Friday, July 6, 2012

Finished Acrylic

This is the finished version of the Least Tern, Forster's Terns, Mallards and Great Egret painting at 'The Meadows' in Cape May, NJ. I did add just the slightest bit of detail to the egret. And of course went over the reeds many times.
In contrast to the sense of animation that I mentioned in a recent post here I'm much more concerned with orchestration or perhaps design. Color, light, shape, texture and the subjects themselves should all add up and fit together in a 'certain' way. Who knows what that 'certain' way is but I think it's unique to each artist. You know when it seems right. For me in this painting a lot of it has to do with a feeling of beautiful calm that seems so typical of this area. The birds add to it but are not primary. It was trying to orchestrate all this that caused me to do the reeds over and over again, especially trying to make the back ones seem less important than the front ones.
The frame is simple pine lattice. It doesn't look great. But to me it looks better than almost any frame I can buy! For some this may seem hard to believe. But it's true. There are times when ornate frames look appropriate and actually add to the work. But I've always used lattice to frame my large abstract paintings. It's cheap but it also does what I want: put a simple edge to the painting that differentiates it from the background wall. When I switched to naturalistic painting I found that I wanted the same thing for my acrylic paintings. This it not true for my watercolors or prints, where I think the combination of mat and fairly simple frame work to set off the art and give it it's own little world to live in. But for acrylics I still think that just enough wood to give the painting an edge looks best. If I had more time though I would have preferred mitered corners to the butt joint that I used.

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