Wednesday, December 15, 2010

More Abstract Nonsense

I started my final painting for my painting class a couple of weeks ago. It was based off of a photo found at a mercantile of a few friends on bicycles who were roaming somewhere in England on a day off from the Navy during WWII. I desperately want this to be a good painting, because it's something I'd like to keep. Unfortunately, time has not been on my side, and the painting has been saved for another time to complete when I have more than a few days to put the work into it that I would like to so that it is what I hope it will be.

Instead, I started a completely new painting today... an abstract painting. Abstracts put the fear of God in me, I can tell you as they never seem to come out the way I want them to. Perhaps it's the pressure the instructors put on me, or perhaps they just aren't my forte, but they never seem to come together for me. So, when I started today, I was already a bit scared from the get go. I had a loose plan, but I told myself it was okay to revise as I went along. Forgive the horrid quality of the photos, as they were taken with a crappy camera phone, but I think the idea comes across that my mood shifted dramatically while working on this.
This was round two of working on the canvas. Basically, I had covered the canvas with an ultramarine blue color and then covered that with a blend of cadmium orange, pale yellow, magenta, and a bit of titanium white. I was actually pretty happy with this, and considered just doing some slight changes and turning it in. But, I changed my mind and went on to the next layer.
I wasn't sure what to make of it during this stage, and just kind of kept adding more layers onto the work, to see if something would happen. it also seemed very monotone in value, so I decided to add in some whites.
The layering process continued and I started to see this more as a darker painting than one that was so light as it was originally. So, I kept playing with it.
Was I just making a giant mess? That is how it was seeming to go. Colors were getting muddy, how should I get through this? Should I just start over? Who knows... but I kept going.
I could really see this turning dark, and wasn't sure if I wanted to leave it as such, or if I liked it better in the original state with the more orange colors.
The above photo was my stopping point this afternoon. I decided that I need to give myself a bit of a break to decide where I'm going with this because I've now taken something that started off so light and fairly delicate into a very dark place. Strangely, I like both the light and dark versions, but I feel that compositionally there is much to be desired, so I need to give myself a bit of room and time (though not much as tomorrow is my last day to work on this) to decide what needs to be done. I think the process has been quite therapeutic, regardless of the ultimate outcome.

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