One of the things I observed in studying
Georgia O'Keefe was that she often painted the
same landscape scene over and over again
searching for new ways to present it.
I find this a fascinating way to closely examine the elements.
So I've decided to re-visit some of the photo references I've used in past work and perhaps look at them slightly differently...at least in size and color if not a different representation all together.
My Father's World, tobacco barn
24 x 24, oil on cradled board
I love this lonely barn sitting atop a sloping hill with not much else around it. There is a bit of an implied path up to the opening so maybe it is still used for some work. It feels friendly and welcoming of visitors. This kind of scenery makes me start writing mental stories about all that the place has seen and experienced. My husband chose it to hang in a small condo we have.
But a revisit on a larger canvas started out differently:
Note that it is no longer a square shape and that it appears even lonlier as there are no trees planned. It feels "closed off" as you cannot see sky through the main door. And there is more emphasis on the drop off of the hill in the lower R corner.
Somehow I cannot get away from that red foreground! I was actually trying to go from yellow around the color wheel through orange on its way to red....ahhh, but the painter loves reds apparently.
There is some amazing depth of texture in this piece which the former lacked. And the colors are not blended but more abrupt in their changes. And there is no worn path leading up to the open door while the sky is darker and less cheerful. It feels sealed up and not welcoming to wanderers.
24 x 30, oil on canvas, untitled
And...it is done! Not a long way from the first version but changed enough to capture a different feeling. Somehow the reds to yellows seem so vibrant that this barn feels proud, not lonely or abandoned. Still standing with dignity (which could be a title?)
I think my assignment now could be to do it all in blues and grays attempting to get a totally different mood...perhaps one of sorrow or loneliness, a feeling of abandonment and disrepair, aging?
Let's see where that might go. Hope there are some folks interested in buying barns with personality!! Stand by...and thank you Ms. O'keefe for this exercise in studying the landscape.
REVEALING THE RED,