|miranda autumn ~ 2011 daily painting 09 ~ 6" x 6" oil on panel ~ copyright dawn chandler 2011|
The scene: Based on a photo taken after a cold and windy autumn ascent of Baldy c. 2009. Here we're skirting the south edge of the meadow, walking down, away from the cabin.
The first day of December and I'm thrilled to be back at work again in my studio. Hard to believe it but I haven't actually painted in a couple of months (!!!)
And having spent most of this year's studio time focused on mixed media painting, I'm eager to focus on landscape again, at least for a few weeks. I have some ideas brewing for a new series that will combine mixed media with landscape elements, but while I'm working out some of those ideas in my head and sketchbook, I want to use my painting time to bone up on "traditional" landscapes in oil. If nothing else, I want to use up some of the already stretched canvases laying about in my studio.
So the other day I assessed my inventory of oil paint and brushes, found large gaps in my stock, made a list of all that I need (how the heck could I be out of Cobalt Blue? ....Or Veridian....Or Burnt Umber?...Or Pthalo Blue? ....Or...or...6-inch square panels for that matter?!), and set about painting anyway, despite the gaping holes in my supplies.
The sigh of delight in painting again was audible (I think my neighbors all looked up as my whole being exclaimed "HOORAY!!")
Things were off to a great start and this little painting (on the last 6 x 6 panel I could find kicking around my studio) was coming along just fine, but then after a few minutes I noticed I was starting to get too caught up in details. ARGH! I've written about this before, so you long-timers here know how I hate that. When I get caught up in details, the painting starts to look over-wrought and too uptight. What I love is when I can loosen up and let the paint do its thing without over-working it; when the paint suggests something accurately — maybe even with a little bit of ambiguity or abstraction — rather than spelling out every last detail, THAT'S what I love!
A painter who does this beautifully is S.P. Goodman. His paintings simply dazzle me. His sense of color and light combined with is handling of the paint is masterful. There's an economy to his use of paint and a confidence to his brushwork that I envy. Check out his work on his blog: http://spgoodman.blogspot.com. And look at that painting "The Causeway" from November 16th. Is that stunning or what? He provides just enough information to give you the perfect sense of time and space, but no more.
So with my painting above, when I found myself with a very small brush in hand trying to carve out details and the painting already looking over-worked, I took a look at Mr. Goodman's paintings. "Ah, YES!" I grabbed a rag and a much larger brush and smeared and smudged and some paint around.
Voila! Much, much better!