Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Killdeer Getting There

I wanted to start off this post by quoting Henri Matisse about how every part of one of his paintings has its place and is important. I thought of it this morning while various considerations about my current painting flitted in and out of my mind. As they did I realized that a good painting is like an orchestral composition, with many parts all working together: the light, the color, the shapes, the brushwork, the lines, the values, the objects, their evocations, etc.

As soon as I thought symphony and orchestra I was reminded of Matisse's quote. It used to be when I remembered a quote like this I'd go search through my books hoping I could find it without spending too much time. But now we have the internet right? No need for books.

Well the problem with that is the sloppiness of the internet. Someone may say that something is a quote of Matisse but how do I know it's correct? I read two versions of one quote today that had somewhat different meanings depending on how much of the quote was shown. So I don't trust what I've found and am not going to use it. It seems safer to just paraphrase my recollection.

All of which just leads to the thought that I'm getting happier with this painting and all the various parts of it that I'm trying to get to work together. The newest version is at top.

You may notice that the killdeer is about the only constant. Everything else is changing. I hope it will stay that way. I've liked the bird from the beginning and have made only minimal changes.

I think this painting is also heading more toward naturalism now. The abstract pattern of the water is still there but it's toned down quite a bit. I've gone back and forth between naturalism and stylization in this. For now it seems like naturalism will win out. And yet even in naturalism every part of the painting has its place, every brushstroke, every color. In that sense every painting is somewhat abstract.

I need to turn this in for the show by Friday, and frame it before that. So soon it will be done one way or the other, at least temporarily.

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