Friday, January 22, 2010

Pushing Outside the Comfort Zone

I recently enjoyed an evening of oil painting with a teacher friend of mine - Mary-Leigh Doyle.  She is a wonderful painter and in particular I love her oils and her style of approaching them.  So this evening was for me an adventure in something fairly new and a relaxing evening of wine and paint - my favorite combination.  I have long wished that I could loosen up in my style as even when I start a painting out that way, I invariably end up with my nose less than a foot from the canvas working on tiny details.  So this evening the exercise was to copy a painting which gave me the "guide" to approach it in a loose and very painterly fashion.  I hated it.  Don't get me wrong, I love trees and feel compelled to paint them these days, but in this case the colors were not my favorites, and as I sat in my familiar 12 inches away from the tiny canvas it looked a mess.  I couldn't discern tree trunks from leaves, from background.  Only when someone insisted that I get the heck away from the thing - to step back and review - did I see what was going on in the painting.  OK....so it's not so bad.  What I do know is that to paint like this is completely foreign to me and it explains why I have such a difficult time getting there.



What you see here is unfinished - it's as far as I could go that evening without smudging it all into a muddy mess.  Once it dries I will add a few last minute touches...and try desperately not to add too much (any) detail.  Perhaps if there were an electric trigger rigged to the canvas that gave my ol' nose a little jolt when I get too close to it...

4 comments:

Michelle said...

Beautiful! So loose and free. You are a braver woman than I am. :)

Veronica Funk said...

That looks fabulous! I bet it's even better in real life ;)

Ellen said...

I think it's wonderful! It has little bit of Gauguin, a litle bit of Cezanne! It's beautiful.

Cheryl said...

Thank you ladies....you are generous and kind in your comments. My opinion is still out... pending completion of course. I'm trying NOT to to have an opinion actually until I can get another layer on.
Sure appreciate your cheering though.

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