Friday, March 19, 2010

A Valued Subject 12x12 oil

Started a new portrait of my son Spencer. This is the value phase using a limited palette. I always like paintings at this stage. I think it is because it is the closest to drawing in charcoal or graphite. Not the line part of drawing , but the value of shapes. In drawing this would be the push pull of lights and darks, because that's what value drawing is all about. It is so much easier to play with value when the value is not confused by color. I say confused, because it can be for me and that is why this phase is so important. I call it the set up. If everything is planned and set up well, then as I introduce color my hope is to get the value of the color right. Now there is temperature too. I think temperature plays a major role in turning a form. There is so much beauty in in color as it turns from light to shadow. What sits on the turning edge as it falls away from the surface of the canvas and sets back in the depth of shadow is the most beautiful and amazing thing. I just love it.
On another subject.
I often laugh at myself as I feel the energy and passion take over my body when I talk about art. I am in love with the process, in thought, action, emotion and exploration. I work with kids at a local school teaching an art program. I find it very interesting that kindergarten through about second grades deal with color and enjoy it fearlessly. For that matter they will draw anything with total gee! As they get older they seem to question their ability to see. They're either comparing their work to the kid next to him or to the designated artist in the class. You know him...The one everyone says is so good. It seems so magical that, that kid has it and well you don't and so the learning stops. The child's ability to see life and enjoy his personal perspective and interpretation diminishes. The passion that is needed to learn more about art is passed over to hopefully find something else to be passionate about.
I have met so many people as an adult, who, after almost a life time, have been over taken by their passion to learn something new, something wonderful like art. Art classes are filled with folks overcoming fear and replacing it with desire and passion because it feels wonderful. So how does this tie into todays post you ask? Why does a pencil in my hand, paint on the end of a brush, new canvas, an old shoe, a broken down truck on the side of the road, a face get me excited? I think it started long ago in a classroom, with a teacher, loved one, just letting me go, to do what I loved to do and encouraged me to find my passion and learn more about it. I love that I am excited about the edge of light, the depth of shadow, the beauty of shape and the value it has had in my life. So I say thank you thank you thank you!

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Marie Theron said...

I hope that many parents, teachers and art tutors can read and absorb this piece of wisdom. One little kid can be broken in his desire to try out art, only because he is always overlooked when positive criticism is doled out.

As an art tutor in watercolors I found that every single person could learn to observe, learn the techniques and create,and find years of enjoyment plus make wonderful friends in the classes. Yet once a husband said that we were just splashing around, he was not happy with what his wife could do after a month! She left the class!

I love the under painting! You are creating not only an image, but something of the personality of your son!

Dana Cooper said...

You said it all very well Dori and I love this painting of Spencer...I can't wait to see it develop!

Connie Kleinjans said...

Nice post! Nice to see you step back and talk about your passion with so much passion. As for colors at the turning edge, I've been aware of them but had never really looked at them. I'll have to do that. (Not that I'm currently painting figuratively.)