PDA

View Full Version : Backyard Jungle


don lee
11-12-2004, 10:26 PM
MY IMAGE(S):
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Critiques/upload_spool/11-12-2004/50588_BACKYARDJUNGLE.JPG


GENERAL INFORMATION:
Title: Backyard Jungle
Year Created: 2004
Medium: Acrylic
Surface: Wood
Dimension: 16X20
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

MY COMMENTS:
It was a white-hot Arkansas few days in August spentgetting this onto the panel. This is actually the back yard that I was supposed to be cleaning up, but it occurred to me instead to paint it. I actually did some cleanup on the other side of the yard. I dragged my easel outside and sat working on this, drenched in sweat, while occasionally spraying my legally sanctioned brushfire-- just out of sight to the right--in order to keep it under control. The old dead pine that dominates the vertical shapes in the painting guards the entrance to a forbidding thicket in the southwest corner of our property. In 102 temperatures and 93 degree humidity, it seemed the better part of valor to try to capture it in paint, rather than tackle it with a chainsaw. My wife Sarah was less sanguine about it. My dog Boomer enjoyed the company, though. He skipped in and out of the morass of limbs and leaves, barking at who knows what in there. I was quite content to let it remain a mystery. Sarah maintained that I would be well advised to strap on my Army model 1911A1 .45, Boomer might run something out I couldn't handle with a folded up easel, but it turned out alright.

I considered trying to sell the painting in order to hire someone else to clean that mess up, but it (the painting, and I presume also the urban jungle) has been gathering dust, both in their respective corners.

MY QUESTIONS FOR THE GROUP:
Please feel free. I hope ya'll enjoy it.

jenner567
11-12-2004, 10:36 PM
Hello Don,

Your painting is absolutely lovely. You've captured the mood in your wonderful story. If you're not published, you should be, you have a great way of putting your thoughts into words that build a great story.

I love the way you painted the leaves, especially the leaves where the light hits them, and on ground cover too.

Great talent there, hope to see much more.

Sincerely,

YLCIA
11-12-2004, 11:24 PM
Lovely painting:) My first reaction was : another digital... I am glad it is real...

Julia

don lee
11-13-2004, 12:21 AM
Thanks for the feedback Jenner.

I haven't seen your work yet, but I will.

Do you work in oil? I have a fixation about oil; it intimidates me. If you or anyone out there can offer suggestions (or even post or send me some simple illustrations of your method in working in oil), I would greatly appreciate it. I love the luminosity and sheer delicious workability of oil, but am not a good technician with it at all.

Thanks,

Don

don lee
11-13-2004, 12:24 AM
Julia,

Your first reaction "another digital", interests me. Do you think it is too precise and unspontaneous? I sometimes have a tendency (I think a lot of us do) to overwork.

Thanks

Don

jenner567
11-13-2004, 12:38 AM
Thanks for the feedback Jenner.

I haven't seen your work yet, but I will.

Do you work in oil? I have a fixation about oil; it intimidates me. If you or anyone out there can offer suggestions (or even post or send me some simple illustrations of your method in working in oil), I would greatly appreciate it. I love the luminosity and sheer delicious workability of oil, but am not a good technician with it at all.

Thanks,

Don

I worked in oil years ago, but now work in acrylic's and watercolor. I love the versitality of acrylic, and do as well in that medium, as with oil, which as you know takes too long to dry, I'm too impatient I guess. Acrylics use to intimidate me, but I've grown so very fond of them, I can even acquire a watercolor like effect with them.

When I first started out in oils, I used linseed oil, and turpentine. Then, the oders got to me, so had to change over to the water-based oils. That was very hard for me to adjust to, and that was the time I picked up on acrylics, haven't looked back sinse.

Sorry I wasn't of any help to you, just my rattling on, remembering when, LOL.

jenner567
11-13-2004, 12:44 AM
Julia,

Your first reaction "another digital", interests me. Do you think it is too precise and unspontaneous? I sometimes have a tendency (I think a lot of us do) to overwork.

Thanks

Don


Don, I didn't have the impression she meant it that the way you took it. Because at first I thought it was a photograph too, when I saw it was a painting, I drew in my breath, and said aweeeeeee, OMG, slow and easy. It is a magnificiant piece, if I could paint like that, I'd be in heaven, for sure.

I'm so looking forward to more of your paintings.

Valri Ary
11-13-2004, 12:51 AM
Oh YES... Very nice indeed! I too thought it was ref photo at first and then thought the painting would follow! Oh how wrong I was. Great story too. I just love the leaves and the way you've caught the light on them. Wonderful!!

Can't help you with oils...they scare the crap outta me. I tried them once about 15 years ago and now they sit in a nice little box begging to be let out but I will have none of it. They take too long to dry and I feel like they have control over me. So I'm a wc and acrylic kinda gal for the most part but try pastels from time to time. Let me know if you find out anything earth shattering about oils to lure me back to them.

Gotta say it ~ LOVE YOUR JUNGLE!!!

Valri

Quiet
11-13-2004, 01:48 AM
Julia,

Your first reaction "another digital", interests me. Do you think it is too precise and unspontaneous? I sometimes have a tendency (I think a lot of us do) to overwork.


It’s funny, I had that same momentary bit of confusion too. I thought “photo manipulation”, immediately followed by, “nope, painting.”

The reaction isn’t due to overworking the piece. It is because you have captured the range of lights/darks and the colors that a photograph typically registers in a snapshot.. The same trick is used to make realistic matte paintings for movies. If you get the chance to look at a matte painting closely, generally you’ll see blobs of color in generally the right places – rather impressionistic, in fact. The actual rendering style has little bearing on how it will be interpreted by the brain at a glance.

What I would suggest to make similar paintings avoid the snapshot look is to use a color – not black, or the expected brown – in the shadows. A good, interesting color-range can look far better than the typical range a camera will pick up.

jerryW
11-13-2004, 03:27 AM
the purple intrusion at the bottom is real hot and humid.
glad you went with paint and not chain

don lee
11-13-2004, 10:52 AM
Oh YES... Very nice indeed! I too thought it was ref photo at first and then thought the painting would follow! Oh how wrong I was. Great story too. I just love the leaves and the way you've caught the light on them. Wonderful!!

Can't help you with oils...they scare the crap outta me. I tried them once about 15 years ago and now they sit in a nice little box begging to be let out but I will have none of it. They take too long to dry and I feel like they have control over me. So I'm a wc and acrylic kinda gal for the most part but try pastels from time to time. Let me know if you find out anything earth shattering about oils to lure me back to them.

Gotta say it ~ LOVE YOUR JUNGLE!!!

Valri

Valri,

Your reaction to oils runs very closely to mine. I've been dabbling (and boy, that is the correct word!) in them again for a few weeks now, and agree with what Winston Churchill said about them (he was a very good oil painter); "Just to squeeze the color (he spelled it colour, however, as you well know) out onto the palette is a delicious experience."

I don't know if it's a complex I picked up in college or not; some of my fellow students seemed to convey an opinion that "If you don't paint in oils, you're not a real painter." Hey, I was a ROTC Jock/art student--talk about your schizophrenic educational experiences-- I knew a lot about small unit infantry tactics but not a lot about oils, so I guess the prejudice stuck.

At any rate, art is art, and prejudices about it are something else, and never the twain shall meet (I hope).

I've never been to the Pacific Northwest. Sarah has, and my father worked up there in the CCC, and both said it was/is overwhelmingly beautiful (I considered Canada briefly in '68. Just kidding!). I hope someday to visit.

You talked about "snow". What exactly is that?

Don

don lee
11-13-2004, 01:10 PM
I worked in oil years ago, but now work in acrylic's and watercolor. I love the versitality of acrylic, and do as well in that medium, as with oil, which as you know takes too long to dry, I'm too impatient I guess. Acrylics use to intimidate me, but I've grown so very fond of them, I can even acquire a watercolor like effect with them.

When I first started out in oils, I used linseed oil, and turpentine. Then, the oders got to me, so had to change over to the water-based oils. That was very hard for me to adjust to, and that was the time I picked up on acrylics, haven't looked back sinse.

Sorry I wasn't of any help to you, just my rattling on, remembering when, LOL.

Jenner,

The rattling on is fine. It seems you and I are tacking in quite different directions. Only time will tell whether which one is headed into, and which with, the wind. I took the pleasure of viewing some of your work. Particularly interesting to me was "The Old Barn". The foreground was treated in a way I don't often find the courage to use; TEXTURE. Impasto? Very striking.

You probably don't remember the movie in general, or the quote in particular, but in a wonderful flick called "The Best Of Times", Robin Williams' screen father-in-law brings a portrait of himself (done for pure self-centered purposes. Most portraits are, I guess) to his son-in-law's office as a gift, and a reminder that he was better than Williams. I'll never forget his hilarious afterthought as he described it to Williams; "You can't even see any brush marks. I had to pay extra for that."

This is something I often fall into. Too slick, too afraid to take chances, fearing someone would think "He ain't no good."
:clap:
I'm glad to see you are not afraid of self-expression. Keep it up.

Don

jenner567
11-13-2004, 01:43 PM
Jenner,

The rattling on is fine. It seems you and I are tacking in quite different directions. Only time will tell whether which one is headed into, and which with, the wind. I took the pleasure of viewing some of your work. Particularly interesting to me was "The Old Barn". The foreground was treated in a way I don't often find the courage to use; TEXTURE. Impasto? Very striking.

You probably don't remember the movie in general, or the quote in particular, but in a wonderful flick called "The Best Of Times", Robin Williams' screen father-in-law brings a portrait of himself (done for pure self-centered purposes. Most portraits are, I guess) to his son-in-law's office as a gift, and a reminder that he was better than Williams. I'll never forget his hilarious afterthought as he described it to Williams; "You can't even see any brush marks. I had to pay extra for that."

This is something I often fall into. Too slick, too afraid to take chances, fearing someone would think "He ain't no good."
:clap:
I'm glad to see you are not afraid of self-expression. Keep it up.

Don

Good Morning Don,

You're such a delight. I'm so new at posting my paintings, that I give caution to the wind, and solicite any comments to help further my painting experience. I know I'll probably never achieve the kind of art I love the most, but I just keep trying. The beauty is that in knowing that, gives me courage to post a painting, cause I know 'I ain't no good' - ha, ha, ha, compared to all these magnificant, skilled artists. Isn't it just too, too, wonderful they give of themselves to help beginners, the non-professionals? It humbles me everytime they make their comments in a non-judgemental way, so kind are they. I just love them all.

But, you my man, are what I consider, right-up-there with the best of them. Your style is supreme, high excellence. You have no right, as far as I'm concerned. to be afraid of what people will think, I can't believe you feel that way with your talent.

So, please, Don, keep posting your beautiful paintings for us all to enjoy.

I just don't know how in the world you got those leaves in the light so beautifully portrayed. Ummmmmmm, yummy, excellent. :clap: :clap: :clap:

Sincerely,

Jenner

P. S. Thank you for your kind comments on the barn painting. That's the one that felt like a watercolor painting.

don lee
11-13-2004, 04:58 PM
Good Morning Don,

You're such a delight. I'm so new at posting my paintings, that I give caution to the wind, and solicite any comments to help further my painting experience. I know I'll probably never achieve the kind of art I love the most, but I just keep trying. The beauty is that in knowing that, gives me courage to post a painting, cause I know 'I ain't no good' - ha, ha, ha, compared to all these magnificant, skilled artists. Isn't it just too, too, wonderful they give of themselves to help beginners, the non-professionals? It humbles me everytime they make their comments in a non-judgemental way, so kind are they. I just love them all.

But, you my man, are what I consider, right-up-there with the best of them. Your style is supreme, high excellence. You have no right, as far as I'm concerned. to be afraid of what people will think, I can't believe you feel that way with your talent.

So, please, Don, keep posting your beautiful paintings for us all to enjoy.

I just don't know how in the world you got those leaves in the light so beautifully portrayed. Ummmmmmm, yummy, excellent. :clap: :clap: :clap:

Sincerely,

Jenner

P. S. Thank you for your kind comments on the barn painting. That's the one that felt like a watercolor painting.

Jenner,

You know, until you said that about "The Old Barn", it hadn't occured to me. But you're right. What I particularly enjoyed was the transition from the ethereal into the very solid you achieved there. It was especially striking because of that pronounced texture in the foreground. As a matter of fact, I'm going to try something similar. I probably won't want to share the first efforts, but I have resolved to try a more textured approach to a couple things and just see what it looks like. Maybe it'll be ok. After all, art is the most subjective of all things.

I'm so afraid.

Believe me, any trepidation on my part to show anyone my work is of the most pathologically genuine nature, no false modesty here. Years ago, some of my ROTC buddies had to literally tear a sketchbook from my hands in order to look over my drawings. I don't know, maybe their proletarian commentary is responsible for my current reluctance. It was not a pleasant experience. From then on, all I discussed with them were the intricacies of M-60 machineguns. One has to adapt.

Don

jenner567
11-13-2004, 06:25 PM
Jenner,

You know, until you said that about "The Old Barn", it hadn't occured to me. But you're right. What I particularly enjoyed was the transition from the ethereal into the very solid you achieved there. It was especially striking because of that pronounced texture in the foreground. As a matter of fact, I'm going to try something similar. I probably won't want to share the first efforts, but I have resolved to try a more textured approach to a couple things and just see what it looks like. Maybe it'll be ok. After all, art is the most subjective of all things.

I'm so afraid.

Believe me, any trepidation on my part to show anyone my work is of the most pathologically genuine nature, no false modesty here. Years ago, some of my ROTC buddies had to literally tear a sketchbook from my hands in order to look over my drawings. I don't know, maybe their proletarian commentary is responsible for my current reluctance. It was not a pleasant experience. From then on, all I discussed with them were the intricacies of M-60 machineguns. One has to adapt.

Don

It's so good to know I contributed in such a small way, imigine that :D makes me feel terrific, Don, thanks.

I can certainly understand now that I've read what happened to you with your buddies. That's horrible, those insensitive oaff's. Sounds as though they were back in (their minds) middle school.

Well, you're home now, here, in a safe place, we all love you, so no need to have fear here.

Keep painting, and sharing Don, you must, you're an artist. :clap: :clap: :clap:

bocote
11-13-2004, 11:31 PM
very enjoyable. love the bright sunlit path behind trees. nothing to be critical on here really. the forms are a touch inconsistant - as far as sharpness, but thats getting pretty picky.

nice stuff.

MvdLinden
11-14-2004, 01:10 AM
Don the work shows immense skill and control of the medium.

However, I find both the geometry and the color choices unexciting. Actually truly pedestrain. While you have written a delightful story about the process, the painting itself fails to tell one.

This is why several others thought the work was a photo or photo manipulation. Yes Quiet explained the technical reasons, but the real answer is in the emotional .... you've shown skill, now show yourself, I'd rather see the woods thru your eyes via your heart, than see the excellent camera like rendering.

don lee
11-14-2004, 09:31 AM
Don the work shows immense skill and control of the medium.

However, I find both the geometry and the color choices unexciting. Actually truly pedestrain. While you have written a delightful story about the process, the painting itself fails to tell one.

This is why several others thought the work was a photo or photo manipulation. Yes Quiet explained the technical reasons, but the real answer is in the emotional .... you've shown skill, now show yourself, I'd rather see the woods thru your eyes via your heart, than see the excellent camera like rendering.

You are absolutely right, it is pedestrian. This is probably why it remains unframed. I think that it turned out looking like nothing more than a photograph because basically it was and will always remain merely an exercise in slavishly reproducing what was before me, much like those tedious hours drawing eggs in those forgettable drawing classes. In other words, it was an excuse to not get my can off that stool and do the work I was supposed to be doing, which was clean up the yard. Artistic expression had as much to do with it as throwing rocks in a pond has to do with spaceflight.

Your remarks exactly capture the feeling I was beginning to get when many of the comments (for which I am grateful, I must hasten to add. As much as I enjoyed my new friend's admiration of the technicalities of the painting, I read their words with a growing sense of unease, and that in itself is a learning experience) led off with "I thought it was a photograph..."

Exactly! Why would I not merely take a photograph? It would have been much faster and the effect, in the end, would have been the same.

The only trouble is, I would have had to clean up the yard in all that heat.

Thanks for your input.

Don

An additional thought, if you please.

Some of the work I commented on, done by other artists, evoked much more than this piece I did. Jenner's "The Old Barn", and a pastel entitled "Open" (forgive me, but the artist's name escapes me at the moment), as well as some of the other works, were much closer to what I would have liked to have achieved. When I get the time (and it will probably be awhile), I intend to try to execute some pieces that will take me further and further out of the box I have so often crawled into.

I appreciate everyone's help. In everyone's own way, you all have indeed been helpful.

May be awhile, but I will return (now where have I heard that before?)

Don

Tamana
11-14-2004, 01:33 PM
Ohhhhhhh!!!! So THIS is the painting that dropped in and pulled up a chair but refused to be framed!!!! I GET IT NOW!!!

DU'UHHHH!!! :p

It is a remarkable painting in it's realistic depiction. I really like that lavender bit....