Oil on Mason board (Completed) 2.10.11
This is probably my first mature attempt at realism. I feel my biggest mistake in painting is putting too much faith in myself. I use no references, no photos, just imagination, and that can get me into a whole mess of trouble. However, this is the first time I was able to paint in a quiet, calm atmosphere, with a clear thought processes, with the motivation to make a truly realistic work.
I usually just paint from a single idea, even from a sketch or two. My paintings tend to are usually abstract and expressionistic,but this semester i wanted to try something more mature. I’ve always had this fascination of trees and I always wanted to paint realistic dream-like trees that only I know about, that only I see in my mind. I feel that this is an okay start.
Some elements work, others don’t. I feel the colors are spot on, the texture is good, and the concept is interesting. I do not like the branch in the font, nor do I like the composition. More planning and sketching in the future will fix composition. As for the branch, it’s very small and thin to paint. I don’t think I have a brush quite right for that, nor do I have a steady hand to paint it. I was just looking for something to make the painting a little more interesting, something to pull the focus into the center.
The process was actually quiet interesting. I discovered by combining house paint primer and sawdust, I could apply a thicker, denser, and more textured base for this piece. I started splattering green paint on top while it was still wet, then i rubbed it into the primer with my hands. I love when I can just plop my hands into some paint. I feel better connected to my work, like i cant shape it easier and get better results for backgrounds as opposed to using brushes. I don’t know, the end product always seems more interesting. After the primer i dried I decided that yellow ochre was my new favorite color. I began drawing vertical lines and dabbing in some rough shapes, until it seemed to take the shape of a tree. The colors and shape reminded me of a dead tamarack swamp along a specific freeway in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, up around St. Germain. After that, it was just a matter of layering, highlighting, and shadowing. The entire painting took about 6 days to complete, and it’s still drying. I hope to frame it when it does dry.
I’m not satisfied with the work, it doesn’t quite feel complete, but I will leave it before I start messing it up, like I tend to do with my paintings.