Sunday, February 28, 2010

Painting Broadly

"Oak Creek Calm" 9x12, oil

It's raining this morning, so I thought I'd present a moody piece I did a few weeks ago. Rain was coming in, so we didn't have much time. I decided to do a "snapshot" - I've written about that before - so this was done quickly and loosely.

If you go down to Crescent Moon Ranch, most of your paintings will be about water and rock and all the wonderful things that plant themselves there. These wonderful things tend to look rather busy and overwhelming when you're staring at them: cracks in the rocks, both subtle and obvious, saplings and bushes, plus a lot of unrecognizable items that come under the category of "flood debris." It's best to squint, really squint, to simplify the fuss and then to paint broadly.

For this one, I just liked the quality of the light and the color. There's very little detail. Painted so broadly and loosely, is it something that one might frame and try to sell - or should one treat it as a sketch and keep it for one's own pleasure? A painter might appreciate it, but would a patron? I'd like to hear your opinions.

10 comments:

Daily Paintings said...

Mike...love it! I really don't want to see a lot of detail...just the mood.
Mike

Anonymous said...

Very Nice Michael, it spoke to me instantly, you caught it!

ARTIST-Jan Poynter said...

sometimes I end up the day with a headache from squinting. Such a great way to eliminate the details and recieve the bulk of the forms and simplify the light and dark. My greatest challenge is to stop and keep it bold & simple. I always admire it in others work...and would certainly consider it a finished painting.

Bill Cramer said...

"saplings and bushes, plus a lot of unrecognizable items that come under the category of "flood debris." " Joshua Been calls this stuff "brick-a-brack".

In the wrong hands broad painting, as you call it, sometimes appears lazy (sloppy?)to me. You've got the control to pull it off. This is a nice take on a familiar theme.

Catofstripes said...

As a lurker who usually just skims through on the Reader I felt I had to comment because this one is so much more attractive to me than a lot of your work (sorry!) and it seems to me to be a good direction to follow. All the best.

Michael Chesley Johnson said...

Thanks, everyone! Bric-a-brac - I'll have to remember that phrase.

Donald Smith said...

Michael,
Just a couple of suggestions about this painting for what they are worth from an amateur.
1) The edge of the trees at the top right is a bit too hard. You can increase it’s distance if you would soften it.
2) In Bob Rohm’s book, he suggests NOT using any white in the foreground, and possibly middle ground. Save the white for the back ground. Use other colors to lighten the colors in the foreground. Since white tends to kill color, I can see how doing this will help to increase the depth in a painting. Since I’ve just read this little trick, I haven’t had the chance to try it yet. But looking at your painting, I can see that you’ve used a lot of white in the foreground, all the way back to the back ground. I’m thinking this painting would really pop if the color in the foreground rock were more intense. So, it’s just a suggestion for you to experiment with, if you choose.

Now for your question: Frame and sell it? Would a patron like it? You’ve been in the art industry long enough to know that art is very subjective. One patron might hate it, another love it, the same with artists. Any painting will sell if a person finds the right buyer and has it at the right price. Sorry, I’m not being of much help with this question.

Just my 2 cents for what they are worth,
Donald

Amy said...

lovely...I don't like to think of myself as a loose girl but I certainly like a "loose" painting. Would hang that with pride!....just recently discovered your blog, I am taking my first plein art painting class and so enjoying it :O)

Michael Chesley Johnson said...

Sorry it's taken so long to moderate comments, but I've been off on a painting trip. Thanks, Amy and Donald. Good points, Donald, but it's hard to paint that kind of atmosphere without white. Basically, the scene is composed mostly of neutral or greyed color, and although one can add lighter pigments (i.e. cad yellow light) to keep these neutralized mixtures light, it just doesn't work as well as white.

Michael Chesley Johnson said...

PS There isn't any pure white in the foreground, but there are lots of subtle tints that don't photograph well. But thanks for your commments!