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LarrySeiler
01-26-2006, 08:06 PM
This one was more difficult to photograph than to paint! Eegads!

...well, er, um...almost ;)

oil...4-1/2" x 5-1/2" on panel...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/26-Jan-2006/532-darkbulbwc2.jpg


I really enjoyed the subtleties of this, and the challenge with my limited palette to paint darks and darker darks yet without any black pigment on my palette. It was a growing experience...

Katherine T
01-26-2006, 08:20 PM
So what colours did you use Larry?

peapod
01-26-2006, 09:50 PM
This painting illustrates one of the hardest things (I think) to paint: clear glass.

Great job Larry!

Although I almost think, at least through my own experiences, that trying to match what you see in this type of instance, is almost ALMOST impossible.

It almost seems that a painter should accept that it is not possible to paint such things in the same way that they appear in life, but paint them as humans would see them....(even if it conflicts somewhat with what you are seeing in order to make it look better).



That doesn't make sense, does it?...

damn

LarrySeiler
01-26-2006, 09:50 PM
Hey Katherine...

My palette is limited to-
Utrecht Ultramarine Blue
W&N Bright Red
Cadmium Lemon Yellow
Titanium White
Viridian
Naples Yellow

my darks were a combination of blue, red and viridian favoring just a bit toward viridian, a touch of red to harmonize and create variation.

LarrySeiler
01-26-2006, 09:54 PM
It almost seems that a painter should accept that it is not possible to paint such things in the same way that they appear in life, but paint them as humans would see them


with exception that it is to humans such things and judgments appear

thus what appears as the way humans see them, is to a human what one thinks he sees....

study...focus...see relationships, compare and contrast...put it down, trust it to work.

;)

peapod
01-26-2006, 10:03 PM
you are correct. i'm learning alot from your work Larry. Spewing my thoughts and getting responses is making me grow much.

your comment "thus what appears as the way humans see them, is to humans what one thinks they see...." makes me think that what you say is exactly what makes specific works appealing to some and not so to others.

Is your approach to painting glass one of painting the reflections as much as the tones?

Whenever I think about painting glass I think about what I see yet get lost in what I see at the same time.

I know painting the reflections is a big part of making glass and metal look like they do, but it's hard.

Wow, art is great. I'm gonna get into these incidentals.

LarrySeiler
01-26-2006, 10:19 PM
well...two things can take place peapod, and I'm cognizant that I can elect either at any time...

One...I can just focus on differences and similarities..seeing what I see, looking for shapes, color, values, line...and paint it exactly...and I DO MEAN EXACTLY...trusting that the marks put down will appear to the viewer to state "Glass"....

another is to reason the thing thru step by step, stage by stage.

I can start with a basic rendering of values ignoring for the time being the reflections. Thus instead of seeing color, values and such one takes note that such and such a mark is a reflection.

I see darks on the outer edges, lighter contours elsewhere...value ranges from dark to light and so forth.

Then I can reason that glass being transparent allows me to see not only what reflects upon it..but what can be seen thru it. I can look for light influences upon the background that show evidence thru the glass.

Then I can place a reflection by its shape, color and value on the surface of the glass...but knowing that reflection is light passes thru the transparent glass and strikes the opposite curvature on the interior glass.

In choosing to go back and forth...content to simply see and paint, AND do the reasoning from time to time...one utilizes checks and balances for well, er....quality control for lack of a better phraseology.

Painting is the possibility to demonstrate to others what you know. It is also a chance to discover what you do not know.

Painting is a means that invites deeper seeing.

For myself...unless I am manipulating changes in color or feeling the need to quiet particular visual voices for the sake of cohesiveness and aesthetic preferences...I am often content to let my mind wander into the groove or "zone" as many of us like to refer to it. Content to see...and trust my instinct, my gut...

hope that sheds some light on it (pun intended!! :D )

peapod
01-26-2006, 10:40 PM
I guess I am in the mindset of wanting to depict landscapes and wildlife in realistic detail. As in "Heart of Autumn" you can see where my interests are.

Is this why you left the extremely detailed world of your former wildlife behind?

Did you use the same approach to those days? Or did you use much more rigid techniques to produce realistic art...so much so that it drove the pleasure out of painting?

Do you ever use more long term techniques anymore? Like glazing, scumbling, multiple layers, etc...? or is it all alla prima these days?

As much as I am liking the approach of these latest paintings, I still want more techniques and methods...to the point where I see how many artists work and then absorb and/or discard things depending on the effect I am looking for.

LarrySeiler
01-27-2006, 09:39 AM
I guess I am in the mindset of wanting to depict landscapes and wildlife in realistic detail. As in "Heart of Autumn" you can see where my interests are.

Is this why you left the extremely detailed world of your former wildlife behind?

I came to a need to go other directions for various reasons. One...having attained a reputation I was seeking, I yet failed to gain a foot in the door of a major publisher because the print sale market had so decline and many publishers were struggling that they were willing only to stay with their proven artists. Wasn't that my work wasn't good enough. The work was good enough that I did shows and participated in exhibitions with Wild Wings, but if you are familiar with many of the wildlife art publishers they too have gone other directions.

We had a good run of about 15-20 years of wildlife art sales and public interest, but supply and demand and the availability of cheaper lesser quality prints that can now be put out by anybody just brought the momentum of the art movement to a very slow crawl.

At the same time, I was knocking myself out on 200-300 hours per painting in a state that was basically a football/beer culture. People are not regionally going to buy large pricey works here and if prints aren't moving, you've got a closet full of them.

Many galleries were stuck with prints, prices that decline, the status of the collectible print becoming something of a misnomer and joke. I found just going into a gallery with wildlife art saw the gallery owner's nose wrinkle up and a "no thanks" follow.

It was a good thing for me...because I was burning out in the effort. I had also been ripped off thru a shirt company, an art agent, and one other to what amounted to $250,000 that should have been coming my way. That led to possible foreclosure of my home and so forth. The long hard effort to reach my goals undermined by such lack of integrity left a bitter place in my spirit and made it difficult to work.

I have grown up outdoors all my life, love the outdoors, am a sportsman and enjoyed painting wildlife but after many paintings stack up against a wall you do arrive at a place where the honor of reputation, the accolade and high regard becomes pretty hollow and shallow.

From there various circumstances and happenings led me outdoors where I began a process of reinventing myself. The economic side of things turned around and I enjoyed greater opportunity. I was laboring less on impressing others with what I could do with detail...(as though that mattered) to more engaging my subject and enjoying to paint. What a blessing when my work done by pure need to grow and enjoy found new markets.

gotta go...I'll answer other questions later on!

Larry

LarrySeiler
01-27-2006, 11:31 AM
I guess I am in the mindset of wanting to depict landscapes and wildlife in realistic detail. As in "Heart of Autumn" you can see where my interests are.

Is this why you left the extremely detailed world of your former wildlife behind?

I have a few moments so I'll continue with a few more thought.
I am yet a "realist" at heart as well..but I see it now more as a game. The game is...how much can I get down given a limited window of time/opportunity?

See...I know what I can do and have proven so in a window of 200 hours.

Take any artist that has proven hyper realism skills given the amount of time they are accustomed to, give them a panel and say..."okay, you have one hour on this one!"

Will their painting compare to their other works?

Obviously, no...

but...they ARE one in the same artist.

Thus, I didn't have to really change anything in me as a painter than embrace whatever could be accomplished in a very short window of time. I yet consider myself a realist, but one with narrowly defined parameters. Make sense?

The paintings appear painterly realistic because only the essentials find their place in so short a time slot, and the fiddling, the fixing, the endless scrutiny and alterations have lost their opportunity.
---

Going back to changes...many artists find a need to change or reinvent themselves, but somethings take such a great hold on us that it proves difficult. One reputation and the years it took to earn it and the lust for the attention it brought thus puffing up one's ego and pride. That is a great stumbling block for potential change.

Economic practicalities made facing the matter and pulling false expectations and masks off my being not only easier, but an imperative. For the sake of my family if nothing else.



Did you use the same approach to those days? Or did you use much more rigid techniques to produce realistic art...so much so that it drove the pleasure out of painting?

Well...yes, of course...but it comes back to that window of time. Instudio, especially...you are in control of when the painting is officially finished; furthermore other factors such as expectations of your agent, the galleries, your peers drive you to bring work to a level that compares with past works and shows consistency.

That is why I was very conscientious at first with my plein air and basically hid them from the public, for their hurried look would not compare with the facade I wished to be known for. People don't consider constraints like time when judging works of art. It either meets their expectations or it does not. You're either a good artist in their mind, or not.

I have run into moments of ego anxiety where an artist's work next to mine having more time into it receives great praises from the public. I can see the flaws like anatomical problems, but their labored blended techniques yet are the final determinent by an ignorant public. Then when such folks see my hurried works (like plein air) something inside me wants to pull out old works to assure them that indeed "I am quite the artist!"

Its a humbling thing to let go...not just of reputation, but that past dependency looking for acceptance from the public.

In time...I discovered, or rather it discovered me...a public astute in aesthetics and the look of plein air, look of works painted from life. I actually found that public more artistically aware; better capable to talk about art and why they like it.

With wildlife art...if people liked deer...simple subject recognition was enough for them to like your work. With my work now...and especially these silly incidentals...its more than the fact I've painted a cough drop that interests patrons. They buy it because the brushwork and the color speaks to them. They connect and bond more with the artist seeing thru his/her eyes.

I have come to greatly appreciate that difference, and it has made letting go of the past that much easier for me. So, there is a co-dependency one experiences with their work, then a release from it...a process of hurting (death and denial), then one of recovery and healing. Strange...but that pattern is what I experienced as a painter.

That co-dependency is that one's needs as a person to be loved, accepted, realize self-worth..the attention can be wrapped up in one's work. The artist might believe he is about the work because the work is important and it provides a service to the public...but when life threatens to take that away from you, you begin to see many things for what they were.

I wanted to be very good and worked hard for many years...but why? Why did I need that so very badly?

As a father, I now have a son that I believe will far exceed any talent I ever had with art. It is my hope that he will find balance in all this.



Do you ever use more long term techniques anymore? Like glazing, scumbling, multiple layers, etc...? or is it all alla prima these days?

As much as I am liking the approach of these latest paintings, I still want more techniques and methods...to the point where I see how many artists work and then absorb and/or discard things depending on the effect I am looking for.

I feel it is enough to know I have done this and can should I ever be so inclined. Perhaps on an instudio reproduction larger work using a plein air reference there will be times for glazing. Painting from life however, I have not found there to be ANY convenient moments to contemplate returning to a location to carry on a long term work. Conditions here in northern Wisconsin never seem to be the same from one moment to the next.

Alla prima is what I do...because it serves a practical need.

Secondly...while glazing and many techniques invite reflection and care and is good for many artists...I am yet held in the spell, the awe of what one well placed brush stroke can do.

I forgot who said he would prefer one well placed brushstroke than ten bad ones.

At any rate...accomplishing more with less is such a challenge that I see no end of it in sight. There is no longer any mystery for me why a work turns out given no end to the hours one can choose to work on a piece.

Today... I see lovely large very realistic works knowing they required a great time commitment and my only feeling inside is..."wow...that took a lot of time!"

Its sad. I see less the art in those. I should't. But perhaps that is what comes of burning out on something. I need a bit of mystery and a very real possibility that something might not turn out. Large paintings are more guaranteed to turn out because you can endlessly fiddle. As long as you have the skills, your only opposition is the impatience to see it thru. Knowing you have the wherewithalls to dominate and subjugate the self to see it thru...the mystery thereafter is lost. It is simply a labor...accomplished.

On the other hand...pulling something off without the option of having the convenience of more time to fix excites me. So, that is what I'll do for the time being. Can't speak of tomorrow...

I've enjoyed the rant and hope I have not bored too many folks. Then again, that's what the "Back" button is there for. Thanks peapod....
peace

Larry

JamieWG
01-27-2006, 11:55 AM
Fabulous symmetry, Larry. Love the brass base!

Jamie

LarrySeiler
01-27-2006, 11:59 AM
thanks Jamie..

I think in some ways this one simple subject was one of my more difficult pieces of late to pull off the way I intended it to. A great learning exercise...

with that...I can say that I too rather like this one! ;)

JamieWG
01-27-2006, 12:01 PM
thanks Jamie..

I think in some ways this one simple subject was one of my more difficult pieces of late to pull off the way I intended it to. A great learning exercise...

with that...I can say that I too rather like this one! ;)

hahaha...I sooooo know what you mean, Larry. I'm struggling here with a box of dominoes and perspective. GROAN!!! LOL