Saturday, November 19, 2011

Away From the City


Old California Trail, 16 x 38 inches, oil on linen


This is a new painting. I haven't abandoned the city - just needed a little break. Painting the hustle and bustle of the city is exciting but after long periods of doing nothing but that... well, I can't think anymore and I need a mental vacation. So I go to this quiet spot, slow waaaay down, paint something  that calms me down.

Tall eucalypti, muted "old" colors, solitude. Ahh, that's the ticket. Not a car in sight! No pedestrians! I hear no honking and no diesel engine noises. 

This painting looks a little tight compared to my recent city things, but that's only because of its scale. It's actually painted pretty loosely. "Loosely" doesn't mean it's painted quickly. As I said above, I slowed waaay down. Thinking about each stroke as I put it down, trying to make it look nonchalant, but in the right place, with the right shape, and integrated into its neighboring stroke. Consequently, shaping these trees took a long time.  I want them to look like they just fell out of my brush, but that spontaneity is an illusion. 

I've seen other artists do it quickly and in single passes, but how they're able to do that is beyond me. May be I just need more practice or may be my brain doesn't work that way. I don't know. I'd like to be able to do that, but going slowly is kinda nice. Meditative. Quiet. That's what I was looking for in this piece to begin with, after all.


Happy Thanksgiving! Slow down a little, eh?



5 comments:

  1. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too. This is clearly NOT a turkey--like it alot. Looking at its size, is it a studio from PA reference or all PA? Love the colors of eucalyptus trees--each variety has a different set of colors.

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  2. thanks vicki!

    this is all studio, out of my head. when I said "I go to this quiet spot" I meant mentally. LOL sorry for the confusion!

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  3. Terry, considered that as a possibility but thought I'd ask first. Again, really nice.

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  4. Eh!!! Sounds a little Canadian to me. Love your work, inspired by it.

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