Sunday, June 13, 2010

Aerial Sky Series - Cumulus Fly-by

After not getting anything done in my studio for the better part of a week, I finally sat down yesterday afternoon and painted.  It was good, and it reminded me that I need to make painting every day a priority, regardless of what else I do or don't get done on that day...which lately, isn't nearly as much as I'd like.

I did, however, update my blog.  In addition to changing the layout to a new template design, I also got around to updating and adding some more blog links, and adding the thumbnail pictures to them.   I hope readers find the new layout to be an improvement as well.

Last night, I sat down and counted the number of pastel paintings I've done since I switched to 2D work back in October [the # of completed paintings I have photos of; not the throw-aways].  This painting is #70.  I've heard it said that one must do at least 100 paintings in order to obtain a minimal level of skill and comfort in the medium, and start to develop a personal style.  I suspect there is a lot of truth to that; I do know that with each painting, I learn something.  Sometimes, it's an "ah-ha!" moment, a small breakthrough.  Other times, it's more of "well, that didn't work", which is maybe not as fun, but equally as valuable.  I post almost all of it here, even the funk.  Hopefully, as I continue towards 100 paintings and beyond, there will be more good and less funk.

I do wonder, though, how long it will be before I do have my own unique painting style.  Right now, it seems that my "style" is "consistently inconsistent".   This painting looks nothing like the last painting posted; it's loose and experimental as far as the colors go.  I wanted to use layering and scumbling to achieve some more exciting grays to depict the cloud colors and smog layer underneath.  The camera did rather odd things to the colors, and I had to dial back the contrast on the photo almost completely to get it to look like the real thing.   Even still, it looks better viewed in person; the darkest areas are not black, as appears on the photo, but the dark blue and purple from my favorite MV Thunderstorm Grays set.

It's based on a photo taken during the final descent towards Hartsfield-Jackson Int'l, in Atlanta, from my flight in April.  It was approaching evening, during the "golden period" of light, coveted by both painters and photographers.

Cumulus Fly-by - 11x9"
pastel on 320# sandpaper  

The goal was to experiment with colors, and to have a more abstracted image of the clouds.  To that end, the painting was a success for me.   I may set a goal of completing another 28 paintings before we leave for Durango next month.

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