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Friday, September 22, 2006

Painting a day - exposure

I don't have a title for today's painting because I don't think it's a keeper. And I debated putting it up for just that reason. (If this is your first visit to my blog, look at some previous posts. Please.) But I've been very impressed by Ed Terpening blogging about paintings that aren't going quite the way he'd like. And the truth is, I end up trashing one out of every 4 or 5 paintings I do. They're usually the ones where I'm pushing against my comfort zone, trying something new. And this painting has plenty of that. Not only does it have little vehicles (I almost never paint cars), but the the light was fading fast as I was working. By the time I was packing up it was almost dark, so I didn't make all those last minute adjustments that seem to take paintings from ho-hum to wow. And yes, I could make those adjustments in the studio, but I don't think I like the painting enough to mess with it more. I was looking for a contrast between the natural shapes of the hills and the industrial buildings, and I don't think this composition does that very well. Comments anyone?


At 7:51 AM, Blogger Annie B said...

For what it's worth, I find my eye very attracted to the sharp contrast between the lit and shadowed sides of the building. When I take my hand and crop some image off the right side, so the painting becomes vertical instead of horizontal, the contrast between manmade and natural looks stronger to me - I guess because the hills look more squeezed into the frame, more overwhelmed by the building. Good for you for pushing your edges. And thanks for showing work that you deem "unsuccessful." I have a lot of that kind of work, too!

At 2:37 PM, Blogger Parapluie said...

This is my first visit to your blog and I am enchanted by your willingness to show one that is not to your expectations. I did look at the others and I must say that the one posted today gives me an emotional rememberance of visiting my grandmother in Sonoma in 1976. I really feel California, the state of my birth, in your painting. It is good to paint every day and get the feelings down so directly. It inspires me.

At 7:03 PM, Blogger Kris Shanks said...

Annie, thanks for your good composition suggestion! You're right that changing the orientation really emphasizes the contrast I was looking for. I'm going to return to that spot - it's such a great location, so I'll have to try for that tension again.

At 9:59 PM, Blogger Parapluie said...

Croping the painting to make it vertical would make it more acceptable in a way. But to me I get feelings of the past from the vertical building creating a symbolic tension with the horizontal landscape that stretches on and on as it really was in California.
The very act of painting a picture a day helps one get away from the directives of what is formally correct and into pure feeling.

At 3:18 PM, Blogger Bart said...

Guess that posting paintings you are less happy about might make you even more determent to learn from them.
So hopefully you do yourself a favour by posting.
And indeed... you're not really the only one with the occasional "less fortunate" paintng :-)

At 10:40 PM, Blogger Ed Terpening said...

One of the hardest lessons I had to learn was to look at each painting as an "etch-a-sketch", that is, something you do to learn, and then clear it off and start another. The moment a painting becomes too precious to do something daring with, it's dead. I say this was a hard lesson, but in truth, I face it every day.

The best breakthroughs have come after lots of experiements and wiping the canvas clean. Keep it up!


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