It changed a lot and I still believe the foreground could use some simplification.  But nothing ventured, nothing gained.  I used my "license" not only for permission to change the reference photo but for using up the surface of another painting.  I don't think I made a silk purse out of a sow's ear but I do want to use this reference again in a different palate - I believe my rehearsal was well worth the time.  I may even take a white marker and redesign bits of it just for future use.  And, while you cannot see it here, painting on top of another piece made for a very interesting texture.  Onward....

Using My License to Practice (art),

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