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Saturday, August 8, 2009

Musings on a Saturday

Last night, Richard and I went to see the new movie "Julia and Julie." I was interested in this movie on many levels. One, I spent 5 years in France in the 60's and I knew of Julia Child because my mother was also interested in food and especially, French Cuisine. Second, because I am a blogger writing about my passion, painting and art. I related to Julie because I have found out how hard it is to write something often when there are a myriad of other things going on in your life. Julie was almost half my age when she did her blog on cooking all of the recipes in Julia's "Mastering the art of French Cuisine" in one year. It about did her in. But she did it.

Tuesday night, I watched a few hours of an instructional video with my painting buddy, Drew. The video is by Quang Ho and is on Painting the Still Life. I admire Quang and he is an amazing artist. I did get a few things out of what we watched. I also know I don't want to paint like Quang, and so one has to listen for the tidbits that form the foundation of all good paintings, and not focus on his personal style. I always find it fascination to see how an artist works, though, and for that, it was enlightening. I do have a conundrum, though, that I wish someone could answer for me. I will also endeavor to figure it out. In the still life Quang set up, he had north light coming in. He said he paints with natural light as much as possible, both on his still life setups and his easel. Fine. So the light is coming in from his north window and he is painting at his easel, perpendicular to the setup. Got it. BUT, the landscape painting gurus all say the same thing. NOT to paint perpendicular to a scene that is lit like that, but to either paint towards the sun (light source), where you will get a silhouette situation, or to paint with your back to the sun, and then the scene is front lit. I have been paying attention to this for quite awhile, because I know that I often set up for landscape in the field perpendicular to the light. But for the life of me, I cannot remember the reasoning behind it. In still life situations, you want a directional light source, so why not in the landscape?

Quang did talk about having only one light source on your setup, and I do understand that reasoning. I still like having multiple light sources when I am wanting to play with shapes that the shadows create. As in the painting I did this past spring of red tulips. I am sure he would ding me big time on this painting, but I still like it. And it is not a manipulated set up.


Travelingrant said...

I really like the tulip. And I would say that there is no hard and fast rule for lighting, even landscapes. If anything, I (as a photographer) would say you want to limit your directly into the sun lighting, and conentrate on facing away from the sun and to the side. I'd say there are many times when you might want shadows stretching perpendicular to your set up, where they will accentuate and define the objects you are looking at.

Aloha Sistah said...

I second the motion!