Friday, December 2, 2011

Sunny Afternoon
9 x 12 Oil on Linen

I often ask my students to tell me their thoughts about the piece they are working on. Not that I don't have my own thoughts, but it clues me in to how they are thinking as they create their paintings. Recently one of my best students, who was working on a nude, said he wasn't sure if he had gotten the leg right. Yes, I replied, it looks a bit dull and lifeless. Well, he said, I saw more light there but I didn't want it to compete with the big light on the torso. There's your answer I replied, you've taken a negative approach. You painted the leg so that it would not be something. Wouldn't it be better to paint the leg so that it expresses what you want it to say rather than what you don't want it to do? Let it live, let it take its rightful place in the painting. If nature has blessed it with light then express that with joy and confidence. It is always better to approach your painting, or any part of your painting, with a positive attitude, "this is what I want to have happen here", rather than negatively, "I don't want this to happen here". When you paint a negative thought you tell the viewer "don't look at this". When you paint the leg in its full glory you say to the viewer "come, celebrate with with me, for we are sharing something amazing".....

1 comment:

Angie M. said...

This painting just takes me away. I feel like I'm actually there and experiencing this beautiful light. I love how you capture the light in your landscapes.