Thursday, December 31, 2009

Red Boots and Umbrella

There are times you have to re-do a painting over and over and over. It can be frustrating and you can feel as down as a lone pickle in a barrel but it's truly a great lesson in persistence. The best artists keep hacking away at the problem till it's solved. There are several methods I use when I’m in a pickle. My critique groups are immensely helpful and are quick to see problems that I am simply blind to. Another helper is a document I wrote listing all the problem areas that seem to arise for me…for example #15 on the list reminds me to make sure I have both cool and warm colors and more of one than the other. Number 4 asks me to squint and see if the pattern of lights and darks in my painting create interesting shapes that lead the eye around the picture frame. Lastly, I spend a lot of time repainting my picture in my head to see how else I can get it turn out.

This is the third time I’ve painted Red Boots and Umbrella. I think I got it right this time though I may hear otherwise from my critique groups. The image for this painting came to me and I really haven’t been able to let it go. I first used myself as a model for the first set of photos but was dissatisfied. A friend posed for the second set of photos and that worked much better. I also set up a still life of the elements in my studio so I could refer to their real life presence as I painted. Red Boots and Umbrella is an oil on cradled hardboard, 18 x 36”. It’s title will change when the whole Red Boots show is shown.

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