I have been avoiding the reference photo for "Late Roses" since I took it last November. I was into painting fall colors and snow scenes. But there was another reason for my dillydallying. It seemed like a lot of drawing to get the flowers right. After the figure painting workshop last week, however, I suddenly felt like painting them.
And I was right about my gut feeling. Everything is relative. Compared with the drawing and color mixing involved in a figure painting, it was nothing. Of course, one has to get the gesture and color temperature of each flower just so. But there is a lot more room for error in flower painting, to my relief.
I consider "Late Roses" a still life, although it wasn't set up on a table top, but in a natural setting. An arrangement of a limited number of objects and a close look at them. Isn't that a still life? I suppose one could also call it an intimate landscape.
|"Red and Green Apples" (oil, 11" x 14")|
Speaking of still lifes, I started taking a still life class with John Murray at the Art League School. The first class met yesterday, during which I painted "Red and Green Apples." Doesn't it look quite different from my usual stuff? I loved the way John did the quick demo with a big brush, dipping into the huge piles of paints on his palette. Bold colors and brushstrokes! A great departure from what I experienced last week during the workshop with Stephen Early. Check out his website to see his paintings, then you will know what I am wowing about.
John said, however, the same thing about the way I handled the shadows, as Stephen did, despite their different styles. I see too many colors and end up fragmenting a dark value shape. Interesting, isn't it? Styles may vary, but the fundamentals in painting remain true. I hope to learn much from my new teacher. How exciting!