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Monday, April 21, 2014

Gurgy sur l'Yonne aka the Painting from Hell

18x24, oil on canvas
We all have something in our lives which humble us along life's journey. Here is one of mine. I called this piece the "Painting from Hell" for many a year. I started it in the fall of 2009. I can't even show you how far it has come over the years. It is just not pretty. I try to look at these "hit the wall" times as a time of growth. I am obviously not where I need to be, but with persistence, I may get there. I know intellectually what needs to be done but I haven't quite figured out how to apply that knowledge. I walked this painting to the dumpster at least three times and as it hovered over the abyss I would ask myself if I was really going to let this defeat me. (Please note that I do throw paintings away; that is not a difficult thing to do when it is called for.) When I started this painting, I was trying to harmonize the color using the sludge out of my brush cleaner can as the color base or "mother" color. I am still using a mother color in this painting just not sludge. I went to the color of the fog instead. That was not the problem holding me up however. I think it was my very strong natural graphic approach coming up against the subtleties of fog and bringing objects into clarity as they came closer to the viewer. In Colorado where the air is thinner, we do not often have such shifts in the atmosphere. I am not sure this painting will ever be done as long as it is in my possession but it is now acceptable and I hung it at work where it was well received.

This is the village where the previous posted painting was also located. That painting was in the evening, this one in the morning, but they both shared fog. I was on my into town to find a Patisserie to buy breakfast before we headed up river.


Anonymous said...

It puzzles me how fog sharpens objects in our field of vision by diffusing rather than focusing light. One woman expat I knew in Holland went out for her morning row and came back all excited, saying "I never knew how many beautiful shades of grey there are." The fog and the wet seem to highlight whatever we focus in on narrowly and things appear to exist in isolation far more than they usually do.

Take my comments for the inexpert musings that they are. Have you tried introducing an alternate focus -- a break in the fog cover, a blush at one end of the sky, one weak interior light? A dark patch might also work, I suppose. Just a thought. JF

Anonymous said...

Light is such a strange medium, so elusive and so powerful. It gives and takes away at the same time. You have done a great job capturing both the solidity, security of your graphic style and the mystery of the changing light. Not at all hell from the viewer's perspective! But we always pray that He will not let us forget the pain we have endured, the cost of our growth and perfection. I'm glad it didn't make the trash bin. LNB