View Full Version : Ephemeral Visit in Prescott

08-13-2009, 04:42 PM

Title: Ephemeral Visit in Prescott
Year Created:
Medium: Acrylic
Surface: Canvas
Dimension: 20 x 14
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

In 1999, me, my husband and baby girl attempted to relocate from Ohio to the west. We loved Prescott, Arizona so much. However, I had no luck finding a mechanical engineering job there. And as our severence began to run out(buy out, closure husband & wife out of job, trip out west...) I became pregnant. Fearing lack of money, we retu<br>ed home to Ohio to the help of family and the plethora of industrial jobs. <br><br>I photographed the background while I was there. I added the unico<br> as a symbol to me. A sort of dream I couldn't catch. <br><br>It is also how I feel as a Mom in a mechanical engineering world, out of place.<br><br>I almost painted a regular horse on top of it. But couldn't get myself to do it.

My question: is the unico<br> just annoying as my husband claims. "It should be a horse."<br><br>Or do I convey some of my deeper feelings at all? <br><br>Also, since I'm a beginner in art any help with art in those catergories I didn't know existed like "Focus" would be appreciated. <br>Focus? what focus...I have a lot of work to do lea<br>ing. :)

08-13-2009, 05:29 PM
YOu have definately caught the AZ landscape colors well. As far as the unicorn goes that I think has to be an individual decision. If you are painting this painting for you and you intend to keep it then you can put whatever you want in there. However, if you intend to sell it or display it publicly.. then the average person I think would agree with your husband as the unicorn is mythical and your painting is anything but that. The thing I would change whether you keep the unicorn or put a horse in there is the lineup of bushes with the unicorn set in a row. I would remove some of the larger big right bush, move your animal further right and then move the center bush further forward and a bit to the left to get it out of the center of your canvas. A few stronger highlights on your bushes and a few stronger shadows would help to strenthen your values. Of course these suggestions are just my opinion for what they are worth.. You are the artist~ Keep up the good work and above all enjoy what you paint.

08-13-2009, 05:51 PM
Hi Randi, I think you've a terrific job of that desert and also go by your deeper inner feelings. I do supose a unicorn should be gleaming white, but here it does stand out from the landscape a bit too much, but that's something to learn about the farther you go with art.

08-13-2009, 07:16 PM
Personally, I like the unicorn! It takes the painting to another place. Instead of being a painting of your average Arizona landscape, it adds another dimension and makes me stop and ask questions. There's definitely a feeling of being out of place and maybe a little lost. Compositionally, I would have liked to see the unicorn offset a little from that line of bushes. She seems to fit just a little too perfectly in that hole. If she was a bit bigger and moved downwards on the picture plane, it might work better.

08-14-2009, 07:26 AM
Sorry, hubby, but the unicorn has to stay!
I wouldn't touch this painting. It's full of character and meaning.
You're a good storyteller.. paint more and let your stories unfold.

My daughter-in-law is a structural engineer/mom of two and she's doing fine after some initial struggles, so don't despair -
it's not just in the movies - the good folks really do, in fact, win in the end.

08-14-2009, 08:56 AM
Dump the Unicorn? What kind of advice is that? Do we ask Pollack to quit all that dripping and pick up a brush? The Unicorn animates the work and what a great story as to what he's doing there.

Some thoughts:

The composition artificially frames the unicorn via the sage. I'd either not do this or do it more to make the appearance of the magic animal even more magic. I'd do it more.

The overall technique is damn good for a beginner. The weakest part of the landscape is the rather monotonous treatment of the sage. Add some darks and other hues to enliven the sage.

The Unicorn is somewhat mis-drafted. Look closely at horse images. Add some different value strokes so give his body more volume.

Buy some oil paints. You like to blend and it's vastly easier to do with oils. the change in media will, alone, give you a big improvement.

08-14-2009, 01:22 PM
Wow, thanks for all the great comments!

Yep, I did just plop the unicorn into an empty space without much thought about it being too staged.

Moving the bushes...I never payed attention that the one big bush was centered. I'm such a beginner I doubt I will try to repaint it. I will just apply what I learn about composition to the next painting. Thanks.

Oh and yes I thought the unicorn looked cartoonish. Flat and too white. I suppose it's fur would reflect some of the colors of the environment.
I was tying to paint it's body to be deer-like...although I it does look mis-drafted and ended up with a cow's butt. I will study more since I like painting animals.

I do like to blend. I have this stuff I add that helps with blending acrylics(forgot what it's called) but now I am curious about oil painting. I might like it even better. I'm afraid oil paints cost more. I spend all my money on the kids. I'll look into it. Thanks.

Good idea on adding more shadows and highlights. I think I make that mistake too often and my paintings seem flat.

Thanks for the nice comments on my story. I am trying to write a fiction story, while sitting at soccer practices... I wish there was a place like this for beginner writers too.

I did paint the picture for me. I haven't sold anything I have painted. It takes so much time for me to make the paintings that I have a hard time parting with them. Maybe as I get better and make more.

Thanks everyone for helping me. I am learning so much now. It was slow learning from books.


08-15-2009, 01:21 PM
it is after all your world now...isn't it....and your world has a unicorn......http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Aug-2009/182771-dunnosmiley.gifhttp://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/15-Aug-2009/182771-unicorn1.gif

I'm such a beginner I doubt I will try to repaint it. I will just apply what I learn about composition to the next painting. Thanks.
I like your idea of not changing your early paintings....I find that mine have become valuable learning tools.....
just paint another one.....and compare.....
enjoy yourself.......and watch as your paints catch up to your imagination....yd