Saturday, 6 June 2009

The 'aha' moment

Cliff edge, Pouch Cove
8 x 8 oils

You know how you struggle to do something for ages then suddenly the light goes on in your head and it becomes clear as to what you were doing wrong? This is the painting that did that for me.

I have been re-learning oils for probably the last six months. My strokes have been timid and I have been stingy with paint. This painting, of a cliff edge in Pouch Cove was started purely as a relaxation piece and a study in rocks, but seemed to flow. The water, the colours, the thickness of paint seemed to come together and point me in the right direction.

Maybe it was the fact that I didn't have a goal with this piece or a deadline that relaxed me enough toe xperiment and be bolder. I know I will never change my style, which does tend to be more subdued rather than bold, but I like to think that I can enhance it and push it to become more refined and natural.

Now can I do it large scale? Small is safe and easy, more or less. I want to have the same impact of water and land but on a large scale. I guess there's only one way to find out, isn't there?


vivien said...

This is one of my favourites of yours and I think it's really lovely

Working on a larger scale? BIG brushes and you keep the same freedom of marks happening - and can also work faster.

I like the long synthetic bristled brushes they sell for varnishing (furniture/floors) to paint large canvasses. They have a flow and movement that stiff bristle brushes don't have. 2/3/4 inches and wider.

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Fantastic water Jeanette!

I learned how to let loose when I got bigger and started to use my arm rather than my fingers to make marks.

How about small studies in the field and then set up back in the studio with study and photos on the monitor and a big canvas and try to recreate that sense with big brushes, lots of paints and lots of space?

Show us your brushes! ;)

muddy red shoes said...

like this, yes go for it, although large isnt always everything, small is good too.

Laureline said...

A wonderful breakthrough! Congratulations!

Lindsay said...

Beautiful movement in the water. I love how oils can splatter, drip and generally get really juicy.

Kathy said...

Go for it! I think your work would translate to large scale very successfully. I agree with Vivien -use large brushes. The largest painting I've done is 16 feet long, and I used some enormous brushes for it. Also, it's a totally different experience. Physically, you use your entire body to paint at that scale and the natural sweeping motions created by your body enhance the rhythm of the work. Have fun!

Anonymous said...

This is beautiful Jeanette, I love that shimmer on your water!
I think size/scale depends on the scene. Sometimes a small painting has so much more impact than a large one and then there are times when a scene just asks for large scale.
I'm looking forward to some large work from you.

Africantapestry and Myfrenchkitchen said...

I left a comment which was accepted, seems it wasn't really..
I love this Jeanette, you have done such a good job on the shimmering water!
I think a scene dictates whether it should be on small or large scale. sometimes a small painting has so much more impact and then other times you can't do anyhting else but large scale to do justice to the subject.
I'm looking forwrd to some large work from you.

Jeanette said...

Thanks for the positive comments, its good to know I'm heading in the right direction.

I will try my hand at a larger piece and see how it turns out. I have enough water around me to provide inspirations, that's for sure.

I need to still concentrate on the series first, but then again, I often have a couple of paintings on the go at once.

Over the next two weeks, I'm limited in what I can do as I have a house full of people with my daughter's wedding on the 12th. I need to take a little me time away from it all and do some painting each day.

Laureline said...

Best of luck with the wedding, Jeanette!