Monday, January 6, 2014

When It Doesn't Work, Or A Failed Painting Redux.

I had an idea that I would do a landscape painting with a high horizon. Earlier this fall, I saw a really interesting painting by Salliann Putman--she does some abstract(ish) watercolor landscapes with high horizons.  I love her large blocks of intense color and her high horizons.  Then when we traveled out to MO this November, a lot of the skyline was high horizon--long, long fields broken up by intensely colored ponds against a bright blue sky line. The trees were barren. The colors were muddy, but I had 7+ hours to look.

As a side note, if you've never seen the book "Steal Like An Artist," by Austin Kleon, it's worth taking a look.  The idea is to look at lots of things (art, writing, whatever you're doing....) and get going incorporating, recycling, re-imagining, and crediting.  The upshot being if you wait until it's perfect you're never going to get to perfect and you're never going to produce anything.
I tried recreating the scenery in a landscape with high horizons.  I tried using indigo, cadmium red, and permanent yellow deep (middle).  This may have been my first big mistake, since although I own cadmium red and it's on my palette, it's not a color I work with a lot.  My second mistake was starting at night.  Any painting I've started at night has looked terrible in the morning.

I went back this morning, and made the colors more intense, but it just made the painting depressing and incoherent (bottom).  It still needed....something.  So, I went back again into the foreground (most of the painting) with a green gray caran d'ache crayon (top).  And, it STILL needs something.  Probably a huge crop.

Back to the drawing board.

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