Friday, December 16, 2011

Sleeping Kate

18x26in pastel

A pastel that I have recently brought to completion. My goal was to paint the figure with the same layers of color linework and crosshatched color as I paint my rocks and most importantly I wanted to achieve a likeness. That's the technical side. I also wanted to paint a portrait of my wife who is always moving about when she finally found peace at the end of a stressful day curled up in the living room chair. I started from a sketch and some photo references(she never woke) and finished it up in the studio.   I haven't painted alot of figures let alone portraits over the years. I lost interest after hundreds of drawings in college. But lately the figure has been creeping back into my landscape painting and after seeing the MPS show  I thought it was time to tackle it again. I recently finished a unit on the figure with my students. They did not want to draw from the model, mostly because of a fear of failure. The figure and portraits can be very intimidating. This began a discussion on risk. I often tell them that without risk there can be no art and finding and facing that moment of risk is a constant struggle for artists.      I was recently reading a great book called "How to be a Graphic Artist and not Lose Your Soul" by Adrian Shaughnessy and he came up with an equation that defines creativity in the best way. RISK+DISCOMFORT+SWEAT(+-INSPIRATION)= CREATIVITY
He says that there can be no creativity without risk and he goes on to say that "We have to flirt with failure if we are to produce anything with genius in it."
Now, I'm not saying  this is any work of genius but it is an excursion out of my comfort zone into new territory.

Dawn Light, Live Oak

When the sun hit this Live Oak tree in Oldfields SC. it cast a rosy, orangish glow that gradually faded to gold then disappeared. I started it on site last summer but didnt quite get the shadow colors the way I wanted. Tweaked it in the studio last weekend and as a color sketch I'm satisfied now with the result. 9x9in oil