Sunday, 24 February 2008

On beauty...

Haze, Oil on canvas, 65x60cm

Yesterday I finished (?) one of the oil paintings I've been working on for a while. It's the one where haziness was the challenge: how to work with light, atmosphere and mood.
This is where I got to.

Looking at it from the far end of the corridor - our usual spot for a good viewing and critting I felt a bit lost for words. I kind of gathered where I was heading with this one when my friend to whom I showed the first WIP picture from a while back got all dreamy eyes and loved it.

Hm - it is dreamy, beautiful and really rather romantic. Think Caspar David Friedrich, romantic - German Sturm und Drang in painting. And that from the drab field/forest round the corner from my parents' place. Hm...

It's kind of nice to know that I can do beautiful paintings - I think. But what is it really in there that makes it so romantic?

Palette, light and the filling in of associations?

These set of oil paintings are turning out FAR more representational than what I was trying to get it. The task for them was all about light, light and more light. - Hence the liberal use of white.

So, there is plenty of light.

But also - thanks to the raw siena, red earth, lemon yellow and cobalt blue - I've ended up with a very organic palette: It's easy to mix the most beautiful greens, earthy browns, and plenty of light and dark variations of these.

Thirdly, the field and the haze at the line between fields and trees is rather organic in marks and lines also: I was trying - as indeed with the exaggerated line in the mixed media drawing of the same view (here) to abstract this line - it's been the bit in the scene that really got me, the one I was trying to capture and play with - but: it just integrates, neatly becomes a part of it and helps again at making it dreamy.

Good - next attempt: a good painting with less beauty and romanticism ;)


littlemithi said...

Hi Gesa, Thanks for the comment on my blog ... how on earth did you find it?

Have been looking through and admiring your beautiful paintings. Would love to see these mixed media things you were talking about. My collages were a bit of a first to me too - I tend to do textures and colours (ie find pictures with the right textures/colours in, and then cut them up and use for collage). Using the images itself, as a 'photo-montage' as my tutor called it, has been an interesting experience ...

Gesa said...

Hi Mithi - found you through Lindsay Olson and the faces project a while ago, but took me a while to visit again.
Have a look at the collage tag - that brings some of my mixed media stuff up, as well as some other art history and related.
Yes - I had seen and admired your texture/colour collages before. But these photos ones are very interesting too.

Casey Klahn said...

Well done, and good links. My guy, WK, loves his haze effects, too.

The clean violet and pale yellow that you use is very helpful - good eye, Gesa!

Gesa said...

Thank you, Casey!
Yes - the pale lemon yellow worked wonders on the trees and the haze, didn't it? The violet is a new favourite - but I am still always taken aback by the power of the red iron oxide pigment... end up wiping most of it off again, lol.

jafabrit said...

I enjoyed looking at your cloud and sky studies on etsy :) I don't use pastels (just always get mud) but I adore how they look. Beautiful work.

thanks for the add :)

Jenny said...

Looks lovely...and I like the new blog template too

Gesa said...

Hi Jafabrit and Jenny! And thank you!