Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Artistic Polar Bear Challenge: 100 Ways in 100 Days. #17: Midrange Values with Accents

Yet another variation on the value theme, albeit with a much looser style this time.  Sometimes it just feels good to squish blobs of paint around with abandon.  I'm actually learning things from these little studies, and am now starting to understand the reasons artists will do them when planning a painting.  In this example, the upper left part was painted a dark value, not completely black as has been done before.  I like how that little change really shifts the focus onto the bear's face, where the full white/black contrast really draws the eye. 

Midrange Bear
Acrylic on paper

I'm going to lead you off the bear path for a moment, and share with you something I found pretty spectacular.  Sit back, grab a snack or a cup of coffee for this one, this is going to be one verbose post.  I'll say this to start:  if copious amounts of cash ever came into my possession, and I didn't have to work a 40 hour week to help keep a roof over our heads and kibble in the dog bowls, and I was able to pursue any interest that struck my fancy, then the occupation line on my business card would read "Artist/Backyard Imagineer/Stormchaser". 

The 'artist' part is self-explanatory.  'Backyard Imagineers' are a legion of everyday people who endeavor to create 'Disney-esque' effects in their very own home.  Google 'backyard imagineers', and you would be amazed at the home-grown creativity of these folks.  So far, I have limited my Imagineering projects to Halloween props, and the limitations only come from lack of space to store the created items the other 364 days of the year.  I've designed my own tombstones, some with animated effects and lighting, and have plans for more.    The future goal is to have an entirely home made graveyard, with ground-hugging spooky fog and lighting effects.  Nothing bloody or gory that would send the candy-craving little kiddies to therapy for the next decade, just a slightly eerie graveyard with a whimsical bent.

The 'stormchaser' title is also somewhat self explanatory.  I am an avowed 'storm-aholic'.  I love the feel when a thunderstorm is approaching, with the smell of rain in the air, and the electric feel of the atmosphere.  We enjoy sitting out in our sunroom when a storm is passing, listening to the rain and wind and watching the lightning.  Alas, our poor dogs don't share our enthusiasm, and either hide behind the couch, or retreat to the basement.

The other night was perfect for brewing thunderstorms: a warm, humid air mass being hit by a cold front. I happened to be out and about when a line of severe storms cropped up just to the south of where I was. And whaddaya know, I also happened to have my camera with me. The storms were the type where the lightning was so frequent it looked like paparazzi camera flashes at a celebrity red carpet event.  I set my camera to video, and stuck it out the truck window.  This is a sampling of what transpired:

Each photo is one frame of video, equal to about 1/30 of a second, so the entire series you see above took about 1/3 of a second in real time.  The details would have flashed by far to quickly to be seen by the naked eye, but they show up beautifully here.

I sat there in that truck for quite a while, just watching in awe.  Mother Nature sure knows how to put on one helluva spectacular show.


RHCarpenter said...

You really are a storm chaser - and catcher :) Love this bear, too - I really like how you apply the acrylic paint, almost in blogs that become the shapes, that become the values, that become...the bears :)

debwardart said...

Value studies - when I do them I get a better painting; so, gee, thanks a bunch for reminding me?!
Love Halloween and used to dress like a witch and hand out candy - had a ball until some of "tha naburs" took the joy away.
Remind me not to travel with you during a thunderstorm - you have heard of human lighting rods, right?
Great bear. Great photos.

Lisa Walsh said...

Thanks Rhonda. 'Paint Blobs' is my middle name!

Gee, so you have 'Scrooges' for neighbors, eh Deb? Wrong holiday, I know, but right sentiment. Some folks are just no fun.

And, least I was INSIDE the vehicle while watching the storm. I may be crazy, but ah ain't so dumb. :-)