Monday, April 26, 2010

Bearing Up

Whilst pondering the proper pigment priorities for my polar painting project, it became clear that I need to pursue perceptions of pertinent patrons that had previously pursued this particular path.

In other words, I need help.  Direction.  Organization.  A guide.  Otherwise this endeavor will be like trying to climb Mt. Everest without a Sherpa.

Enter the Art Instruction Books.  Every artist has their favorites, and two that I currently prize are  Bob Rohm's The Painterly Approach, and Kevin Macpherson's Landscape Painting Inside & Out.  Both contain some fabulous skill building ideas.  One of the first suggestions in Bob Rohm's book is to create value studies using a limited number of values or value range.  With my literary mentors to guide me, I decided that this first endeavor would be to work with a full range of four, mostly evenly spaced values.

Phooey on hue and chroma; working with just value was actually quite liberating.  And just for fun, I had to do another with the leftover paint, this time just splashing, mixing and scumbling with jubilant abandon.

I'm already coming up with all sorts of variations on this theme, and I'm just itching to try them.  Give me an idea of what exercises you use to improve your skills.  I'm in full Willing To Make A Fool Out Of Myself Publicly mode, and have a sudden yen to experiment.  (Within reason, of course.  If it involves large amounts of open flame, vats of hallucinogenic substances, or the use of arachnids in any way, shape or form, I may have to pass on trying it.  At least publicly.)

My Muse has decided to take a short vacation while Left Brain is in the pilot's seat.  To experimentation, and beyond!


debwardart said...

To improve, to borrow a phrase, "Just do it!" You are going to make mistakes but that's how you learn. Look at those whose work you admire (seems like you already do this) and get inspiration from books and magazines. In your previous post you mentioned how your ideas grow - I always say mine just rattle around in my brain until something shakes them loose and they fall out! Sometimes you have that great idea, just don't know how to get it down on paper! Keep plugging away - you are an awesome painter - and I love your color, and your B/W - you are probably too hard on yourself like all the rest of us!!! (And you are very good at alliteration).

Barb Hillier said...

I love the results of the scumbling, seems to transform simple value patterns and brings them alive! A great piece!

That Rebel with a Blog said...

Lisa, I just popped in to catch up on your blog. I love your writing style, it's witty, humorous, powerful and full of exploration and adventure.

And your paintings, WOW! I'm a color and texture hound myself and you seem to have both of those down. Love, love, love that fish monster thingy. Uhh, does it have a name??

Lisa Walsh said...

Deb, much thanks for your wise words of encouragement. You hit the nail on the head - I have the idea, but can't figure out how to get it down. And you're right, it'll take practice, practice, practice. And a sense of humor. :-)

Thanks Barb. In my book, scumbling rocks!

Good to hear from you again, Rebel, and I'm glad you enjoy the words and the works. That awesome fish monster thingy is Audrey II, the giant man-eating plant from one of my very favorite musicals, 'Little Shop of Horrors'. I know every word and song by heart, which gives you a clue to my misspent youth.

That Rebel with a Blog said...

Audrey II. I love her! Your home must be a fun-filled place, full of vibrant aliveness. Hear, hear to LSoH, what else is youth for if not to spend it as we will? We all turn in to silly adults, regardless. Or maybe, in my case, not nearly silly enough. :)

Lisa Walsh said...

To give you some idea, Olivia - as soon as you walk in our front door, there is a plaque on the wall that pictures a loon, and inscribed above it says " the Loony Bin...abnormality is the normality at this locality". :-)