Monday, April 02, 2007

Air travel doodle, "What's Inside me" 6x11 pen and ink



It's been hectic between carpentry projects, fencing, field work and assundry other distractions. I'm posting excerpts from my journal as that is all the time I have to do and SOME people (Peter) are poking at me to keep up on my blog which is good as it should be my priority right behind painting.

I doodled this little piece on the 6 hour plane flight to DC. I was interested in where my imagination would go if I drew on only what I had in my visual vocabulary. We all have a vocabulary of x amount of words and I think it would probably be true of a visual vocabulary. It would be interesting to find out the disparity between individual's vocabulary. I'm sure some folks would be quite limited whereas artists and such who's business is to work that muscle would have considerably more.

I'm very glad to be home after the trip to DC but I found great inspiration and knowledge in the Jasper Johns exhibition at the National Gallery of Modern Art.

Johns is pretty far out there and really pushed the question of what comprises a painting. He did what I refer to as 'deconstruct' painting and the process of painting. I found myself far more interested in Modern Art as opposed to my favorites of the Impressionists but still got quite a bit out of communing with Monet's, "Rouen Cathedral" apprx, 2'x3'. It was great to be able to sit in a couch for a couple hours, get up and closely scrutinize, then walk back 50' to get the full effect of these jewells. As I have my own Rouen Cathedral, namely Coyote Mt., that I will be painting time and time again during different hours of the day and different seasons of the year, I have a model to compare to. Monet did many paintings of the Cathedral at different times of the day. Observing how thick the paint was I have to think he didn't do it all in one sitting although I like to think he did it En Pleinair.

The process I divulged was one that I have aspired to do working thin to thick letting the underpainting show through although Monet carried the process a step further by lightly staining the very thick impasto layer with a further accent. The overall achievement was a vibrating effect that I think was not only attained through color but also from the effect of the strokes of impasto that actually creates shadows such as would be found in a relief sculpture and augmented the effect of light in the painting. At first I was put off by what I thought was the lack of maintenance of the painting and that the varnish had been allowed to yellow to the point of being dark brown in some places but noticed that it might actually have been intentional on the part of the artist to accent the textural nature the stones of the cathedral would make. My notes tell me that of the two side by side paintings one of the direct sun was predominant high and warm values over cool closely related low values of hue, whereas the compainion piece done in the latter hours of the day had warm shadows and cool highlights although a very close value table between both ends of the predominant values.

When I have time I'll find some online examples of the paintings to add to this entry but for now I have to install a shower. It would be sad but I'm going to learn to tile which may lead to painting tiles and some tile installations of my paintings. Viva la Arti'st. or something like that.

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