Friday, January 9, 2009

my journey to a painting continues...


One week ago, I posted an entry on my latest piece - how I was inspired to create a painting of Swiss chard, how I went about the photo shoot and how this led me to sifting through my photos for an image that captivated me.

After playing about with my photos in Photoshop, I found an image that worked for me. It is a close up of one of the stalks and it looks like this.

So why did I choose this image? Why do I want to paint/draw it? Mainly for the beautiful shapes created by the backlighting. When I focus on these shapes, the image takes on an abstract quality. It becomes more than just a picture of a chard stalk. I also love the hills and valleys in the darker sections and the wonderful colours in the veins and in the shadows. I know it is hard to see all of this in such a small image but trust me, they are there. :-)

My next step was to create the drawing. I have finished a line drawing. I have placed the major shapes and curves in the stalk in my initial drawing. From there, once I start using my coloured pencils I will continue to draw as I work. Right now, the size of the drawing is something like 14" w and 5 or 6" h.

After that came the decision as to what sort of support I would use. When I was first inspired by the chard a few months ago, I made a point of grabbing some extra sheets of Colorfix paper the next time I was at my local art supply store. So, in the running are a 400 sheet of UART, an 800 sheet, Stonehenge of course and three different colours of Colorfix - a green sheet, a reddish one and a sheet that is a sort of mustard color. I took some pencils out and I worked on some scrap bits of paper to see which sheet gave me the look I am after. This is what the picture at the top of the post shows. I have my transfer paper out and ready to go as I think the final yes is going to a coloured sheet. Probably the reddish one...

Having invested so much time on this piece already, (I'm thinking back to my trip to a specialty supermarket to find Rhubarb chard) I was encouraged to read a statement yesterday by Vera Curnow (founder of the CPSA): "But, we all know that the conceptual stage of artwork often takes longer than the execution." Whew! I'm not the only one!! :-)

But hey, all I need to do now is transfer that drawing and then the cps come out. Yippee!

Finally, I would like to say that this piece, should it turn out favourably, will be a piece that I will consider entering into exhibitions and/or shows. That means that I need to ask readers to not give me critical feedback. This must be solely my work and I am not to be influenced to make changes etc. So in order to post this as a WIP, I ask that you refrain from giving me suggestions for improvement. I'm not trying to scare you off from posting a comment, I think saying my work is fabulous is allowed, :-) just no helpful hints. Thank you.

3 comments:

Jeanette said...

I find many beginning artists (and sometimes more experienced :)) tend to rush the preparation part of a drawing or painting. We all want to get to the 'juicy' part - the cp! Its good to see another person's process and the time and decision making in the preparation of a new piece.

The colours and shapes in this are fabulous. Your skills can turn this into a winner! Good luck with it, I'll be watching!

Maureen L Mitchell said...

What a great chronicle of the conceptual and planning process! I am really looking forward to seeing your finished piece. The photo of your preparation layout is impressive (if only my process was so organized...sigh) and the reference photo has a real ethereal feel, almost like stained glass. Wonderful!

Teresa Mallen said...

Hi Jeanette - ah yes, preparation. I think we have all had the experience of rushing a work, only to find that it gave us great problems later on. Fixing composition or drawing errors is a lot harder once things are well under way! Thanks for your confidence that I can turn this into a winner!

Maureen, thank you for your kind thoughts. I love your description of the reference photo. Ethereal feel indeed! And yes, it does have a stained glass quality...now I just have the wee job of trying to capture this!!