Stuck for painting ideas? Here’s three ways to decide on a painting subject:
1. Walk around your immediate environment. Have an empty frame in hand. Choose a composition that inspires you as you look through the empty space.
2. Look through your travel photos. Crop the photo. Crop again. There are so many paintings within a single scene!
3. Quickly block in your canvas with three colours. See what forms emerge. Is there a landscape, a figure there? Start to pick out lines and shapes that suggest a subject or scene. Start painting!
In this recently completed painting I have tried to think like Cezanne. Cezanne saw planes, solid shapes. Fragmented planes and shapes in the landscape. He told us of the foundation of the scene. The geometry and solidity of the view.
Light coming from one source can be helpful to see in landscape painting. Light reflecting off the surface of the rocks, bouncing off the clouds, splashing over waves. Telling of the morning morphing into day. Lighting up the world.
The artists gathered. Expectation and excitement fuelled. They walked and sketched. They examined the place and made it their own. Each one different.
They lunched and laughed and seriously talked about their art. Talk of a future workshops at a French chateau… the promise of a reunion in a year’s time firm in their diaries!
Eddy is the pick up man. The courier. He receives a call, calls in and takes away. Fastway.
This is the system for most destinations. A book of tickets bought… lick and stick and away it goes out the front door. Pack & Send for overseas. In all of that we have had one claim and one lost and found. Pretty good considering all the hundreds of sent items!
If I have a painting that is not working there are a few things I try. One is to add white. Intensify the light source. Highlight features. Adjust the overall tone. Tim Olsen once told me "Where there is white, there is hope."
Some children came to my Sydney exhibition. To engage them, they were offered the challenge of finding that little bit of pink. Such joy when they found it! Their faces lit up like they had discovered something never seen before. Where's Wally with art. Part of the movement… to add a splash of pink where one would never expect. Finding the artist's mark.
The question. The hope that there is a formula, some time/cost ratio that will explain everything. But how can I measure what you have to offer?
The truth is… I can’t quantify. The answer is nuanced, grey and not popular. How long did it take? Minutes to put the final touches, days to draw and block and background. Months of thinking and preparing. Years of consolidated experiences. Decades of practice and learning. A lifetime putting it all together.
Lots of questions about how I glue my painted masonite boards into the frames... here we go!!
Richard Claremont - artist. A peek into my studio. How I think. How I paint. How I run my art business. Bite sized daily chunks of goodness. Just me talking aloud, really. Join me for a chat over a cuppa.
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