Friday, July 20, 2007

Changing The Light

I mentioned in my last blog that there is a wonderful twice- weekly letter you can recieve from an artist in Canada . His name is Robert Genn. If you want to check it out, go to Anyway, in his lastest email letter, he wrote about painting en plein air in the Queen Charlotte Islands. He was faced with a flat, overcast, grey day. He captured the scene alright, but at the same time, he remembered the sunset of the previous evening. He wrote about painting over what he had just done with those beautiful sunset colors. Robert , like me, is an acrylic painter. He could do this rapidly, because he did'nt need to scrape or wait hours for the paint to dry like an oil painter must do. Again, I must add that I'm not putting down oil painters! I'm merely deliniating the possibilities that lie within the medium of acrylic painting!
One can respond to his letters. I attached a painting I had just completed this Monday, and, like him, completely re-orhestrated the colors to a sunrise. Here is what I wrote: "Imagine my surprise when I read your latest missive titled Changing The Light. I go out with fellow plein air painters here in Sacramento, CA every Monday morning. We paint from 8AM to about 11PM. Same thing!... I captured the colors in the water, tree lines, and distant city buildings. Only one problem...BORING! I've spent a number of hours now in my studio simply changing the colors. I work in acrylic, so this is easy to do within short periods of time. I think i'm finally there. We're looking south down the Sacramento River. It can't be a summertime sunrise or anytime sunset. Maybe its an early morning winter view. Ahh...who cares!...its pretty and anyway...sometime in the future, I may paint over it. Hey... maybe a bright noontime view!
I'm probably going to look at this painting in the future and say "ugh!" But that's growing as an artist and meanwhile, I got lots of practice working with warm sunrise/sunset colors! As many artists have said before me, don't make your paintings too precious. Use them to learn and grow.

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