Today's painting... "The Big Zee/Zed" demonstrates very clearly that exciting painting subjects can be found... and successfully painted... despite the predominant green veil everywhere one looks in the landscape. But as I suggested in my last post, the onus is on the artist to "make the scene his or her own." Which often means painting in and out aspects of the subject... and even painting with the palette of colour which supports your vision... or "The Idea" that you wish to capture and present.
There is little question that the challenge to paint outdoors... without the studio support system... facing the elements... insect attacks and the overwhelming visual imagery before you can be daunting... even discouraging to the novice. But like everything else in the human experience... if one persists with determination and desire... learns and is open to the lessons that are only found..."out there"... the pay back is immense and will provide tools that apply and can be used successfully ion the studio as well. One never forgets how to ride a bike... ever. But one must conquer the initial fear... and practise to gain confidence and skill.
I am offering today's painting as an encouragement to a young and very talented artist, Kim Rempel who has very successfully launched into a plein air orbit. What "She" is producing is surprising "her"... but not "Me." I always recognized the potential in her deft brushwork... good eye for composition displayed in her daily 6x6 panels. Having moved to a broader and more challenging space... she has "raised the bar" ... and will from now on continue to do so! Good on "You" Kim!
I pass this site many times in a month... and it never fails top yell, "Paint me!" I have even stopped to get a digital on different occasions. But as is the case with all of us... life gets in the way... and the image gets lost in the visual library... until you get the "overdue notice." I finally decided to "just do it"... and pulled out a longish 12x24 inch canvas which best suited the panoramic feel that I needed.
When I visited the site... I found the field to be planted with grain... likely wheat... which though it was a vast sea of a rich teal blue hue... lacked the interest which I had in my head. So I visited my files and found a jpeg which capture the field... golden and rust clad in ripening canola.
The basic structure was the same in both. It was that huge and elongated "zed" that divided the field so gracefully... so naturally into an exciting prospect. I decided to really "give the deck a shuffle"... and chose to begin the painting process on a white canvas. Not standard practice for this ritual-based painter! Secondly... I simply bled very diluted OMS washes of Indian Yellow across the width of the canvas at the sky level ... beginning at the top. To this, I added thinned bits of burnt sienna as I approached the field level of the canvas.I allowed this to run and form "fingers" that reached down into the raw canvas below... making no attempt to manipulate or remove them. I then moved away from the easel and let this "Idea" set and form a foundation for beginning the real painting process.
At this point... I paused to decide what matter of painting I would employ to actually commit to the painting. I decided to play my "wild card" at this point. I reached into my box and hauled out my dormant medium painting knife - too long ignored and forgotten... except for "executing" my failures when they appeared. The knife took away my predisposition to work in detail... sometimes... admittedly too much detail. It left a loosely painted and fresh rendering of the subject... that pleased "Me" greatly!
The actual painting with the knife was actually a lot of loading and dragging... downward mostly at the beginning. But that motion shifted to a horizontal and smoother and thicker application of pigment as the process continued. I could not at this time tell you how the values and colours emerged... or what their derivation might be. "I" was .. in "The Zone"... transfixed and unaware of any guidance system. It was easy to cease painting. I did so... at the very moment... when I had too think ... "Where does the next stroke need to go?"
Taking risks... working ouside of your normal comfort zone can be stimulating... and create some pleasant surprises! Take a ride on the wild side!
So this one finds itself in your genre and experience Kim. Congrats on the success you've obviously enjoyed! Stay the course! Do visit Kim's site http://www.eatdrinkpaint.blogspot.com/ ... see what she's about... and up to! Also a side trip to Linnyland... http://www.linnydvine.blogspot.com/ will yield another gifted and highly successful lady on our West Coast! Whimsy unleashed! Pure joy!
Happy Summer!... Fair Sailing... and Good Painting to ALL!