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LarrySeiler
08-02-2001, 12:08 PM
Well...I've felt challenged lately reading some fine stuff around here. Johanne's article on landscape compositional rules was really good.

I have worked very hard over the past six years to paint "what I see" and respond more courageously to color. Plein air has given me that platform to face such a challenge.

That's saying a lot if you are familiar at all with the wildlife genre I labored to perfect for nearly 17 years prior to all this.

Now...the latest challenge appears as I get more "painterly" realistic...is to mix my colors directly on the canvas itself, and not on the palette first and then applying. Wonder if others here can relate, feel they're working in that same direction?

It creates a greater dynamic and challenge for me since I have worked so hard to adhere to the principle "a brushstroke laid, is a brushstroke stayed!" Because...if you are mixing your colors on the surface of the painting it begs several brushstrokes to somewhat blend and mix. At least it seems to for me.

The advantage of mixing on the palette was I knew what color I was seeking, that it had been accomplished, and now picking up a dab of the color on the brush I was able to focus on the precise stroke.

Of course the idea is to allow the viewer's eye to mix the colors, and an "imperfectly" mixed color allows for more life or sparkle.

I have a couple pieces already uploaded to WC...(very small, 5x7's) where I've been doing this more. One is the "cows" on the "Animal and Wildlife Art" forum...and the other is "Washburn Falls" on the "Landscape Forum." I would say about 70% or more of these two pieces have successfully adhered to mixing directly on the surface, but...man...its tough! Can't imagine doing it 100% yet at this point.

The small pieces are in preparation for variety at a show I'm in this weekend, but also to force experimentation of suggesting detail with stroke and color.

I know some will want to know..."why the fuss?" and some will think light of feeling a need to adhere to any rules. The rule I'm seeking here is one that puts a bit of magic into the work. Like a slight of hand, the image works, but doesn't seem like it should.

Larry

llis
08-02-2001, 01:32 PM
Larry: I know exactly what and how you are feeling.

I still remember when I was learning to write cursive, each time I would have to look at the example and then go with it. I tried my best to make my letters look like the examples, but they never did exactly. I learned the "rules", but it always worried me. Even when I was a young adult, I worried with my signature as if I had to stay within the rules to be legal.

Now you should see my signature..... It's free and happy and sings out loud and clear that "this is ME". It took me years to let go and be me and now I'm proud. I'm doing that with my work too.

I think "the rules" are a must to learn the ropes, but once you learn, then you need to let go and express yourself. I think this is what you are doing right now.

I see nothing wrong with your early works.... I love'um....but I am enjoying seeing you grow with your new freedom. Keep it up.

LarrySeiler
08-02-2001, 01:37 PM
thanks Llis....

its fun. Its revitalizing to have something concrete to work for, and strange to give a re-birthing to those feelings I remember having nearly 20 years ago when I was first starting. The unknowns...some intimidation...but, hindsight knows it'll come eventually. So, its not quite the same.

Larry

Rocio
08-02-2001, 01:45 PM
I never have been able to get this "mix on the canvas" concept..what on earth does that mean...does it mean what every beginner painter seems to want to do; push paint around on the canvas until it resembles mud?
All I know is that I've been taking classes for 4 years from some of the best artists in the country and they all say ; mix the color ( can be with the brush) load it and place it...no more than two touches (spots) to the canvas and then MIX ANOTHER COLOR! and do the same...place it and leave it stay.
I have come to the conclusion that this proceedure is what seperates the amateaurs from the professionals, so to speak. A painting done with this proceedure has value and can fetch a price...any other way (using one mixed color all around the pictue) is just lazy beginner stuff, in my experience...I am trying to motivate myself to follow this principal, it's difficult when one gets tired or confused...as for mixing on the canvas...what's that???

llis
08-02-2001, 01:56 PM
Larry said.......Now...the latest challenge appears as I get more "painterly" realistic...is to mix my colors directly on the canvas itself, and not on the palette first and then applying. Wonder if others here can relate, feel they're working in that same direction?

It creates a greater dynamic and challenge for me since I have worked so hard to adhere to the principle "a brushstroke laid, is a brushstroke stayed!" Because...if you are mixing your colors on the surface of the painting it begs several brushstrokes to somewhat blend and mix. At least it seems to for me.

The advantage of mixing on the palette was I knew what color I was seeking, that it had been accomplished, and now picking up a dab of the color on the brush I was able to focus on the precise stroke.

Of course the idea is to allow the viewer's eye to mix the colors, and an "imperfectly" mixed color allows for more life or sparkle.



Larry: I think your brushstrokes are still important and do understand the tension you feel with laying down a color and feeling as if you have to blend the next color into it....but .... as time goes on, I think you will have less and less tension and your new brushstrokes will come as natural to you as those old comfortable ones are.

When I am testing new grounds, I like to play with those cardboard canvas panels. Sometimes I even use them for my palette. This way, I can "test the waters" and lay colors next to each other to see how I like it before I commit to my actual painting. I bet you do this too.

One other thought and I'll let you get back to your painting..... You know...if you take the same road home everyday, you will always see the same thing. Advice.... take a new road home today.

OR..... If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you always got.

llis
08-02-2001, 02:19 PM
Originally posted by Rocio
I never have been able to get this "mix on the canvas" concept..what on earth does that mean...does it mean what every beginner painter seems to want to do; push paint around on the canvas until it resembles mud?

...as for mixing on the canvas...what's that???


Well.... I certainly am no expert....but here is what I understand "mixing on canvas" to mean......

1. Mixing on canvas means to take the colors that you would normally use to make that color you want and place them on the canvas separately. Then with as few brushstrokes as possible, mix those colors together to complete the area you are working on. As an example.... take a yellow and a blue, mix these on the palette and you will come up with a green. ..... take a yellow and put this down on your canvas, then take your blue and put this beside the yellow..... move your brush thru both colors and call them mixed...... when your eye sees these two color so close, they will mix them for you and your eyes will see a green.

2. Mixing on canvas means to blend your colors on your canvas together completely as if you were mixing from the palette, but only blending the same way you would on your palette. In other words.... like the example above, ...blend only the yellow and blue to make the green.... if you blend all the colors surrounding the area you are working on....you will get mud ..almost for sure.
To avoid this....keep your brush clean.

After saying "keep your brush clean", I know that there are some that say....never clean your brush....but instead leave some of all the colors you are using all over the canvas... This is a tricky thing to do without getting mud. The trick is to keep your paint strokes going with thinner paint before getting gobs of paint working against you.

Remember that too much "noodling" around will destroy your painting. I think this is what you are talking about when you say that most beginners make mud. They noodle around too much. ---------> Hey....this sounds like me. :D

llis
08-02-2001, 02:49 PM
Rocio: Also see this thread for further help in understand,

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=15372

LDianeJohnson
08-02-2001, 05:01 PM
Here are a few thoughts on this very good topic...

Both painting by premixing your colors AND working them into each other on the canvas work and are of value. It all depends on what you are trying to achieve.

Here are a few thoughts on this very good topic...

Larry, it is quite a challenge to lay down the color and leave "as is" to read "as is". It is a great way to paint and really make that visual statement without overcooking the piece. And you are doing a tremendous job with it. Not many painters can purely paint this way. And if you can master the technique eeee-ha!

Since I was in college taking Art history classes, through classical painting, up until I had to really dig into Monet's work and teach about what the Impressionists did, I was told that they never mixed on the palette first; that they only applied directly to the canvas to achieve their color relationships.

I learned that this is not true. On examination of their paintings, they did both methods of painting. It blew me away to think Monet mixed his colors first on the palette then applied to the canvas! Then I visited the large collections of his work and took a closer look for myself. Yep, he mixed on the palette first...he also mixed on the canvas...he also laid colors down side by side, scumbled over old layers of paint...he did it all!

This revelation took so much pressure off of me. Now I am having the best time experimenting with laying color down "as is", as well as mixing/applying...

In short, doing whatever it takes to say what I want to in paint. It's challenging, rewarding, and sometimes successful.

And whether one chooses to paint using value, painting as a colorist, painting in natural colors (See page 4 of Susan Sarback's book "Capturing Radiant Color in Oils", whatever medium you paint in, to see where you fit in the scheme of things, and where you want to go) it's all good, all fine, all worthy, as long as the work itself holds together as great piece. That is the beauty and splendor of being a painter. Free to express in your own way with whatever you want to use.

Diane

LarrySeiler
08-02-2001, 05:47 PM
<b>Really</b> appreciate your input here Diane! Its good to be reminded that in the midst of trying to nail a thing down...such as an approach, there are no hard rules where both cannot be used.

Another artist that surprised me in the way Monet did you...was Sargent. His brushwork appears so flawless, and spontaneous. Yet someone here pointed out that he actually at times declared a physical war on his work and scraped paint off. That his work "appears" so effortless is his genuis.

thanks Diane....

Larry

LDianeJohnson
08-02-2001, 05:59 PM
You're welcome:)

Ahh, or should I say, "ah ha!" Sargent (to quote my friend and artist Larry Seiler). What a constant marvel and inspiration to me. The one hope is, after these years of painting and preparing, to measure up to one ounce of seemingly effortless ease that he possessed in his work. Ahhhhh...

There is one tiny work of Sargent's in the American Impressionist Museum's permanent collection--it continually takes my breath away.

Keep on keepin' on,

D.

Mario
08-02-2001, 07:51 PM
Hi everyone, Scraping the paint off of your canvas is not "waging war" but could be just using the built up image underneath to paint over...
http://www.grossmccleaf.com/artistpages/noelpage.htm
All the work of Scott Noel is scraped off while still wet and repainted the next day (several times and all done with a painting knife) He teaches at the Philadelphia Academy of Art (which used to have a connection with Sargent's painting methods.)
All the color application methods mentioned sound valid because whatever works at the time...A lot of it sounds like the definition of broken color, I also am confused by the "mixing on the Palette" concept...sounds like it would be hard to duplicate- that it would be different and out of control each time. Great topic, though.

Linda Boebinger
08-03-2001, 08:13 AM
Whew! This is a great thread. As a newcomer to oil painting and from a printmaking background, I tend to use transparency to develop color but I've been getting myself into some trouble there. I'm also mixing on the palette, which works, but I don't really like the "flat" effect and end up painting back into the area after it dries.

I'm going to have to experiment with mixing on the canvas, because I think this might lend itself to some of the visual effects I've always gone for in my drawings (lost edges, etc.). But there isn't any reason I can see for not combining several different color mixing techniques in a piece, depending on what you're after....right? Or am I likely to end up with a hodge-podge that is too fragmented visually?

I think I should have bummed around more with the painting students in grad school...;)

LDianeJohnson
08-03-2001, 08:26 AM
...But there isn't any reason I can see for not combining several different color mixing techniques in a piece, depending on what you're after....right?

Right.

Or am I likely to end up with a hodge-podge that is too fragmented visually?

Possibly. To avoid this problem, I recommend learning one technique well, then add another, and another. Trying to learn/mix all techniques at one time is like mixing a whole dinner in one pot. Get to know how to cook the vegetables, then the meat, then desert, etc. Then when you know how to do these, you can create a nice meal with each of the food groups that harmonize as a feast!

Diane

LarrySeiler
08-03-2001, 09:34 AM
Originally posted by Mario
All the work of Scott Noel is scraped off while still wet and repainted the next day (several times and all done with a painting knife


Can't understand....why the scraping is necessary, and repainted Mario....care to elaborate a bit?

I looked at Scott's work....the color use is great, but brushstroke application is not the style I'm developing right now. Mine is more a combination of other artists such as Richard Schmid, Clyde Aspevig....and Sargent is there in the back of my mind.

I also am confused by the "mixing on the Palette" concept...sounds like it would be hard to duplicate- that it would be different and out of control each time. Great topic, though.

"mixing on the palette" means getting the color just the way you want it first on the palette, and then applying it.

Truth is....I like what Paul Strisek taught, in the advantages of having a warm wooden palette, which makes more sense if you are mixing your colors <b>on</b> the palette. The wood being warm cancels out a bit of the warmth of the colors, so if you lean toward liking more warmth and intense color that would correspond to light (Paul painted landscapes, now deceased and a number of great books out) you will naturally mix stronger intense color.

The color you mix to be warm looks warm on the palette, but because it was mixed against a warm background (the wood of the palette) you mix it stronger than if you mixed the pigment on a white palette. A warm color that is not even very intensely warm just tends to look warmer against white because of the contrast. Make sense? Then...when you apply it on the canvas, its effect is not as strong.

Then again...mixing the colors directly on the canvas might have the benefit of getting a better sense of analogous and adjacent color relationships. EEEEeeeeeeeeiiiooiuuUOOoo :rolleyes:
:D

Larry

Mario
08-03-2001, 10:23 AM
Hi, Sorry I didnt mean to say that mixing on the "palette" was what was confusing to mr but rather mixing on the "canvas"....this morning while touching up a portrait I noticed that the paint I applied was too light, in tone, so I immediately went in with a darker tone and blended it, so that it looked right...I'm guessing that, this is what is meant by mixing on the canvas. Seems the natural thing to do in this case.
The reason that Scott "scrapes down his painting" is simply because it looks better when he does and then he has some nice latent images that he paints over and slowly builds the image again. (the floor boards in this painting was scraped and painted 5 times) I don't expect others to use this style but playing with it could give you another tool for use, at times.
http://www.grossmccleaf.com/artistpages/imagepages/noelstillliferichard.htm

LarrySeiler
08-03-2001, 12:02 PM
Originally posted by Mario
...this morning while touching up a portrait I noticed that the paint I applied was too light, in tone, so I immediately went in with a darker tone and blended it, so that it looked right...I'm guessing that, this is what is meant by mixing on the canvas.


I've read artists describing how they'll use a flat, dip one side of the brush in one color (say a yellow), and the other side of the brush in another...and apply it as a stroke on the canvas.

For myself...it means mixing my secondary and tertiary colors directly on the canvas from the primaries, a bit of white..etc;

My darks by mixing viridian, alizarin, phtalo blue, etc., together on the canvas, but...allowing some of the color to remain not "completely" mixed. Hints here and there. Thus, instead of a pure mixed color that is applied, hints of the components that make a color can upon close scrutiny and inspection be seen. Allowing totally for the viewer's eye to mix it at a particular distance from the work.

My testimony is that of being a near photo realist that one day had a head on collision of Richard Schmid's winning entree for the Arts for the Parks competition. Up close...it appeared a complete mess of impasto color and values. I was at once disgusted, but at about 15 feet back it suddenly "popped" into one of the most vibrant breathing realistic waterfalls I've seen. I was hooked, and have been hooked since.

Its one thing to go over your work endlessly doctoring things up until its just right. The work I'm describing (may indeed have some doctoring but doesn't look it), seems bold....courageous, ingenius, immediate. It leaves you shaking your head. You walk out of the place mumbling and talking to yourself. "Can't be... that can't be....! Can't do that....no one...I mean....how dare he, what was he thinking? Who the @$!!(% does he think he is!"

Seeing such in person was a life changing experience. I could never remain as I was.

It was like...okay, you could slip some poison in someone's drink and kill them. Duh!!!! However, to see the art of the likes of Bruce Lee left you speechless. You witnessed something transcendent. Something not ordinary.

Larry

LarrySeiler
08-03-2001, 12:06 PM
FWIW Mario...

I'm basically still an advocate and an initiate in this process. I'm more comfortable as Diane described, using varying methods and perhaps that makes the work overall all the more interesting.

However...I feel that to be able to do so, and do so more and more is to stretch myself and feel as though I'm taking more command of the medium.

Larry

Mario
08-03-2001, 12:14 PM
Great Post Larry, - you are on a roll here...would you speak a little more about what all you saw in that "waterfall" (imprint experience)...? and afterwards, what was it like to start trying to put that waterfall into your own paintings?
This is what it's all about, imo!

LarrySeiler
08-03-2001, 12:54 PM
I've shared this before....but don't mind going over it again. In fact, I had a love/hate thing for Schmid as a result, and went so far as to email him a couple years later thinking he'd get a kick out of it. A good laugh.

I was actually out west mule deer hunting. But, the difference is for an artist, no matter what you're doing...you gotta take a day off to cruise the local culture and check out the arts.

I ventured into this museum in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, which was hosting the top 100 entrees of the National Arts for the Parks competition.

I was so confident upon my old painting techniques that I figured, you know....I should check this out because I might have a chance here. The winner received at that time I think, $100,000 and figured it would give me some gauge of what the judges were looking for.

There were fantastic paintings there. Typically allowing the viewer to get a foot away from the surface and yet see detail, etc;

Studio work allows that very often. Sitting at an easel, you get lazy and get used to making something look good from a couple feet away. Painting outdoors standing up at an easel has allowed me to get away from the work a bit.

So...here I was...this in-studio painter trying to put together a strategy for this competition.

I walked around this wall divider, and there was Schmid's piece entitled- "Rocky Mountain National Park-Mountain Stream."

It struck me so odd because when I first came around the divider I was only about a foot away. Close enough to read the award, title, artist..etc; At a foot away, you saw these bold thick paint ladened brush strokes. A kaleidascope of values which represented water splashing and breaking up over dark wet rocks. In short....it was a mess.

This totally disillusioned my competitive instincts because at that time if I recognized the standard bar of measure for judges was one thing, then you knew what you had to do. What I was first seeing was a mess, and I'm thinkin' (and wonder if I might even have gasped and said it out loud?), "THIS??? THIS WON????"

I looked around, and here were all these fine realistic detail works, and the judges picked a mess to win!

Talk about my own ignorance at that time. The year was 1987.

I walked away from "the mess" in disgust, to look at other more worthy works, however at about four or five paces away...I decided to take another look of disdain over my shoulder. Can you believe someone had managed to switch the painting with a different one....and do so so quickly!

My mouth dropped. Now the work appeared masterfully realistic.

I'm a water guy. Check out my work, and about 95% of it has water in it somewhere.

I have fished all my life. My dad was a state licensed fishing guide in the state of Wisconsin, and we owned a larger boat for sportfishing on Lake Michigan. I did my time in the navy. I've been around and in water, and have seen all kinds.

I'm telling you...that though it were a painting, I could nearly hear the water thrashing against and spilling over the rocks. It suddenly breathed.

Meanwhile...the other works still looked the same. Great...but no greater. Schmid's painting went from chaos, to <b>GREAT</b>.

How did he do that?

I tried to figure this out for about 30 minutes...then had nothing left in me to even bother to look at the other entrees. My mind had been spent.

I left. For the next few months....I grew angrier and angrier with Schmid's work. It wouldn't leave me the heck alone!

I was finding it harder and harder to do my own work. I was laboring so so hard for work that I thought represented life, but Schmid's stupid painting
<b>"B R E A T H S !"</b> How do you get more real than that?

It smacked me so hard Mario, believe me. I was consumed for 17 years with rendering detail to create realism. I learned by copying Rembrandt's and Frans Hals, and developed a sense of the Baroque dramatic lighting in my work. Here was a work that breathed life, and had little of the emphasis of detail that I had spent so much of my life trying to perfect.

Finally....about six months later, I had to begin giving myself permission to experiment.

I began with a couple small painting panels, with a large photo resource. Somehow I figured spontaneity would be a large part of what was required, so I limited my time....set an alarm clock for two hours max, and said, "ready...set....go!"

Then I took a 24" x 48" canvas...bent a large paint scraper and shaped it on a stone to be a large knife. Set out gobs and gobs of paint, and did a painting in less than 14 hours this magnitude of an area pool of water near a falls, big overhanging pines, etc;

This painting was the beginning of a triumph for me. To go from 200 hours required to complete a larger painting to one of 14 hours was amazing. It promised the possibility of doing more work. It required learning more about how the viewer's eye works, and making that my goal more than line by line detail.

that's my story....and I'm stickin' to it!

From what I heard...Mr. Schmid got a chuckle out of my story. I hope so. My hat tips to you Richard!

Larry

Degas5
08-03-2001, 03:05 PM
Rocio, It is possible to mix your paint on the canvas and get good results if you're a seasoned painter and can anticipate to a high degree of success how the colors that you lay down will mix together. In other words, if you have a good foundation in color theory and have been successful mixing color using the methods you have been taught, you should try mixing your color on canvas sometime and see what results. You may be surprised. I'm looking forward to seeing Larry's latest work using this method of putting on color. Gonna go there now.

LarrySeiler
08-03-2001, 03:18 PM
Originally posted by Degas5
I'm looking forward to seeing Larry's latest work using this method of putting on color. Gonna go there now.

well...don't want to disappoint you Degas...but, I only have some smaller 5x7's that I did for a show and experimentation on the landscape and "animal" forum that we've been talking about. However, more and more in all my later works, I am mixing color directly on the canvas. It indeed does challenge you to know and feel confident about color mixing!

Larry

Einion
08-03-2001, 06:05 PM
Originally posted by lseiler
...You walk out of the place mumbling and talking to yourself. "Can't be... that can't be....! Can't do that....no one...I mean....how dare he, what was he thinking? Who the @$!!(% does he think he is!"
Hehe, well put.:D

Two great posts Larry, very instructive and inspiring. While I wouldn't personally throw out the detail-for-greatness approach completely, there is no denying the power and dare I say it, majesty, of working looser and bolder.

You touch on a point that is very close to my heart: the experience of seeing great work in the flesh. You would never have known if you had not seen Schmid's piece in the flesh would you? No picture online, no reproduction in a book can bring anything close to the experience of being able to look at a Rembrandt impasto from only inches away or almost close enough to see Leonardo's fingerprints in the underpainting or being able to look at one of Monet's waterlilies from arm's length and compare it from across the room. Or one of my personal favourites, how Caravaggio used quite loose brushwork that looks so crisp from a distance.

Einion

LarrySeiler
08-03-2001, 10:53 PM
You are quite right Einion...nothing quite the same as seeing it up close and personal!!!

Everytime I visit my son (also an artist and musician) in Chicago, I've got to go and spend the better part of a day in the Art Institute.

You know what else comes of that? The guts to be more bold. When you see something work, in person..which a print in a book doesn't really get across...you tell yourself its more than reasonable to try it!

Larry

harv
08-10-2001, 11:45 AM
When I am painting I am mixing the colour I want on the palette and then applying it to the canvas with an implement, e.g a brush, sponge or a roller - the colour can then be blended, taken off with a rag or painted over either allowing the colour to come through or be covered up.
The way I put the painted marks onto the canvas can mean that I am allowing colour to come through by layering colours - like Richard Diebenkorn's excellent abstracts or Matisse's paintings - and thus creating a new colour mix on the canvas. Glazing is mixing colour in the canvas - scumbling is mixing colour on the canvas and stippling one colour or tone over another is mixing on the canvas - I think this is my definition of mixing colour on the canvas.
Painting for me is all about going on a journey and I'm not sure where I'll end up - just mixing colour on a palette and then never changing your mind once the colour has been applied and building upa painting in this way is alien to me - (it would also take a lot of courage and confidence perhaps) painting for me is all about making decisions, making marks and correcting marks - thus I am mixing colour on the palette and mixing colour on the canvas by allowing colour to sing and relate to each other when it is on the canvas. A colour will change in appearance once is it put onto the canvas with other colours -
Excuse the incoherent ramble - I guess I'm trying to sort the problem out in my head.
Interesting debate. Cheers

Midwest Painter
08-10-2001, 12:30 PM
Originally posted by lseiler
I've shared this before....but don't mind going over it again. In fact, I had a love/hate thing for Schmid as a result, and went so far as to email him a couple years later thinking he'd get a kick out of it. A good laugh.

I was actually out west mule deer hunting. But, the difference is for an artist, no matter what you're doing...you gotta take a day off to cruise the local culture and check out the arts.

I ventured into this museum in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, which was hosting the top 100 entrees of the National Arts for the Parks competition.

I was so confident upon my old painting techniques that I figured, you know....I should check this out because I might have a chance here. The winner received at that time I think, $100,000 and figured it would give me some gauge of what the judges were looking for.

There were fantastic paintings there. Typically allowing the viewer to get a foot away from the surface and yet see detail, etc;

Studio work allows that very often. Sitting at an easel, you get lazy and get used to making something look good from a couple feet away. Painting outdoors standing up at an easel has allowed me to get away from the work a bit.

So...here I was...this in-studio painter trying to put together a strategy for this competition.

I walked around this wall divider, and there was Schmid's piece entitled- "Rocky Mountain National Park-Mountain Stream."

It struck me so odd because when I first came around the divider I was only about a foot away. Close enough to read the award, title, artist..etc; At a foot away, you saw these bold thick paint ladened brush strokes. A kaleidascope of values which represented water splashing and breaking up over dark wet rocks. In short....it was a mess.

This totally disillusioned my competitive instincts because at that time if I recognized the standard bar of measure for judges was one thing, then you knew what you had to do. What I was first seeing was a mess, and I'm thinkin' (and wonder if I might even have gasped and said it out loud?), "THIS??? THIS WON????"

I looked around, and here were all these fine realistic detail works, and the judges picked a mess to win!

Talk about my own ignorance at that time. The year was 1987.

I walked away from "the mess" in disgust, to look at other more worthy works, however at about four or five paces away...I decided to take another look of disdain over my shoulder. Can you believe someone had managed to switch the painting with a different one....and do so so quickly!

My mouth dropped. Now the work appeared masterfully realistic.

I'm a water guy. Check out my work, and about 95% of it has water in it somewhere.

I have fished all my life. My dad was a state licensed fishing guide in the state of Wisconsin, and we owned a larger boat for sportfishing on Lake Michigan. I did my time in the navy. I've been around and in water, and have seen all kinds.

I'm telling you...that though it were a painting, I could nearly hear the water thrashing against and spilling over the rocks. It suddenly breathed.

Meanwhile...the other works still looked the same. Great...but no greater. Schmid's painting went from chaos, to <b>GREAT</b>.

How did he do that?

I tried to figure this out for about 30 minutes...then had nothing left in me to even bother to look at the other entrees. My mind had been spent.

I left. For the next few months....I grew angrier and angrier with Schmid's work. It wouldn't leave me the heck alone!

I was finding it harder and harder to do my own work. I was laboring so so hard for work that I thought represented life, but Schmid's stupid painting
<b>"B R E A T H S !"</b> How do you get more real than that?

It smacked me so hard Mario, believe me. I was consumed for 17 years with rendering detail to create realism. I learned by copying Rembrandt's and Frans Hals, and developed a sense of the Baroque dramatic lighting in my work. Here was a work that breathed life, and had little of the emphasis of detail that I had spent so much of my life trying to perfect.

Finally....about six months later, I had to begin giving myself permission to experiment.

I began with a couple small painting panels, with a large photo resource. Somehow I figured spontaneity would be a large part of what was required, so I limited my time....set an alarm clock for two hours max, and said, "ready...set....go!"

Then I took a 24" x 48" canvas...bent a large paint scraper and shaped it on a stone to be a large knife. Set out gobs and gobs of paint, and did a painting in less than 14 hours this magnitude of an area pool of water near a falls, big overhanging pines, etc;

This painting was the beginning of a triumph for me. To go from 200 hours required to complete a larger painting to one of 14 hours was amazing. It promised the possibility of doing more work. It required learning more about how the viewer's eye works, and making that my goal more than line by line detail.

that's my story....and I'm stickin' to it!

From what I heard...Mr. Schmid got a chuckle out of my story. I hope so. My hat tips to you Richard!

Larry

Hi Larry,

I had to print out your post just for inspiration. What you are describing would be my next evolutionary step as a painter. But I didn't realize it until you described it. Thanks a lot. I see you're from Wisconsin too. If you're ever in the Lake Geneva/Delavan area look me up. I'll be sending you an email.

Pen
09-01-2001, 10:57 PM
Originally posted by lseiler


My testimony is that of being a near photo realist that one day had a head on collision of Richard Schmid's winning entree for the Arts for the Parks competition. Up close...it appeared a complete mess of impasto color and values. I was at once disgusted, but at about 15 feet back it suddenly "popped" into one of the most vibrant breathing realistic waterfalls I've seen. I was hooked, and have been hooked since.

Larry

I so envy you being able to see that painting in person. Schmid is my favorite contemporary artist, hands down. I am in awe of him, and all I've ever seen of his work are photos in books or on the net. Is this the painting you saw?

http://artroots.com/art/rschmid.jpg

I am very excited about an upcoming event in the next town though. Beginning Sept 8th, the Appleton museum in Ocala, Florida will have on loan some of the paintings by the greats - Monet, Renoir, Picasso, van Gogh, Cezanne, Degas and others.
I absolutely can't wait...!

LarrySeiler
09-03-2001, 05:08 PM
Originally posted by Pen


I so envy you being able to see that painting in person. Schmid is my favorite contemporary artist, hands down. Is this the painting you saw?
http://artroots.com/art/rschmid.jpg


This one is very nice, but is "Yukon Waterfall" completed in 1993....the painting he won with at the 1987 Arts for the Park competition was entitled, "Rocky Mountain National Park-Mountain Stream."

A good classic example, and I guarantee you.....up close it will look like a mess, but ooOOooohh, what a fine mess it will be! Sheer genius.

Larry

Pen
09-03-2001, 09:07 PM
Originally posted by lseiler


This one is very nice, but is "Yukon Waterfall" completed in 1993....the painting he won with at the 1987 Arts for the Park competition was entitled, "Rocky Mountain National Park-Mountain Stream."

A good classic example, and I guarantee you.....up close it will look like a mess, but ooOOooohh, what a fine mess it will be! Sheer genius.

Larry

Found it. Speechless...

http://www.artfinders.com/printart/schmidr/images/mtnstream[1].jpg

LarrySeiler
09-03-2001, 10:28 PM
Originally posted by Pen


Found it. Speechless...

http://www.artfinders.com/printart/schmidr/images/mtnstream[1].jpg

anyone interested in checking out this link, you will have to physically type in the "[1].jpg" after the frist part or the "page cannot be found" message will come up.

Yes...this is it, and what an awesome painting. When you see this in person, you'd swear you can hear the water tumbling! This image online does not do it justice!

Larry

Pen
09-03-2001, 11:11 PM
Originally posted by lseiler


anyone interested in checking out this link, you will have to physically type in the "[1].jpg" after the frist part or the "page cannot be found" message will come up.

Yes...this is it, and what an awesome painting. When you see this in person, you'd swear you can hear the water tumbling! This image online does not do it justice!

Larry

Thanks, Larry. I didn't realize about the link... And I can just imagine how awesome this picture would be in person. Wish I could someday see it. I'm looking on the web for another of his paintings and can't find it. (I'm collecting them as wallpaper and screen savers with Webshots). I don't remember the name of it, but it's a picture of a girl standing by a lake in the woods, and there are waterbirds (geese? swans?)in front of her in the lake. Do you know the one I mean? If I had the name of the painting, maybe I could find it.