Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A Late Summer Symphony of Paintings

Marsh Flowers, 9x12, oil

Marsh House, 9x12, oil

Marsh Sunset, 9x12, oil

Here are three paintings done in a series, three days in a row at the same time of day. The first and third are from the same location, the former looking east and the latter looking west towards the sunset. The middle one was done several miles down the road along the Oyster River. These three pieces served as vehicles for some color experiments I'm working on. The idea is called "pigment soup" it's origins are with the early 20th century American painter Edgar Alwin Payne.

This idea is currently being discussed by a group of artists in the online art community www.WetCanvas.com . Simply put, you mix up a color which becomes the basis for the entire painting and each and every subsequent color that you mix contains a bit of the original color. This guarantees an immediate color harmony and gives you the opportunity right at the very beginning of the painting process to decide upon and enact a strategy for creating mood and emotion in your painting. It's this last part that I am especially interested in, creating mood and emotion in a painting. I am no longer content to just "paint what I see". My desire is to paint what I feel and inject a more spiritual component into my work. I want emotions and ideas like longing, joy, awe, lonliness, gratitude, wistfulness, peacefulness, solitude, contemplation, elation, brooding, desire, tranquility, vitality, happiness to come through. More like poetry, less like prose.

Speaking of poetry here's one that is especially appropriate as summer slips away and we long to keep it just a little longer before back to school and autumn 's rainy, chilly weather appears.

Fair Summer Droops
from Summer’s Last Will and Testament by Thomas Nashe (1600)

Fair summer droops, droop men and beasts therefore,

So fair a summer look for nevermore:

All good things vanish less than in a day,

Peace, plenty, pleasure, suddenly decay.

Go not yet away, bright soul of the sad year,

The earth is hell when thou leav’st to appear.

What, shall those flowers that decked thy garland erst,

Upon thy grave be wastefully dispersed?

O trees, consume your sap in sorrow’s source,

Streams, turn to tears your tributary course.

Go not yet hence, bright soul of the sad year,

The earth is hell when thou leav’st to appear.


The Epiphany Artist said...

The top one is a wow for me! I love the gray and then the bright colors

René PleinAir. said...

Man does that work!!

Unbelievable, I definitely have to
try it someday!!