View Full Version : Summer is Coming

07-11-2010, 03:17 AM

Title: Summer is Coming
Year Created:
Medium: Oil
Surface: Linen
Dimension: 48 x 36ins
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

This is a very large painting with a goodly amount of impasto. I did it to try out some new (to me) natural earth pigments that, although Italian, actually replicate Aussie bush colours very well.

Is it too chocolate boxy? (pretty pretty) Other than that question, I always value constructive critiques.

07-11-2010, 09:10 AM
I don't think it can be TOO "chocolate boxy", it is very pretty. Without a stronger coi I would think it to be the goal... not a bad thing.

07-11-2010, 10:26 AM
The fact that you're wondering if it's too chocolate boxy means, of course, that it is. I am actually unfamiliar with the term "chocolate boxy" which is clearly a technical art criticism construct but when I opened the image, before I read your comment, I thought to myself, "this is like a cake with too thick icing."

But maybe that's just you and me. I paint monsters; you paint Aussies knifing pigs. By which I mean that I'm equally convinced that some buyers whose taste runs more in the chocolate boxy line may try to knife each other so as to be the one to buy this.

Because I was equally struck by the innovative and wonderful composition of this landscape in portrait orientation. The river is just a magnificent "lead in line".


The white calf is partly hidden behind the dark one. I think it's better if we see the full critter or have no white cow.

The stream which is feeding the larger chunk of water is quite narrow. It looks a bit wrong hydraulically speaking. If it was made a bit gradually wider, I think I'd find it better.

I figure the rust cow is COI. Your colors have gotten quite powerful in the foreground: red on the left, indigo on the right, tourquoise in the middle. They are so powerful that they pull the eye down, towards the bottom of the painting. Muting them might shift attention to the cow and remove a couple of sweets from the box.

07-11-2010, 11:15 AM
Love tg's eloquent assessment of things. It is probably a matter of posting but the background impasto texture seems heavier than that in the foreground and it seems to render the background intrusive and push it at us instead of letting it fall away. The texture in effect becomes detail... Chocolate box style is wonderful and sentimental, having a lot to do with the subject chosen. It is the sweet end of your style. For more serious pieces you have but to drop the scale back to sour or bittersweet. I like this because it allows you to respond to the needs of each piece of work and the personal goals for each as well.

The earth knows; Aussie dirt, Italian dirt, all dirt, it is one and the same. Mankind should take a lesson.

07-11-2010, 12:40 PM
too chocolate boxy?
I'm thinking of Forrest Gump's Mama's simple but profound observation that you'll never know what's inside unless you take a bite.

Lots inside this one, for sure.

This has your sensual color and shape style firmly implanted on it and that carries it, chocolate boxy or not.

I think all that lovely color and linear motion needs a rest area, tho.

If I were better with digital work, I'd try it with nothing in the sky in the viewer's upper right. Just plain sky there coming down to the trees on the horizon, while leaving the tree on the left.

07-11-2010, 02:37 PM
huh, hard not to just go wow ... hard not to simply love your work with color ... chocolate boxy, yeah, it's pretty and serene and pleasant and all that rot ... tons of people love all that rot and at this size, wow, you probably don't really want an in.your.face kind of piece, but personally, i prefer the inyourface stuff ... like the cow(s) in your sig line = )


07-11-2010, 05:52 PM
I really like it. I have been a silent fan of your work! Yes, it is pretty...but I mean that in the best sense of the word, if that makes sense. It's pretty, but not treacly. I want to sit on one of those big rocks, take off my shoes and socks, and put my feet in the water.

07-11-2010, 07:10 PM
Very nice greensys.

I find the bottom darker, stronger colours drawing my eye down too much as well. When I scroll and cut them off, the painting seems to work better as a whole.

Beautiful colours, I don't think it's 'too 'chocolate boxy'!

07-11-2010, 08:10 PM
First I must announce the overnight passing of the little white calf. Thankyou Bob - my husband tried to tell me also. :) And I fully see the points you made further in your thoughtful critique. BUT I AM NOT GIVING UP MY FOREGROUND WILD COLOOURS! LOL Well, at least for a few days :) And I promise I will endevour to limit my use of highly technical art constructs in the future ;)

Corby - You are right, the background per se is more impasto than the foreground. My plan was to play with the human observing the work. Because of its format it is not possible for the eye within about 4 metres to see the whole thing without moving. Thank you for your comments, as always.

Bill - I thank you. And you have made me feel better about the 'chocolate box' :)

La - you are such a treasure to this forum! Thank you

April - 'Silent fan' :) Thank you and you can come down to the stream anytime just be very quiet cos there are platypus in the pond area....

Dana - Thank you for your comments. I had quite a tussle with myself about the foreground hues when planning this one cos of the long format and huge size (although 4x3ft is my favourite size).

07-11-2010, 09:05 PM
Now I know how to get critiques that are sugar coated.. or chocolate coated as the case may be. lol.. Some good points made above. I also think the water needs to be a bit lighter the further back it goes to give it more depth. If you get rid of the white cow I am wondering if a third cow would help create a stronger COI if it were placed near the brown cow. I love your strong use of colors in the foreground.

07-12-2010, 04:35 PM
This is one of those paintings, in large portrait format that someone will buy and hang on their wall to pass on to their kids. It is a box of chocolates. I like it as is.

07-12-2010, 07:01 PM
I love everything about this painting; I will miss the little white calf :(.

07-12-2010, 09:37 PM
Hi Marie. Beautiful painting. I cannot imagine painting something this large. I'll ditto what TG says so well. I won't miss the calf as I thought it was a pig, probably because I couldn't see it's head. Nice work...........Lenore

07-12-2010, 09:56 PM
Christine DONT TELL BOB but I have widened the river and indeed you are right I need to change the values going back. Sigh! LOL And, cos of the 'no even numbers' I am indeed putting in a third cow looking towards the one drinking. Then if it isn't right, its off to the bonfire! Thanks for your ever thoughtful comments.

Jimmie - I wish I felt that way about it LOL And thank you :)

Fear not Carol - I have put in a whole cow now LOL

Lenore See above in reply to Crazylady! :) And thank you.