Wednesday, December 31, 2008

my journey to a painting...


It's time to start a new piece. I thought it might be fun to detail the various steps that make up my journey towards a finished work. So here we go...

First I need inspiration for a subject. A few months ago, I was rereading an old art magazine. I came across an image of an oil painting a woman had done. The subject was swiss chard. I was struck by the colours she used in the chard as well as the lighting in the piece. Suddenly I was inspired!

Next came the search for some chard. I wasn't looking for just any chard, I wanted Rhubarb chard as it has red stalks. I finally found a specialty supermarket that carried a a wonderful variety of veggies. I found the variety I wanted but I was disappointed to see that much of the lovely stalks were trimmed off. Nevertheless, I left with a few bags of still life material and/or a vegetable for supper.

After trying to get the oodles of chard home without any tearing or crushing taking place, I now had to set up a place for my photo shoot. The lighting was getting just right on the back deck. I set up a portable table (one that I use at art shows). I needed a white background so I used a sheet of mat board. The mat board was one of several sheets that I purchased for a ridiculously inexpensive price a few years ago. Little did I know that it was on sale because it was flawed. Each sheet had dirty flecks imbedded in the surface fibers. Obviously something had gone wrong during manufacturing. The mat board wasn't suitable for framing paintings but I have found some wonderful uses for it. Here is a picture of my setup.


The next photo gives you a sense of the lighting. You might also notice my husband's hockey equipment getting aired out.

Once things were set up, I had to work fairly fast. My lighting was quickly changing as the sun was moving behind trees and the warm sun was actually wilting the chard. I wasn't sure what exactly I was looking for. Initially I wanted to feature the long stalks. Notice my bit of tape in the next photo? I was trying to piece stalk bits together to create what I was after. Photo shoots aren't as glamour as one might think! :-)

I took lots of photo from different angles. These are just a couple of examples. I am sure you get the idea.

I was busy on other projects so I left the photos on the camera for use at a later date and I cooked up my still life material for supper.

Fast forward to the end of December. I am now ready to revisit these photos. I have just started editing them and the image at the beginning of this post gives you an idea of where I am currently heading. I shall keep you informed of my progress...

7 comments:

Jeanette said...

The colours in rainbow chard are wonderful and I know you'll produce another beautiful piece out of this.

I'm afraid, I'd just be buying it to draw or paint. Just can't eat it...one of those food associations with bad times.

Jeanette said...

And......Happy New Year!

Jan said...

I think Swiss Chard is beautifully colored and I'm sure your painting will end up beautiful as well. I'll be watching your progress.

Happy New Year to you!

Teresa Mallen said...

Jeanette and Jan, thanks for your kind assurance that this will be a beautiful piece! I have some pretty goofy photos to work from but hey, it is all part of the challenge, right? :-) Happy New Year to both of you.

Teresa said...

Love the colors in the chard and can't wait to see the painting as it progresses!

Beth said...

This looks very interesting. I will be checking in to see what you do with it.
Thanks for stopping by and Happy New Years!

Teresa Mallen said...

Hi Teresa and Hi Beth, thanks for stopping by. It feels strange showing the WIP from as early on as the idea stage...I am as curious as everyone else to see what develops!