View Full Version : Fingerboard Rd.

06-15-2012, 08:13 PM

Title: Fingerboard Rd.
Year Created:
Medium: Oil
Surface: Canvas
Dimension: 24 x 30 inches
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

This is the fourth flood painting for an exhibition in November. The series is to reflect the joy that flooding rains bring rather than the mud and muck and devastation due to our penchant for droughts! :D

I am so in love with this painting that it is very hard for me to be object hence I count on you.

06-16-2012, 07:47 AM
Well, it's lovable all right. Not just a fine painting but a really original vision and concept with your hand quite evident (to us fans). I probably would have let it go at that but since you've commanded some crits, I have it a lot of thought and have come up with two ideas. First, you tend towards the chocolate boxy. Whether you go too far, it seems to me, is quite subjecitive. A lot of folks love the colorist approach and a number of master works use it. It's however more common for master works to utilize rather muted colors and I tend to gravitate in that direction. So, initially, a subjective matter. But an ostensible rule of painting (I can see Allan O'Mara reading this and saying the bleep with rules but I digress), says that a painting should not be both tonal and colorist at the same time. The artist should pick one attribute. If vivid colors are to define the painting, the tonal range should be narrow and visa versa. Your painting does exhbit a full tonal range with beautiful darks and glistening highlights so it might be better if the overall chroma was knocked down. Then, arguably, it would be more representative of a wet landscape. My second idea is that the 3 cars seem oddly bunched together on an otherwise empty road. A single car would, I think, be more expressive of a person or family reveling in the beautiful surroundings rather than worrying about the guy weirdly tailgating. And don't you drive on the left in Oz? Anyway, here's a photoshop showing those two ideas.

The reverse approach is to hang onto the chroma and compress the tonal range. This softens the picture and enhances the mood perhaps. It think this is trickier to do in photoshop but here's a go.

I'm interested to see if these alternative visions have worked on you at all but if not, I think they are at least interesting and valid alternate approaches.

06-16-2012, 12:45 PM
I love how you have beautified a simple scene into a beautiful painitn. Your color choices are both startleing and beautifu at the same time. Just a lovely painting. You have made me a fan of yours.

06-16-2012, 02:07 PM
I think this one of your best. My interpretation is the road is flooded in the foreground so the traffic is stopped there wondering do we turn around or wait or get brave (stupid) and see if there is a bottom under that water. I am also thinking the photo has enhanced the colors somewhat as that is what tends to happen to me when uploading here. But even if they are this bright in real, I still love this and wouldn't change a thing.

06-16-2012, 03:06 PM
To tgsloth,
What you say about compressed values with a colorful picture or full range of values with muted colors fascinates me. I have not heard that before, but it makes sense. Can you suggest where I can read more about that concept ?

06-16-2012, 03:14 PM
Never a disappointment Greenie :) - beautiful!! One tiny nit and that is if you look at pictures with water reflections there seems to be a line or cast shadow between the object and what it is reflected. It may settle the cars onto the road, three or one, each has merit. I like CW's interpretation too - do we go or stay.

06-16-2012, 03:29 PM
Such a beautiful painting and for you a familiar subject so your enthusiasm permeates the subject.:)
I love bright colours but I do agree with TG's second version where the colour is a little more subtle. Maybe the size of the marks on the shrubs lower left could be differentiated in size i.e. made a little bigger, to contrast with those on the right side of the road which are further away.

The colours are gorgeous so maybe I haven't really experienced the brilliance of the sun after an area is flooded.

06-16-2012, 05:15 PM
Well, I have to say that your rendition more closely fits the feelings of myself and my young daughters after a prolonged drought. When the rain finally came, we ran outside and danced in the pouring rain, faces uplifted to the sky -- pure unadulterated joy. Your choice of colors certainly recalls that experience rather than the usual gloom of floods and heavy rains. I'd not touch a thing because there is a subtle mood change when you tone it down.

06-16-2012, 06:52 PM
To: she1122
I've read alot of art books and this "be tonal or colorist" advice probably shows up many times. I got it in my head, though at a workshop so that was from the leader orally. So I can't give a reference in a book. I did do a quick web search and found a wonderfully terse quote from Kitty Wallis. Know who she is? A great pastelist who now makes the best sanded pastel paper. She said, "There is one thing that is interesting in working with pure colors to achieve expression. Colors that are high in chroma (or saturation) always tend to a middle value (for that particular color). To lighten or darken a color, you need to add black or white, which reduces the chroma. In this way working with pure colors and working with a large range of values is somewhat contradictory. This is why painters tend to be colorists or tonalists." Next time you go to a museum, squint at paintings to ascertain those that really pop in terms of great value range. Bet you you'll find muted colors. You can see this in art books too but it's not as much fun. I had fun doing the two photoshops as I was teaching myself. Obviously many other posters prefer Marie's original but I find myself attracted by the version with the same color intensity but softened value range. It just swwwiimmmms. And I'm primarily a tonal painter. Interesting to see when Marie wakes up in Oz and joins the fray.

06-16-2012, 08:44 PM
What good stuff in these comments - thank you!

Phil - a fan at last! :D thank you for that compliment.

Christine - you are exactly right. Patience is a necessity when living in the country. And thank you cos I love this painting myself!

Wendy - yes Christine is right; that is exactly how it is done here. Tourists are the only ones pretty much who ignore 'Dont cross flooded roads' then of course we have to go fish the cars out. Sigh. I look at your suggestion too.

Margaretta - I shall talk about the tones and colour in the response to Bob below, OK? :D

Eloise - THANK YOU THANK YOU I could not have put it in words better than you have. 'Rain' here means something so very different to the same word in outher countries. :D

Bob - Very valid and interesting points regarding tonal and colourist. I sorta do WIPs on my Facebook studio page and when I posted the underpants for this painting I said I was doing that stage all in sienna because it was going to be a tonal pointing more than a colourist's effort. Where I painting the same scene in UK for example I would totally agree that a muted work would be right. But as Eloise (above) said Quote: When the rain finally came, we ran outside and danced in the pouring rain, faces uplifted to the sky -- pure unadulterated joy. Your choice of colors certainly recalls that experience rather than the usual gloom of floods and heavy rains.'. So where does that leave the veracity of tonal v colourist and never the twain shall meet? And I agree that to non-Australia this work could come under 'chocolate box' heading but it is saved from the derogatory accolade because it is a painting of Rain. :D He He I win! ROFLOL

06-16-2012, 08:49 PM
Thank you tgsloth ! I have read books and taken some classes and the tonal vs. colorist debate has somehow escaped me or more likely I did not understand what they were talking about . I worry about tone all the time. I love color . I shall look up Kitty Wallis to see her work. This is a new concept to me . I had thought that tone was everything . I have struggled with that concept. Now you have given me something new to look into !
Greensyster , I don't mean to be ignoring your gorgeous picture. I never say anything because I don't know what to say except , " Wow !" Your colors are pure emotion. Usually when I react to colors like this, the painting is a pastel . Somehow you do it with oils ! I so love your work . It is a feast for the spirit !

06-16-2012, 10:27 PM
she1122 - 'Wow' is good - I accept with delight every 'Wow' that comes my way! :) I also have learnt and benefited so much from tgsloth (Bob) thru his critiques.

06-16-2012, 10:48 PM
Ahem. No one's talking about the cars. I thought 3 cars moving didn't make sense but I acknowlege that 3 cars waiting cause of a flooded road works. But my suggestion of one car as an alternate at least deserves some sort of debate. I like the lone car. And what are these cars doing on the right? Is this Australia or Bosnia? And why are headlights on in a scene flooded with gorgious light? The Public Wants to Know.

06-16-2012, 11:18 PM
LOL Scuse me Sir but you are interpreting my next masterpiece!

Cars. OK.

One car is no good for the sentiment of the scene. One car alone on a flooded road speaks of danger and that is not what I want to engender into my flood series.

No it is not Bosnia - close but no cigar!

Usually with flat flooded roads you try to drive in the middle as long as you can see the white line thru the water. In this particular instance (Fingerboard Rd is about 40 kilometers long with lots of flat flooded areas and you do sometimes have to drive on the 'wrong side' of the road. BUT in this instance I stood upon artistic requirement and made it so cos otherwise the COI headlights would have lacked the power they give in this arrangement. Any vehicle driving behind them would know everyone was stopped again.

Also (tho I noted recently that this isn't the go in USA yet) a lot of cars drive with headlights on all the time as a safety precaution. I think the Swedes started it decades ago. We certainly do it.

Now - what else. Ah yes. Normally by now the SES or Police would be along with a yellow two crossed beams road thingame telling people not to enter the flood water. But if I had put that in it would have stopped the eye flow I wanted to direct into the 'empty space' again a tad of artistic license. :)

06-17-2012, 02:19 AM
This style is so neat and unique! The car adds a touch of modern to a otherwise classic looking painting. What a beautiful color scheme

leisure artist
06-17-2012, 06:28 AM
Beautiful Painting.......i Liked The Version With The One Car,but See Your Point,here In The Uk We Have Soo Much Rain,it Is A Joy When The Sun Shines!!!!:)

06-17-2012, 08:08 AM
Green Girl, you have masterfully dealt with all my comments. A very important misinterpretation that I made was that in viewing the piece, I thought the road had water on it. I did not perceive that a little lake had arisen and that the cars couldn't proceed. Other viewers got that. I wonder if there's some tweak that could make the point that the road is closed for folks who misinterpret as I did. Since this is a favorite painting of yours and is certainly beautiful, it deserves all justified tweaking. And since I've been looking at the piece so much, I find another issue. My wife, by the way, sees the same issue while she sternly disagrees with me on the tonal/colorist crit. Consider the clump of foliage at lower left which has become a little island because of the flood. The view of the clump seems to be from nearly directly overhead. But the overall view of the scene is elevated but oblique. So it feels like a perspective error, like the bottom of the painting is dropping down instead of expanding laterally towards the viewer. If you see this too, it's pretty easy to tweak the clump to make it more like the opposite bank in terms of the sighting angle.

06-17-2012, 11:08 AM
A painting dominated by rain and yet so believable colourful .... I'm impressed!

06-17-2012, 08:06 PM
XOXO Thank you for your lovely comments.

Leisure Artist - Bob had very valid points with the car and the hues both of which I appreciated and ass ever with his crits, considered. Thank you for your comments and yes I can well appreciate your 'sun' comparison.

Bob - thank you again. I must say that whenever Mrs C has a comment I listen even more! :D I think I can do something about the water edge to better define it from a distance. And yes I do seem to have an angel complex about perspective so will revisit the clump also.

Coen :D You guys now all about rain! I loved the misty light in the Netherlands - so very different to ours. Thank you.

06-18-2012, 07:12 AM
Yummy! I like it just the way it is. Lovely.

I like both the color range and value range. I think sometimes "chocolate-boxy" works, sometimes chocolate is just what is needed. I saw it as 1 car that was white in the middle, with a red and blue end, and guessed it was a taxi. I think the feeling of rain shines through (ugh, bad pun I know), and because of the intense colors, I think any "technical mistakes" are not a problem. I think if it was more subdued, you would be trying for serious, and then the small technical details might actually become problems (like is the reflected color accurate, is it to high, too low...)

06-18-2012, 04:56 PM
Coen :D You guys now all about rain! I loved the misty light in the Netherlands - so very different to ours. Thank you.

And today we had plenty (rain). You would have liked it, we didn't!:lol:

06-19-2012, 07:42 AM
Alison - thank you for your thoughtful post. And may I say I so agree with you about the importance of knowing when something isn't technically correct but leaving it alone! :). So glad you like the work.

Coen - the rain must be warm tho! LOL

06-21-2012, 03:34 AM
I vote for three cars

I know exactly what you painted Marie and it is accurate and quite beautiful
Though not for those sitting in the cars :) Hope they had some vegemite sangas, pumpkin scones and a thermos handy.

You captured an image of the QLD floods so perfectly


06-21-2012, 04:36 AM
This is a painting about colour, accidentily telling of cars that are waiting for a flood. I understand it's a personal favourite to you and it's easily to guess why. To me too it's a 'caress to the eye'.

06-21-2012, 09:43 AM
Being an Australian citizen and living in this country for 45 years now, I can validate all Marie's explanations! It is a beautiful painting of a beautiful country that shows exceptionally vivid colour especially after rain when the sunlight breaks through. The colours seem to sparkle of rainbows through the evaporating moisture and.... headlights are always on at this point in time while people often veer to other sections of road to access an easier and safer thoroughfare. You have captured that twinkling brilliance of colour Marie, as I myself see it. The beauty of colour in sunshine after rain here in Oz is heaven sent. Wonderful work here, well captured! Cheers. Debs. =))