Thursday, January 6, 2011

Night Drilling

Night Drilling
December 17, 2010
16" x 16"
Oil on Canvas

   This painting is very hard to photograph. It has many different blue layers used to create deep dark spaces, especially on the bottom left, and because it is painted in oil paint some of the areas end up with a high gloss surface. This makes a very interesting painting when you are standing infront of it, but a nightmare to capture with a camera. So much of its color, texture, and brilliance is lost in the image above.
   My significant other has taken magnificent and inspiring photos of drilling rigs in Northern Canada. I couldn't resist using one of his images for a painting. This particular image caught my interest immediately. It gave me the opportunity to exercise my skills. I was able to focus on a representative image that was completely abstract to me. I don't know a single name for any of the parts of this image, all I know is that it is a rig. I focused on breaking down the space into shape and color. I didn't even realize until I was almost done that there was a person in a white hard hat on the rig floor. 
   I pulled out all my tubes of blue paint for this one, there are so many subtleties created in blue hues. I am often drawn to the color blue and I was pretty confident that I knew exactly how to handle it in oil paint, but this one proved me wrong. I love that about painting, it often shows me that I don't know it all, just when I thought I knew something, I don't.
   This painting has caused me to consider what is possible in creating backgrounds and compositions to surround figures. It was a no fail composition for a square canvas allowing me to focus on the paint and creating interesting spaces collaborating together to form a whole painting.
   This painting also gave me the opportunity to do something meaningful and valuable for someone who has done and given so much for me. Thank you my love for all your encouragement.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Cara's Painting, Bringing in the New Year!

Cara's Painting (a temporary title)
December 31, 2010
3' x 4'
Acrylic on Canvas

   What a way to bring in the New Year! A glass of Bailey's on ice in one hand and paint brushes in the other! After getting together the show that went up in November, teaching classes, and Christmas I really needed to have myself a good painting session. In all the hub-bub of the holidays, in the season of giving, I sometimes give up a little too much of myself. My attention, my time, my thoughts. I get a little wrapped up in it. Finishing this painting helped me to centre myself. Become grounded again. Reminded me of who I am and what I am about.
   I started this painting a long time ago. It is a commissioned piece. I had many reference photos to choose from along with several ideas and compositions. This created a huge problem. I hate when I am a little too creative and I become a detriment to my work or goal. There were just so many possibilities with this piece. It could have gone anywhere and turned into so many things. I am very satisfied with how it turned out.
   I started it mid summer. It was going to be orientated the other way with the width being 4ft. The canvas is covered in layers of paint, shadows of several different compositions which turned into a pleasant layering effect. It started out in black and white, then adding color. The black border was there from the beginning. Then I took away color and changed the orientation. Then at the beginning of December it really started to come along. The composition was there. I had a solid feeling about it. The height, size, and orientation helps give strength to the composition. This painting has become about strength and attraction. The pushing and pulling of the spaces in between. The couple in the portrait are of course in love. There is space between them but in that space there is this attractive force that connects them even though they are not touching. They are both hard working individuals that work with their hands as their tools. While painting their hands I really lost myself.
   The painting had an extremely crappy start. It was a horrid painting that had no where to go but up (or slash it with a knife into tiny bits, but even that would have been interesting). Normally, for those who are following may know, I work with oil paint and paint quite quickly. This one is in acrylic.The whole thing remained in acrylic paint, even the heart is glossy with acrylic gel. I was intending to do an under painting, figure out the composition, and then paint with oils over top. The monochromatic scheme of it started to make it so dramatic I started to think that maybe I would just glaze over it with oil and experiment a bit (which, in the end, I decided against).  It was such crap when I started that I treated the whole thing as an experiment, which as a really freeing experience. I was completely open to ruining the whole thing and having to start over on a new canvas. I worked through it and gained so much knowledge through the process. It was difficult yet well worth it. Much like life.