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Posts Tagged ‘Patty’

13PattyRed3Horizontal

In 90 minutes.

Is it permissible to call a painting finished—fairly large, 24” x 30”—if it only takes you an hour and a half?  Yes.   Hail yes!

But this became an issue in class.  How can this be finished! It went so fast, didn’t even feel like work.

13PattyRed1This large painting was preceded by a smaller study, which took about NINE HOURS.  Here’s the study.  It seems stiffer, doesn’t it, but many compositional problems were worked out here.  By the time Patty, the artist/student, switched to the big canvas, she was so familiar with the basic dynamics that she could loosen up and play with all sorts of additional elements, like the vertical lines in the center.

As happens often, the work looks finished to me, but the artist has doubts.  The artist, of course, is closer to the work.

We often rotate a canvas in progress to get a better view of how shapes relate to one another.  In this case, both the study (which, btw, was originally planned as a finished painting, not a study) and the large, final painting were worked on in a vertical orientation. As we played the rotation game, the horizontal turned out to look better.   Let’s hear it for abstraction!

All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.

www.khilden.com 

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13PattyBlueGalapagosSome students in my painting class like to start with a photo taken during their travels.  Here’s one from the Galapagos.  Texture, shapes, lines, a bit of blue.  The photo itself looks pretty abstract already, but the ocean at bottom right gives it away as representational.

In order to help her disassociate the image from its literalness, Patty rotates the photo 90° counterclockwise.  She tapes it to the top of the easel, dips a 1” paint brush into some thinned sepia and draws the main lines on the photo onto her large fresh white canvas.   At this point, it’s safe 13PattyBlue1to say, she may still be thinking rather literally, her loyalty latched to the Galapagos photo.  The more paint she puts on the canvas, the more her loyalty will shift to the canvas and away from the photo.  The paint takes over.  Easy to say.  In fact, paint comes with all sorts of frustrations; it just does not do what the sunny, equatorial photo does.

The challenge is to let the paint take over.  One way to move in that direction is to reach for the big brush.  How about this one here, brand new and clean and THREE INCHES wide.

Take a deep liberating breath. Ooh, now we’re paintin’!

Patty’s painting is not finished, but I like it already.

13PattyBlue2

My students graciously put up with me when I consider their painting finished long before they themselves think it’s done.

All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.

www.khilden.com 

http://facefame.wordpress.com

http://katherinehilden.wordpress.com

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