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SweetBabyJ
09-06-2004, 04:58 PM
I'm determined to crack this landscape thing. I know, I know, I should prolly start out with just simple shapes and play that way- but where's the fun in that?!? Much better to grumble and whine and complain- at least that way, maybe people will quit thinking I should do 'em. Ah, well, it's a thought anyway.

Wallis, 14" x 17" or so, mix, and nearly too schmaltzy to be believed, but just means TK doesn't have anything to worry about from me *yet*.... (I could never do that BobRoss thing either- taught me right quick to shut-up about making fun of his work since I couldn't do it my ownself....)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Sep-2004/9169-landscape01.jpg


C&C welcomed, but understand I'll whine a lot....

khourianya
09-06-2004, 05:32 PM
at least that way, maybe people will quit thinking I should do 'em. Ah, well, it's a thought anyway.



Nope - not gonna happen. Your landscapes are as beautiful as the rest of your work. I love this one...it is just so pretty and so filled with light...keep them a-comin'!

SweetBabyJ
09-06-2004, 07:14 PM
lol Kori- I appreciate your vote of confidence, but I'm really not happy with it. It's "sweet"- it's schmaltzy; it's not dramatic, it's begging for attention. Despite how detailed it looks, it's quite loosely done- and I cannot figure out how to get even looser without it being unreadable. Here's a close-up of the rocks along the farther shore- just darks and lights really- yet they read as far too detailed.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Sep-2004/9169-lsdet01.jpg

Think I need to go find a road-barn-hillside-sky pic and play that way for awhile- either that or give up on the sweeping-vista landscape- it's obviously not my thing.

Tom Christopher
09-06-2004, 08:24 PM
[It's "sweet"- it's schmaltzy; it's not dramatic, it's begging for attention. Despite how detailed it looks, it's quite loosely done- and I cannot figure out how to get even looser without it being unreadable. Here's a close-up of the rocks along the farther shore- just darks and lights really- yet they read as far too detailed.

I think you have stated very well the challenges you are facing. I feel you tend to look at objects(trees ,rocks, bushes,etc) in a landscape as idividuals with their own uniqueness. I guess I look at the same tree or rock as belonging to a group of rocks or a tree to a line of trees all having the same traits and simalarities. You may try doing a charcoal landscape and use just a few colored pastels. to finish it..This may help to tie the piece together and force you to paint in terms of groups..I don't know if this will be helpful or even makes sense..Just trying to get inside your head... Best of luck Tom

SweetBabyJ
09-06-2004, 09:49 PM
Yep- exactly, Tom. It is very, very difficult for me to say "This is a shape- not a tree" when it is, quite clearly, a tree. Guess I gotta try the charcoal thing too (*sigh* move over Sue) but even there I make no promises- even in graphite and pen and ink I did the same thing.

*whine* Won't any of you just say "Give up now..."??

Deborah Secor
09-06-2004, 10:33 PM
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Sep-2004/23609-Julie1.JPG


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Sep-2004/23609-Julie2.JPG


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/06-Sep-2004/23609-Julie3.JPG

Julie, just limit your vision. I'm not suggesting a crop--just a way of seeing. Think still life--don't put so many objects in and concentrate on the ones there. You have some beautiful compositions here...

Deborah

Kathryn Wilson
09-06-2004, 10:33 PM
Have you ever considered that this is just your "style" of painting? In your still lifes and florals, you are very detailed - and you are doing the same thing here. It's all about detail - and there is nothing wrong with that, but in nature (unless you are really close to an object), the detail gets blurred and blends into shapes and color.

Your pond painting and the complement study worked because they were close into your view and you could detail all the rocks and the plants in the pond - but here you are trying to detail every rock and tree branch, even in the distance. I also find the tonal values from front to back (except the darker pine trees) are pretty much the same. It's lacking some contrast.

On the other hand, your trees look real, your rocks look real - they just are not congealing together. Each one looks like a study of that object with no relationship to the object next to it.

Don't give up! So maybe baby steps - landscapes that are more close up for a while, and then gradually working out from there?

SweetBabyJ
09-06-2004, 10:43 PM
Ohhh- aren't y'all so sweet! You're exactly right, Kat, in that it LOOKS as if each thing is it's own thing- 'cause that's how I see such a vista- lots and lots of *things*. And Deborah- thank you- that's pretty much what I was going to do with this pic in the first place, but considered it wimping out- lol- and so did the whole thing. Next time, I'll know better and follow my instincts.

Well. that and every crop I tried had a "barrier" in- *I* didn't mind, but I knew others would.

So I don't hafta do these anymore?!??

Kathryn Wilson
09-06-2004, 10:47 PM
Nope, that's not what I'm saying - :p

SweetBabyJ
09-06-2004, 10:57 PM
Dang it!!

CarlyHardy
09-06-2004, 11:41 PM
They said it before me..so I won't repeat :)

A suggestion....take your reference into photoshop (or whatever) and fuzzy it out....take away the sharpness and clear cut edges to the landscape until you can only see "shapes" of color. Look outside and squint until everything becomes blurred...that's what you want to see on the image.

Now paint that.

It may not turn out to be what you think it is supposed to be the first time...but it will help you to begin to see shapes as connections that form objects...not the other way around. You may always have a tendency to paint more realistically, even with a landscape. That is not a bad thing!!

If I put in detail before I have all the shapes in the painting worked out, then I tend to have to keep that level of detail all over the painting. Blurring out the image will show that some shapes are connected and overlapping.

When you reach a point that you feel you'll bust if you can't add some detail, look at your original reference and decide what is the more important part to focus on. Where is the most interest? Put the slightest details there and see if it doesn't suddenly come alive! You'll perceive details in other areas that really don't exist...the eye is easily fooled :)

Choose a scene, then ask yourself "what drew me to this"? Crop and paint just that portion. Create an interest for yourself in the landscape. Sometimes I ask myself "if I could sit and stare at this scene, what would I choose to stare at". A quick look usually gives me the answer.

Hope these tips help some. I love landscapes. I feel like I'm capturing a moment in time and sharing it with others.
carly

Pinecone Conniff
09-07-2004, 07:09 PM
I really like the advice you have gotten!...especially from Kyle...and you can paint whatever subject you want to! You are the artist...that is the beauty of it!... :D
And you can complain all you want to as well!! :wink2:
Annette

SweetBabyJ
09-07-2004, 07:20 PM
awww- thanks Annette- that's so nice of you- 'cause I am so much better at complaining than I am at landscapes....

Thanks, Carly, and I do know what you mean, but somehow, when pastel goes to paper, it's painting *things*, not shapes. I dunno- I think some people may just be wired differently, and that's why some genres aren't considered a strong suit. I'll start with much smaller steps, I think. One tree- MY way.... hahahaa!

K Taylor-Green
09-07-2004, 10:37 PM
You go girl!! And maybe I'll follow you. The sad thing, is that I didn't see anything wrong with it. Maybe that's why I don't do landscapes.

Khadres
09-07-2004, 11:36 PM
I'm going to make an observation here that may be way off base, but here goes...(you can whine about it and even smack me with an old sheaf of rolled up Canson, if ya want!)

I get the feeling in this instance that we have Julie, The Determined One who has decided that she's going to do landscapes if it kills her. So....there she goes..."some mountains here, some trees there, throw in some rocks, and nice little stream and some ferny bushes and see, it's not working, dangit! I HATE this and WHY am I doing this???"

Why ARE you doing this? Do you love the scene before you that you've created? Is there an element in it that draws you like the buds of the macro flowers you do? If not, why not? You can spend your whole life doing rocks that look "realistic" but lie there like unhappy potatoes. You can dash your brains out doing "real" trees that look like the ones you buy at Wal-Mart at Xmas...beautiful, real, but nothing to you personally at all. I know you're working your darndest at this, but I don't see Julie in this ANYWHERE except maybe in the ferny bushes a bit and that's very fleeting.

You've put together all the elements and you're masterful enough to paint it all "correctly", but I have a sneaking hunch you don't give a rat's rear end about ANY of it. When you say it looks "sweet" what you're really saying (or at least what I'm HEARING) is that it's false, it's synthetic, it's the sort of thing you hate and despise and yet you feel compelled to keep trying because some of the others here do landscapes so well and you feel you should too. For want of any other acceptable phrase here, all I can say to that is PHOOEY. Yes, you CAN quit doing these at least for the time being, if you want to. It's up to you, after all. Or...you can keep pounding your head against the wall trying to do something that's basically indifferent to you....WHY, I can't imagine, but hey, we all do things that tear our souls apart because we THINK we should.

The point I'm trying to make is not that you should give up on landscapes altogether, but I don't see ANY weakness in waiting until you find a subject, a spark, a little scene only you can see that will COMPEL you to paint it in your own special way. Trust me....when you find that little corner of the countryside, you'll KNOW what to put in it and what to leave out, what details matter and what's just background, you'll know what you want to SAY with it. You'll paint that puppy til it SHINES and takes the breath away from everybody who sees it just like you do everything else and it'll be EASY...well, pretty easy anyway... :cool:

You're far too accomplished and gifted to struggle like this over something that will resolve itself, on its own, eventually. Right now you're focusing on your intimate interiors, your flowers, your studies of the play of light through windows, etc. What the devil's wrong with THAT? And I tell ya what...I know whereof I speak cause I've tried to do precious little bouquets and room interiors til I've been blue in the face....they all stunk....for the very same reasons; I really haven't found THE flower or THE interior that spoke to me and while I know some think one should push themselves to do "everything" equally well, I also know it's not time for me to do roses. So be it. YOU do the roses, I'll do the stupid fenceposts and dry grass going up the road and when we get all there is to be had out of those, we'll move on to seeing the next special thing.

Do I make any sense at all or am I totally off base? Sorry if I am, but sometimes I get carried away. I'm a firm believer in loving what you do when it comes to art....if you don't, how can anybody else? Besides, life's too short already.

PS: I hope others won't miscontrue what I meant here as meaning that one shouldn't challenge oneself to try new things. Far from it. But when I challenge myself it's to try something I'm nuts about to begin with. I can admire the devil out of you portraiture folks, but I haven't found anybody yet I'm that crazy about painting. Someday I will, and I'll be scrambling around trying my wings at figures and faces...y'all will REALLY be in for it then!

prestonsega
09-07-2004, 11:41 PM
You may try doing a charcoal landscape and use just a few colored pastels. to finish it..This may help to tie the piece together and force you to paint in terms of groups..I don't know if this will be helpful or even makes sense..

This makes sense to me...I am going to try it...Seems like a really nice work could be achieved this way...Gosh, I learn new stuff all the time in here!

Julie...as I am no master of landscapes, I refrain from making commet...I can say that I am learning a lot from this thread so a big thanks to you and the others,....I particularly like the first crop that Dee exemplified,,(crop king that I tend to be )

SweetBabyJ
09-08-2004, 12:48 AM
Oh great- "If I can't be a good example, I'll just have to serve as a horrible warning"?!?

I can live with that....

emmachester
09-08-2004, 02:03 AM
Well, Julie, I was going to post one thing and then I read Khadres' post, and I had to take a minute to think. Hmmm. Is she onto something?

From what I've seen, you have a very unique style and when you are true to it, the results are amazing. I don't get from you the feeling that you want to do landscapes because others in the forum do them, and I also would differ with Khadres in that I think you DO care for at least some of the scenes you have attempted, but there's something else that either holds you back or pushes you to keep trying.

Having said that, I, too, liked the painting and I think all the great ideas everyone had would work quite well, but I also saw some of your unique style in the sandstone coloring of the rocks and the cool blue of the mountains. Are you resisting some of the "rule" of landscapes? Do you want to break out and create your own definition of landscape? Or am I way off target?

Whatever the truth is, I was very touched by Khadres in-depth attempt to help you get some peace on this topic. Many people here know you very well and care very much for you, and that counts for a lot in my book.

(Khadres--beautifully written.)

Sherry

Kitty Wallis
09-08-2004, 02:22 AM
I'm going to make an observation here that may be way off base, but here goes...(you can whine about it and even smack me with an old sheaf of rolled up Canson, if ya want!)

I get the feeling in this instance that we have Julie, The Determined One who has decided that she's going to do landscapes if it kills her. So....there she goes..."some mountains here, some trees there, throw in some rocks, and nice little stream and some ferny bushes and see, it's not working, dangit! I HATE this and WHY am I doing this???"

Why ARE you doing this? Do you love the scene before you that you've created? Is there an element in it that draws you like the buds of the macro flowers you do? If not, why not? You can spend your whole life doing rocks that look "realistic" but lie there like unhappy potatoes. You can dash your brains out doing "real" trees that look like the ones you buy at Wal-Mart at Xmas...beautiful, real, but nothing to you personally at all. I know you're working your darndest at this, but I don't see Julie in this ANYWHERE except maybe in the ferny bushes a bit and that's very fleeting.

You've put together all the elements and you're masterful enough to paint it all "correctly", but I have a sneaking hunch you don't give a rat's rear end about ANY of it. When you say it looks "sweet" what you're really saying (or at least what I'm HEARING) is that it's false, it's synthetic, it's the sort of thing you hate and despise and yet you feel compelled to keep trying because some of the others here do landscapes so well and you feel you should too. For want of any other acceptable phrase here, all I can say to that is PHOOEY. Yes, you CAN quit doing these at least for the time being, if you want to. It's up to you, after all. Or...you can keep pounding your head against the wall trying to do something that's basically indifferent to you....WHY, I can't imagine, but hey, we all do things that tear our souls apart because we THINK we should.

The point I'm trying to make is not that you should give up on landscapes altogether, but I don't see ANY weakness in waiting until you find a subject, a spark, a little scene only you can see that will COMPEL you to paint it in your own special way. Trust me....when you find that little corner of the countryside, you'll KNOW what to put in it and what to leave out, what details matter and what's just background, you'll know what you want to SAY with it. You'll paint that puppy til it SHINES and takes the breath away from everybody who sees it just like you do everything else and it'll be EASY...well, pretty easy anyway... :cool:

You're far too accomplished and gifted to struggle like this over something that will resolve itself, on its own, eventually. Right now you're focusing on your intimate interiors, your flowers, your studies of the play of light through windows, etc. What the devil's wrong with THAT? And I tell ya what...I know whereof I speak cause I've tried to do precious little bouquets and room interiors til I've been blue in the face....they all stunk....for the very same reasons; I really haven't found THE flower or THE interior that spoke to me and while I know some think one should push themselves to do "everything" equally well, I also know it's not time for me to do roses. So be it. YOU do the roses, I'll do the stupid fenceposts and dry grass going up the road and when we get all there is to be had out of those, we'll move on to seeing the next special thing.

Do I make any sense at all or am I totally off base? Sorry if I am, but sometimes I get carried away. I'm a firm believer in loving what you do when it comes to art....if you don't, how can anybody else? Besides, life's too short already.

PS: I hope others won't miscontrue what I meant here as meaning that one shouldn't challenge oneself to try new things. Far from it. But when I challenge myself it's to try something I'm nuts about to begin with. I can admire the devil out of you portraiture folks, but I haven't found anybody yet I'm that crazy about painting. Someday I will, and I'll be scrambling around trying my wings at figures and faces...y'all will REALLY be in for it then!

What she said. :clap:

SweetBabyJ
09-08-2004, 11:32 AM
HOOORAY!!

:music: I don't hafta do landscapes no more! :music: I don't hafta do landscapes no more! :music:


Hahahahaha!

Truly, I''ve been trying damned landscapes because they're an area I am so weak in- and I refuse to have an area I'm so weak in if I can help it. So many things I want to paint are part and parcel of a landscape- like that porch scene- so I need to be able to do a credible bit of "and the rest of the story". But (get ready for the peek into my brain- take your overnight bag- this could be a long, tangled trip):

I work best in detail- macro, surely, but mostly detail- in your face- look at THIS! Like Sue, I can get lost in an oil slick. In fact, I've a painting laid out of autumn trees reflected in a series of puddles- but see, can't do trees yet- at least not ones which are credible, and while the painting is a shimmering idea in my head, I cannot put it to paper until I've mastered trees. Soo... that's what I've gotta do.

This morning, as I swam up to "awake", I finally really understood what Tom was saying to do with the charcoal- "Oh! I see now!" And he's right- that would make a credible landscape- but- and I'm sorry Tom, however, this is the drawback to me- it wouldn't be THAT place. It would be a simulacrum, it would be a "kinda looks like", it would be like the Garden of the Gods sketch thingie- a remembrance, but only identifiable because of those rocks (if you've been there, you know 'em, if you haven't, you don't believe 'em). Well, that's good enough for lots and lots of people, problem is, that isn't what I SEE. I see those HUGE rocks, HUGE, set down into the green and ochre and rearing up against the blue-blue-blue of a Colorado sky.

What attracted me to the scene in the first place? Those HUGE rocks, against that BLUE sky- now how do I capture that without including the rest of the scene? Can't, really- so I better figure out how to do the rest of the place. Which is where we run into problem #2- I LIKE trees. I know a whole lot about trees- took a mini course once in identifying trees by shape- by their skeletons- so I know what they are *supposed* to look like- trust me, an oak looks nothing like a cottonwood, and you cannot mistake a maple for a fruit tree. This means, for ME, I hafta be able to fake in the proper shape, or the piece is just wrong. (I'm getting better at pines, spruce and firs- but it still bugs me to lay in a big ol' Doug fir and then hafta blue it down so it ends up looking like a blue spruce. Be like trying to paint an aspen and have it come out looking like a willow- they may be distantly related, but they are in no way the same kinda tree). So, another thing I'm working on is credible tree-types while allowing them to be "shapes". This is NOT easy for me. I'm soothing myself with a maple of extraordinary drama.

You know why that piece is so sugary sweet? Because those colours are so brightly accurate. That is EXACTLY how they look to me- I've been there, walked there- the greens gleam and the blues glow and those golds are like a strong soprano in a chorus of tenors- she sings out so high and pure glass breaks. And the weird part is- if you look at the piece closely- there's very little *colour* in the back- and mid-grounds- other than those three aspen trees- it's all green or blue grays and miscellaneous darks- so the golds just sing!! The foreground, then, has to be even stronger- and so the whole piece becomes, as Salzella said of Mozart's work: "Too many notes".

Do I want to be a landscapist? Not particularily- I find most landscape paintings quite boring- there's no drama in 'em, nothing as a painting to make me stop and say "How'd they DO that??" But there very definately are places I want to be able to capture- places with drama of light or colour- and make people say "How'd she DO that??" "Wow! What a great viewpoint!" and, mostly, they're like this- dramatic, colourful, WOW! places. So, I gotta learn how to just see the one (or two) things which will make the place sing as real, and then figure out how to make supporting players be supporting, rather than stars in themselves. Y'all say "squint"- lol- you don't realize I've squinted my whole life to make things come into focus better- even WITH my glasses on.

Gimme some time, I'll get there- or wear out a whole lotta Wallis trying.

But thanks for the encouragement- nice to have that!

Tom Christopher
09-08-2004, 12:37 PM
I salute and respect you for your determination. For me it's still life paintings,, I don't like them probably because I 'm not very good at them. It seems I don't have a good time when I'm painting objects close up and concentrating on minute details. Maybe it would be interesting to start a thread on subjects we hate to paint .. Any way best of luck Tom

Mikki Petersen
09-08-2004, 01:13 PM
Julie, I understand your determination. I feel the same thing about portraits. It's not that I want to be a portrait artist, it's more that I want to be able to do a face or figure if it's appropriate to the work I want to communicate. You have been given tons of great advice here. My question is...is this from a reference (live or photo) or from your imagination? Not having studied the landscape intensely, you might want to work from real scenes as your knowledge base is not yet fully developed regarding landscapes.
More important...I find my best works are when I do "macro" landscapes. In effect, I am selecting a still life from the landscape...a pile of rocks, a group of plants, an old tree stump with wildflowers around it, etc. I am naturally drawn to the panoramic vista but am finding that panoramas do not generally interpret well into paintings. Now, I am learning to focus my camera on all the intricate elements in the surroundings. I found, working on the Red Rocks before leaving on vacation, that I could not finish it becausse I had no good reference for the vegetation I needed in the foreground. This is not because I'm a detail freak but more because, to be convincing, the objects in the foreground have to represent more detail and if the plants do not look like what grows in that setting, the viewer will be thrown off. So now I'm focusing on the objects that compose the scene and finding that the photos are much more compelling to paint than are the larger vistas.

I guess that sounds like an argument for painting each object for itself but it is not. The argument is to look of the smaller compositions. In English 1A, we were taught to limit our subject, that the broader our subject, the more difficult it would be to create a coherent essay, thesis, etc. I am finding the same to be true of landscape painting. The broader the subject, the less detailed it must be or the coherence is lost. Smaller scenes become "still lifes" in the truest sense.

P.S. I do not think your landscape is schmaltzy. It has a generic quality that led me to ask if it was from your imagination. There is no element of surprise or awe, just all the expected stuff. On the other hand, there is a sort of Grant Woods clarity of line.

Maybe what we need to do is not think about the genre so much as trying to capture on paper what moves us. Like Sooz and others have said.

Meldy
09-08-2004, 01:17 PM
Ok I have only been able to skim over this post. And this is in NO way telling you NOT to do landscapes. But I have learned something recently that I am more and more convinced of.

Perfect what you are good at. It will make you stronger than trying to be good at everything. Specialization is what makes people strong, it is what makes anything strong. This is not to say that you shouldn't learn new things, and perfecting what you are great at is HARD WORK. But if you are AMAZING at something.. work towards making yourself 10 xs as AMAZING at that thing you LOVE. For instance.. if someone is a great thinker... but a poor speaker and works at being an even greater thinker and enough of a speaker to get by he will be KNOWN and CELEBRATED for his great ideas. If he decides that he must be a great thinker AND great speaker.. chances are he will become average in both and won't be remembered for either.

AGAIN - not telling you to stop landscapes... what you do is good. But if you don't enjoy them and are just trying to tackle a lot of areas you arn't as strong in as what you are very strong in and love.. you are cheating yourself. BUT if this is something you WANT to accel at then it may be that you are meant to be good at it. You just have to decide if you want it vs. just have to be good at everything.

I know.. I spread myself too thin. :o I have had to learn this the hard way.

I have only written this in response to what Khadres had to say (bravo). Not to the quality of your painting. You have talent girl!

SweetBabyJ
09-08-2004, 02:32 PM
I salute and respect you for your determination. For me it's still life paintings,, I don't like them probably because I 'm not very good at them. It seems I don't have a good time when I'm painting objects close up and concentrating on minute details. Maybe it would be interesting to start a thread on subjects we hate to paint .. Any way best of luck Tom

Hahahaha! Go Tom! We had a project a year or so ago- "The Weak Area". Your turn to run it this year: "The Weak Area, Part Deux". You do a credible still life- capturing the drama you see in a landscape, and I'll do a landscape, capturing the drama I see in a still life. Mikki can do a portrait- and Deborah, too. Dawn can try and come in with a landscape, but she isn't fooling anyone- that woman has landscapes *down* no matter how much she cusses. Gawd knows what the rest of you will do- Barb hasta do landscape, I know, and Preston- all y'all need to think about what it is you "can't" do, and be prepared to do it.

Just find the project system thingie, Tom, and start it (It's under Content Areas up top there)- we'll all cuss and whine and learn from each other, - right?



That's true, too, Mikki- the pieces all have to be credible- and that's where I lose control- I make 'em waaaay too credible. Have to learn to leave "close" alone.

Tom Christopher
09-08-2004, 02:56 PM
[QUOTE=SweetBabyJ]Hahahaha! Go Tom! We had a project a year or so ago- "The Weak Area". Your turn to run it this year: "The Weak Area, Part Deux". You do a credible still life- capturing the drama you see in a landscape, and I'll do a landscape, capturing the drama I see in a still life. Mikki can do a portrait- and Deborah, too. Dawn can try and come in with a landscape, but she isn't fooling anyone- that woman has landscapes *down* no matter how much she cusses. Gawd knows what the rest of you will do- Barb hasta do landscape, I know, and Preston- all y'all need to think about what it is you "can't" do, and be prepared to do it.

Just find the project system thingie, Tom, and start it (It's under Content Areas up top there)- we'll all cuss and whine and learn from each other, - right?

Ok.. I should have known - never suggest a project unless you are prepared to be in charge of it.. I 'm afraid this one will take me to a place that is real ugly.. Anyway, I 'll work on it tonight when I get home from work...
Thanks ( I think) Tom

SweetBabyJ
09-08-2004, 03:03 PM
HAhahahaHAHAhahaha!

I promise to help you if'n you help me.


Look at it this way- what's the worst that can happen other than newbies seeing someone who is really good at one thing, really have a problem with another- and they'll see it's normal.

You can do a manly still life- maybe a few saws, a hammer, a babyfood jar of screws, a few drill bits artfully scattered around....

Or- even more true to life- a still life of "Remote, Beercan and TVGuide" What could possibly be more testosterone-laden?? hahahaha! This'll be fun- I'll start watching for good references now.

Dark_Shades
09-09-2004, 06:34 PM
[QUOTE=SweetBabyJ] Dawn can try and come in with a landscape [QUOTE]

:eek: ...... well thanks friend!!! lol ....

Will you stop posting and painting ....... having a hard job keeping up with you ..... lol

...... what can I say, we know each others pain and frustrations when it comes to Landscapes..... am with you each and every step of the way... im probably way behind the conversation here now, but one thing struck me.... was that we BOTH love detail, and I think though others may enjoy our landscapes, we dont .... OUR styles for US, do not suit this subject ... or so we think, we get lost in all the detail of it...... stand back and look, and say ugggggggh!!! ...... we need to become loose woman! ....

lol, if you think SBJ whinges and moans about landscapes..... not heard me yet :D

Tom Christopher
09-09-2004, 06:54 PM
[QUOTE=SweetBabyJ] Dawn can try and come in with a landscape [QUOTE]

:eek: ...... well thanks friend!!! lol ....

Will you stop posting and painting ....... having a hard job keeping up with you ..... lol

...... what can I say, we know each others pain and frustrations when it comes to Landscapes..... am with you each and every step of the way... im probably way behind the conversation here now, but one thing struck me.... was that we BOTH love detail, and I think though others may enjoy our landscapes, we dont .... OUR styles for US, do not suit this subject ... or so we think, we get lost in all the detail of it...... stand back and look, and say ugggggggh!!! ...... we need to become loose woman! ....

lol, if you think SBJ whinges and moans about landscapes..... not heard me yet :D

Well, you want to see a grown man cry--I'm going to try a still life... I know one thing I'm not going to waste a good sheet of Wallis paper. ..I think computer paper will work just fine.. Tom

MollyUnlimited
09-09-2004, 07:08 PM
Quote Tom: ...I think computer paper will work just fine.. Tom

ROTFL!!!! Computer paper????? You must really be looking forward to torture!
I personally can't imagine doing anything other than a portrait, but watching you all in such good humor has me getting the itch to try a landscape or still. Maybe just to cure myself of the urge. . . At least it would give me a venue for using up some of the colors in my "assorted" pastel sets. I have trouble coming up with clothing for my portrait subjects that lets me make use of the variety of bright greens and so forth that a landscape could use up nicely!

. . .and since I'm on your thread, Julie, let me say that I just LOVE this landscape! My very favorite thing in the world to look at is a brilliant maple tree, especially in this shade. In fact I bought a sugar maple about three years ago right before a two year drought and it's smaller now than when I bought it. Drat - brown thumb. So, looking at yours is pure pleasure. I lust love it!

- Molly

Pinecone Conniff
09-09-2004, 07:11 PM
I just want to say that I really love Sooz's "observation"!! I agree with her completely & she said it so well... :clap:
Annette

SweetBabyJ
09-09-2004, 08:16 PM
Well glad y'all are finding such encouragement and happiness in the thread- just make sure you transfer that feeling over to the project: "The Weak Area, Part Deux" Tom is hosintg for us here.

I promise not to laugh- which is a good thing because usually I only promise not to laugh AND point at the same time (that's rude). I will firmly smother any giggles, and will make a woman-ful attempt to keep all facetious remarks to myself (and a few pm's, maybe- hey! You don't think I can go cold turkey, d'ya??)

As an aside, Tom- I recommend the Wallis- for two reasons: 1) It's easier to work- you KNOW that- why fight the paper, too? and 2) You can take your complete and utter failure (aim low, boys- they're riding shetland ponies!) outside when it's been photographed, posted, and nitpicked to death, and point the garden hose at it and have a lovely multi-coloured-mud piece of Wallis ready to go for one of your landscapes. Works.

I'd never attempt a landscape on anything less than Wallis- it's the perfect victim paper. (<--- I am not a spokesperson, but I play one on WC!) (Plus, I'm trying to get a coupon for 20% off a roll... hahahaa!) (So far, it's not worked AT ALL!)

Dyin
09-10-2004, 12:05 AM
Julie, what Sooz said is good and heartfelt, but we know I'm in the same boat as you (and WHERE are those hunky oarsmen???)
Julie and I are both Mother Earth children...we almost cry at the beauty we see out there and every little detail counts towards the big picture when we look. We get lost in puddles and leaves and moss patterns. And we want to paint the grandeur of it all. But as Kitty (i think) said a teacher told her...don't try to paint the whole state of Montana in one painting.
We don't understand why we don't 'get' it. But somehow, doing landscapes in the 'traditional' way isn't working. I figure we must be fighting to say it another way, but unless we can figure it out traditionally we may never be able to.
Sorry if I'm saying how you feel and it's not right, Julie...
I think Julie and I both really do want to do it, not only because others can but mainly because we can understand it in our mind and not get it out like our other work. We love it when we start but I know I will get tired of it the minute it starts to go back to the same old failed pattern. And we're both stubborn...we won't give up til we get there.
Every single time I say to myself..why DON'T you give up??? Are you really having fun??? But anything I ever learned was the hard way, so why should this be any different? Does that sound about right, Julie???
Anyhoo...I see different styles fighting in your landscapes...some are almost art deco-ish and I kind of like that...no one is doing that in paintings these days....if you stuck to that maybe you'd like it better...maybe landscapes for you need to be different that way??? just a thought. Me...I had to like Moran and nothing short of that will ever make me happy...and maybe it's like that with you too lol. Anyhoo.....'clink' ...here's to us both getting there, wherever the heck it is.

SweetBabyJ
09-10-2004, 12:49 AM
*clink* To us- you've hit the nail on the head. (But I do hope nothing in this will interfere with the muscle relaxants... not that they're working much.)

Nope- that's exactly right, Sue- the moss on the tree trunk is just as important as the placement of the tree- I mean, mountains may look like a purple shape to y'all, but what we see is the crags, the steep here, and slope there, the way the trees ride the ridges up, and the trees!! Oh the trees are like old friends- they have names, we know they do. I actually will pat rocks like they're a dog. I can sit on one and just study the pattern of pine needles scattered around. When I look up, I see EVERYTHING- if one thing DOES catch my eye, it's because of how it fits into everything else I see.

I can't say "The meadow is more important than the trees"- because the trees are a part of the meadow, and the meadow is where the trees live. I can very definately understand "focal point" as it applies to landscape, but I cannot help but feel that somehow cheats the rest of my view- see, 'cause that rock is nice, and look at the way that shadow describes the curve of the land, and the clouds are perfect today.... I'm supposed to blur those out?! Squint and say they are not important?!? Just "suggest" them? They're what makes the scene what it is!!

It was those damned Hudson River painters, I swear. I fell in love with 'em and that's been IT for me and landscapes ever since. I can appreciate other kinds, but to me, that style is the epitome of landscape- it is the pinnacle, it is what a landscape *should* be.

Which, I know, is rather narrow-minded and definately stubborn-headed thinking, but I will always compare, in my head, any landscape I do to that style- whether I want to, or not. Sorry- that's what was set in my brain when I's jes' a tot and first studying "How'd they DO that??"

But, let's be honest, Julie, you'll never be a Hudson River School painter. You like to play with colour too much- accuracy to place is all well and good, but you want those colours to dance and sing like they do in your vision (photographs never look "right" to me until I enhance the saturation of colours- colour vies for my attention like a clamor of children at an ice cream truck) Sooo.. somewhere in-between, I'm finding my place, my little "Like this" technique. It's coming- a few more practice pieces and I'll find it.

As for Art Nouveau and all- you know I've always thought more could be done with that style than simple line and flat illustration- think of it with real volume and depth! Wow! Perfect marriage of grace and compositional impact- wow!! *shrug* I don't do it deliberately, but that style of comp appeals, and so I gravitate towards it- just as others here gravitate to a different style.

Like I said earlier tonight to someone, I'm getting there, I'm pretty good right now, and I'll be even better soon. One thing about my work is it stops you and makes you look- whether you like it or not, you LOOK. That's all an artist can really ask, right?

Kathryn Wilson
09-10-2004, 06:42 AM
IT[/B] for me and landscapes ever since. I can appreciate other kinds, but to me, that style is the epitome of landscape- it is the pinnacle, it is what a landscape *should* be.

S'funny Julie - just recently I went to an exhibit of "American Eden" at our State art museum - and I viewed those paintings with you and Sue in mind because I'd read that both of you admired this way of painting so much that you wanted to emulate.

There were quite a few paintings that were true to the scene that they were painting, but the majority of the descriptions of the paintings said that the artist used imaginary scenes, scenes that were put together from two or three scenes, or scenes that needed something spectacular and they added that element.

I also observed how the paintings were put together and let me tell you that only in the very last layer of painting did the detail go in - you could see where huge blocks of color were put in, for they lacked detail even in the finished painting, you could see how the painting was developed through the layers, but only until the very end could you see them putting in the tiniest of little leaves, little people, animals, water and so on and on. If you stripped that last layer away, you would still have a strong painting without the detail.

I also observed that to get that detail in pastels the way they achieved detail in oils would be a most difficult thing to do (besides, they used canvases that covered whole walls for the most part) - it's almost illusionary - it's almost like they fooled the eye into thinking that that little tree or bush had so much detail, but when you looked at it really close - all it was was little dots of color. The people were just little slashes of paint and, to my amusement, some of the trees actually looked like trees put on with the "might brush" or the "little friendly tree" (if you get what I mean). :eek:

So in the end, I observed artists/painters who knew how to put a painting together, and with a little help from the imagination and the might brush played with our eyes and minds, to produce some overwhelmingly beautiful paintings.

"Don't sweat the small stuff, get the big stuff right and it will all come together" is what I came away with from this exhibit of great American art.

Dyin
09-10-2004, 09:55 AM
I know what you're saying Kat...and I once sold an acrylic (snow scene mostly with a palette knife) that the people loved but said it was disappointing when you got up close because then it was all paint blobs. :p And I know I don't necessarily want to paint exactly what the great American artists painted. But I'm failing to capture what I do want. And I figure the more I do maybe the closer I'll come to defining it. But it does have something to do with first impact being a huge wow and then all the details rush in so you can savor them one by one. I like a lot of landscapes that are gestural but that's not what I want to do with mine. But I'm trying to learn to do that, so maybe I can get to the next level. Sound about right, Julie?

SweetBabyJ
09-10-2004, 11:16 AM
I've seen a few, too, Kat, and you're right about the size- the sheer enormnity of them was part of the *gasp* one gives on seeing them.

I think, though, what you're missing is that whether those painters used "blobs, squiggles or 'happy trees'" to represent the detail- they did, indeed, represent the detail, so that upon first viewing, one saw a smorgasbord of detail- the whole scene- the entire view. The work is not one of choice: "Put this detail in, leave that detail out", but of detail- whether that detail is a tiny smear of paint or painstakingly done with a 00 brush and five distinct colours.

Well, we know it wasn't painstakingly done- it was very, very skilled "fool the eye" stuff; that it only LOOKS painstakingly detailed; from a bit of a distance, we'd think "Wow! Look at the detail!" but up close, why! It's (dare I say it?) loose!! But it is very VERY skilled looseness- and not simply in "draftsmanship"- this kind of looseness comes ONLY after an artist already KNOWS he can paint that detail right, rather than fake it with a blob.

Now believe it or not, the piece which started this whole rambling thread is comparable in style and "looseness"- it *appears* detailed, but when you get close and see how it's done, it's just blobs and streaks and scumbles and glazes, with only the very foreground- that tree across the stream, described with any excessive care. (And that, I see now, is part of the problem- not the detail, but the chroma- we'll get to that) Even the rocks under the water there are two hues, a dark and a light, laid in dashes around the area, then glazed over with the "green" for water- but they LOOK like rocks in water. Took all of a minute's time, maybe.

Look:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Sep-2004/9169-land02.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Sep-2004/9169-land03.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Sep-2004/9169-land04.jpg

You can see the difference in "care"? "time"? "fritzing"? whatever- between the back and fore grounds, can't you? You can see the "rocks" on the far shore are just some little rounds of colour in a smeary gray- right? But, from a distance, they LOOK like they're all individually done. Well, I'm not afraid to start in very, very dark- I rarely have to go back in and darken an area, because I started pretty darned dark to begin with, plus, I keep my darks pretty neutral (except that purple) so any pure colour really sings against 'em.

So it isn't that I am unhappy with the detail or lack of it in *this* piece- but the chroma- and you wanna know the solution? If I go in and make each of those foreground tree pieces that silver-gray of weathered wood, it'll all tie together- because it will echo the blues and mauves of the mountains. Then the only real startling colour will be the aspen there- and that'll be okay. (Wow! I just realized that while typing this! See? I love explaining why I do what I do 'cause it helps me figure out things like this!)

Yep, Sue, we gotta learn the detail so we can get to the "blob" part- else all we have are "blobs". Face it, despite the motorcycles and love for men with facial hair, we aren't loose women.... :D :rolleyes: :D

Deborah Secor
09-10-2004, 12:07 PM
Julie, are you familiar with the ASCR? American Society of Classical Realism? I became familiar with this work through a wonderful book called 'For Glory and For Beauty' by Stephen Gjertson and Kirk Richards, both of whom are incredible painters! You can see the work of these masters, all of whom paint in oils, here (http://classicalrealism.com/ASCR_home/artists_guild.htm). Let me share a couple of my favorites, though.

This is by Peter Bougie. Love the colors he uses, but the detail is smack on from front to back!
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Sep-2004/23609-Bougie_Wateroil.jpg

This is by Richard Lack. Look into Atelier Lack for more...
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Sep-2004/23609-Lack_Evening_N_Shoreoil.jpg

When you read about these artists' lives one thing is abundantly clear: they have worked and worked and studied and worked some more at the craft of panting. I admire this work so much--they are really modern masters in every sense of the word. Whether I love the style or not, I cannot deny its credibility. They've taken the Hudson River School one step--or more--further, in my opinion.

I just thought you'd all enjoy seeing this work. It's truly amazing.

Deborah

Edit: See this fine article (http://classicalrealism.com/Articles/Classical_Realism/home.htm) for a discussion of some of the things you talked about here, including craftsmanship, artistic training, beauty, etc. Enjoy!

Dyin
09-10-2004, 12:12 PM
I love the first one!! The COLOR!!! Like the name but he probably doesn't pronounce it like I think..Boogie! Just beautiful...thanks for the link, Deborah!

SweetBabyJ
09-10-2004, 12:17 PM
ooooooooooooooooooo!!!


I'll be back later, y'all- I've gotta go get lost in this stuff for awhile. Wow! I think I finally found men after mine own heart- and it ain't what most people'd think given that statement....

Thanks, Deborah- I'm enthralled. Yes, I know classical realism- and always figured that's where I'd end up- but that was before I realized how very much a like playing the colours. So... I figure I'm aiming at contemporary realism/expressionism with a hint of colourist and prolly a bit of art nouveau.... :wink2:

Dark_Shades
09-10-2004, 12:19 PM
Well, you want to see a grown man cry--I'm going to try a still life... I know one thing I'm not going to waste a good sheet of Wallis paper. ..I think computer paper will work just fine.. Tom

yup ...... :D lol Tom ..... yup I wanna see you try a Still Life, and I bet it will be wonderful...... you will be shocked too ..... but you got to try it on the best paper...... then your heart will be in it :) :wink2:

Dee, lovely colours in the Peter Bougie picture.... but dont you think the water is sloping to the left at the back?

Deborah Secor
09-10-2004, 12:29 PM
Dawn, not to my eye! It looks to me as if it goes around a lazy corner...This is a pretty small version, so maybe that's affecting things.

Sue, maybe it's pronounced the French way: Boo-ZHEE (doesn't that mean candle or something???) I have no idea--but I really like his work!!

Deborah

SweetBabyJ
09-10-2004, 01:51 PM
Okay- I reduced the chroma in the foreground- but kept it warm (after all, cools recede, warms come foreward- right?? hahahaha! These are the rules....)

Here's a comparison:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Sep-2004/9169-landscape01.jpg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Sep-2004/9169-landscape02.jpg


I may like it now- I'm keeping it where I can see it at odd times- I can tell it's improved, anyway.

meowmeow
09-11-2004, 10:32 AM
Super thread....lots of food for thought here. I'm glad you bumped it up with your "fix"...which does improve it I think.
I need to mull over all lot of what has been said here...as I get ready to post one of my own "banes" :D

Sandy