Saturday, January 23, 2010

Painting #6 - for Beth J.

Elk Knob
oil on clayboard
5 x 7 inches
©Ann Thompson Nemcosky

This painting was inspired by a photo taken by my friend Beth J. that she graciously gave me permission to use as a reference. So this painting goes to her. I loved the late autumn colors in this scene and the rocky path disappearing around the bend with the mountain in the distance. I used a piece of clayboard that I had on hand to find out how I liked it as a support for oils. It was an interesting surface, very smooth, but really very absorbent causing the paint to dry quickly, making the process more like painting in acrylic than oil.

I have had a couple of comments asking about the drying time of these water mixable oils and I have to say it varies. For the most part they seem to dry a little more quickly than regular oils but probably not significantly. A lot depends on the humidity and whether a medium is added or how much water is used to thin the paint. I like having the extended drying time of oil paint as opposed to fast drying acrylic. I know there are now slower drying acrylic paints available but for me, having learned to paint in oil way back when, I am more familiar with the feel and consistency of oils.

Teresa, of Blueberries, Art and Life commented on how there is a difference in my style when painting compared to my work in colored pencil. I have been thinking about that, even before she mentioned it, and have wondered about that whole question of style. With paint, I enjoy allowing the work to look like a painting by letting the paint be paint. Colored pencil almost seems to demand tighter control, those little pencil points and all. Although I do prefer to have my drawings look like drawings. I like seeing the texture of the drawing surface used and evidence of marks made. I have never been one to strive for photorealism. Not that there's anything wrong with that, it's just not where my interest lies. One of my collectors mentioned how much my drawings changed when viewed up close as compared to at a distance. She said that from a distance all the marks and colors pulled together and the image became sharper. It's much the same with painting, except the marks are larger strokes of color. One of the reasons I wanted to do this 100 painting project was to see where my imagery would take me, in terms of subject matter and style. I am still intending to work in colored pencil because I love that media, sometimes that precise control is just what I am after and I find that for me, drawing nicely balances the activity of painting. Had I not practiced drawing almost exclusively over the past three years I doubt painting would come as easily to me. But that's a topic for another post. Painting allows me to work quickly, responding immediately and intuitively to my subject, while I try to keep my head clear of any outside artistic influence. I am hoping that when I conclude this project I will have made a body of work that is formative, taking me from where I am to where I'd like to go. Whatever the media.

16 comments:

Sherry said...

The painting is really lovely, and on my computer monitor it looks rather like a watercolor. I was interested in your comments about drying time since I also have a couple of these little clay boards waiting to be tried. I also have a colored pencil piece that is half done, and has been waiting a year and a half (yes, I know) to be finished. Can't think why it has not called out to me for so long.

nanke's stuff said...

I like the small format of this 100 paintings project. This one is a little gem! nancy

Rose Welty said...

I recently started a CP piece after having done mostly paintings for several months. I noticed a few changes. For one thing, I certainly thought a bit more about the impact of the media chosen on the mood of the piece. CP has its advantages, paint has its advantages - it's best to suit those to the piece at hand.

Secondly, I actually thought more painterly about the piece than I have in the past with CPs. I was thinking of them in terms of paint, instead of just colored drawing sticks. Now I can't say that the effect is more painterly than I have been in the past with CPs, but I think I understand the question of how to be more painterly with CPs and yet use the medium to its advantages better than I have understood the question in the past.

Hope that isn't too muddled...

Dan Kent said...

I like this - Cezanne-like. I also like the contrast between the warm and cool colors. Great contribution to the 100!

Krista Meister said...

Oh, Ann, this is BEE-YOU-TEE-FUL! I think you'll find yourself continuing down the road of self-discovery during this project. Well, at the very least, self-evaluation.

Funny, I've been wondering if I should get into colored pencil. I love drawing with graphite and I love color, why not mix the two? :) I still have all of my Prismacolor colored pencils from college, but we used them in a more architectural manner, not in a painterly way.

Great work, Ann, as always!

Leslie Hawes said...

This makes me want to wander along the edge of the water! Serene and exciting at the same time.

Joan Y said...

Thanks for sharing this painting and thanks for sharing your thought process too. It is such a breath of fresh air to hear the thoughts of such a talented artist. :) Your paintings are all so lovely!!

Phyllis said...

Beth J will be so delighted with the transformation of her photo - beautiful.

Ellen Read said...

I am really enjoying your project and 'listening' to your thought process. It is such a revelation to a non-artist ("What!? No sudden inspiration and a whirlwind of activity and then voila! there it is on the canvas? You EXPERIMENT with the kinds of surfaces you work on? your materials???) I am learning so much.
ellen

AutumnLeaves said...

What a wonderful post, Ann! I feel like I am gleaning so much from your words and thoughts on art. I guess I am by and large a self-teacher when it comes to art so I drink it in when artists talk about process and theories. I've only worked in oil a couple of times and I really like it. For some reason my passion is watercolors with colored pencils approaching rapidly. Every time I think of working with oils, I recall how easily I could move that paint around and how I came close to achieving what was in my head at the time I attempted it. I wonder why I'm always so hesitant to pick them up again? Anyway, I love visiting you and Gary. Always something wonderful to learn and to think on!

raena said...

It is so generous of you to share your thoughts on process. I wish all artists would do that! This is a wonderful painting...love the fall colors with the green hill contrasting in the back!

raena said...

I know I've already commented on this, but I had to come back to tell you that I just saw the small thumbnail of this on Gary's site; and wow! so much depth!

Ellen said...

Oh Ann, this is just beautiful. The colors are fantastic and the brushwork wondergul. Excellent!

Alex said...

An excellent gift indeed! Love the shadings love the strokes. :)

donna said...

The painting is very good, and the post was very interesting. Thanks for sharing your journey.

Ann said...

Rose, that wasn't too muddled at all. I think gaining skills in any given media can always help when learning and translating to another.

Sherry, I was glad to see that colored pencil piece come together :-)

Ellen, you know the value of being a life-long learner! Hopefully it never stops!

Thanks all for your encouraging comments - they are all much appreciated!

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