Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Control vs. Abandon
I know as an artist, I tend to stay closer to the 'control' side of the equation. It's not an uncommon pursuit among artists to want to 'loosen up,' the whole 'less is more' scenario. If I can throw yet another cliché at you – the good old "a picture is worth a thousand words" – those words, translated to artspeak, might be brushstrokes, and I doubt I will live long enough to get where I want to in mastering those! The goal is efficiency - to be able to put the stroke down once, and have it say what I want it to say. Right now all I'm saying is, "Not in this lifetime!" though I wish that weren't so!
Today I worked at both ends of the spectrum, or as best I can at this point! I continued to put colour into my present commission project - just a very light, thin layer, and I'm really liking how it's coming along. I have a few issues to resolve with the photos I'm working from - they were taken mid-day, which means high contrast, strong shadows. Great for drama, but this is a portrait, so I'm toning those down. As the paint will dry quickly because this layer is so thin, I'll be able to proceed fairly soon on this one, and I'm looking forward to it!
Tonight, in order to balance an afternoon devoted to careful work, I did a little 8 x 10 sketch. I'm not calling this one done, but one thing I know is I'd like to do this much larger, so I'll try to keep myself from going too far with the sketch. The reference I'm working with is of Alphabet Soup, who is standing this season at Gardiner Farms. I was at Woodbine the day he beat Cigar in the Breeders' Cup Classic, so to see him up close, and be able to get some pretty cool photos - well, it made my day, back in December at the stallion parade.
This oil is on shellacked masonite, a surface I'm still getting a feel of. I love leaving the panel showing, so this and future attempts will include figuring out how to use that to its advantage!