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Old 08-11-2000, 11:51 AM
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LarrySeiler LarrySeiler is offline
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Post Broken Compositional Rule...yet, does it work?

Doing a little thinking out loud on an oil I finished which began as a demonstration. A 12" x 16" vertical. "Longslide Falls"

<IMG SRC="http://www.wetcanvas.com/Critiques/User/LongslideFalls_pleinairgroup.JPG" border=0>

I think the painting works, but it crosses the line of a couple do's and don'ts, yet in so doing may have created visual tension that adds to the drama. For example, one compositional don't is to not put a horizon's line across the center of a picture plane. Here...the far distant shore's edge falls right across the middle.

I could have raised the horizon...but would have lost the sense of overtowering trees I wanted. Could have lowered it, but would have lost that sense of the water's snaking movement down.

Secondly, Wisconsin and Michigan's northern rivers are characterized by foreboding rock formations. I'm not sure there is a definite right or wrong, better or worse... for the image will speak to the viewer's experience, but I'm wondering if having rounded out the bottom most rocks would have lessened the sense of drama, or having taken them out altogether would have done the same, perhaps even made the image trite or boring.

I feel pleased with the work, but something about it tells me I shouldn't be totally satisfied. Of course...that could just be that constant nagging artistic mind. I think unconsciously it bothers me that I chose to do what I did with the horizon.

Isn't it funny after being artists for so long, we can lose that simplistic manner in which a viewer simply stands there and takes a painting's effect in? Same with music. Being a musician, I can't just stand there when a band plays and enjoy the music, I've got to observe the equipment used, judge the sound, and think about what I'd do different. Once in awhile I hear something and think, "wow...that was cool!"
peace,

Larry

[This message has been edited by lseiler (edited August 11, 2000).]
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Old 08-11-2000, 12:03 PM
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You know, Larry, sometimes you think too much. IMHO.... Then again I probably be accused of not thinking enough


[This message has been edited by msue (edited August 11, 2000).]
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Old 08-11-2000, 02:43 PM
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LarrySeiler LarrySeiler is offline
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This was the benefit of the Impressionists hanging together, having their informal chats in their cafes and bars...which I'm sure was to share and hear each other's thoughts on their work. Who knows if Van Gogh didn't at times make a few changes as a result of such conversation, yet today we simply refer to him as one of art history's masters.

Thanks for sharing...and don't sweat it!
peace,

Larry
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Old 08-11-2000, 02:47 PM
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LarrySeiler LarrySeiler is offline
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Possibly..but, I think that "thing" I referred to earlier as knowing something wasn't quite to my satisfaction was aided, (perhaps even solved) by lightening that shadow by your suggestions.

I think it helps make a greater separation between the foregound rocks and water in shadow from the background. Thus..the eye is not distracted from its desire/need to look at the foreground. That's what I think is cool! Sometimes...just simple little changes do wonders!

Now its going to bug me though. We leave this afternoon and don't come back until Monday late morning. Then other things have my attention until about Thursday. So, can't touch it for awhile. *grimace*
Larry


[This message has been edited by lseiler (edited August 11, 2000).]
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Old 08-11-2000, 03:39 PM
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don't do dos and don'ts. seems like rounding off the foreground boulders was a good idea if that lessened the impact of the boulders. making them too foreboding might have brought too much emphasis to them. they look just as foreboding in the background and middleground.

but i DO think they would carry more impact if you silhouetted them with darker trees. the light boulders against light trees are washed out...{M}



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"it's alright to be judgmental,,,,,,,,if you have taste"...MILT
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Old 08-12-2000, 01:08 AM
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LarrySeiler LarrySeiler is offline
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Thanks Sandi...(funny Msue!)...

Good eye Sandi...something I had not thought of. I guess I saw the darkness as something natural to separate the edge of that rock with the white foam of the water at about horizon's level. I have made a small change here digitally...and, after looking at this, what do you think. Also...does it alter the effect of the water's turbulence along that back horizon? I think I like it better, and may make that change on the original.

Let this be proof that the critic can be critique! YEEhooooOOo! (proof also of the need to always remain humbly teachable!)

Also...thanks for the kudos, much appreciated...one never takes such forgranted. Larry

<IMG SRC="http://www.wetcanvas.com/Critiques/User/LongslideFalls_pleinairgroup2.JPG" border=0>



[This message has been edited by lseiler (edited August 11, 2000).]
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Old 08-15-2000, 10:25 AM
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Appreciate the input Bruin....and its always fun to play with digital alterations and see what one comes up with. I'm wondering if this is what you meant, though...the colors are without doubt a bit off. I did make these trees darker.

I think it does put more focus on the foreground rocks and drama of the water, but from a natural standpoint where light filters thru from the sun's angle illuminating from a left to right...I'm not sure I can feel comfortable that those background trees are not lit up or effected by the sun.

At the same time...the principle of cool colors recede and warm colors come forward as a device is allowed more levity with your suggestion. IF anything else, it demonstrates and excites me to see that perhaps 2 or three new paintings of this location are possible, creating each time new emphasis. Thanks....Larry

<IMG SRC="http://www.wetcanvas.com/Critiques/User/LongslideFalls_pleinairgroup3.JPG" border=0>



[This message has been edited by lseiler (edited August 15, 2000).]
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Old 08-15-2000, 12:41 PM
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I definitly like your second version better, nice work!

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The excellency of every art is its intensity, capable of making all disagreeables evaporate, from their being in close relationship with beauty and truth. --John Keats
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Old 08-20-2000, 06:51 PM
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[quote]Originally posted by lseiler:
[b]Doing a little thinking out loud on an oil I finished which began as a demonstration. A 12" x 16" vertical. "Longslide Falls"

<IMG SRC="http://www.wetcanvas.com/Critiques/User/LongslideFalls_pleinairgroup.JPG" border=0>

I think the painting works, but it crosses the line of a couple do's and don'ts. Yet, in so doing may have created visual tension that adds to the drama. For example, one compositional don't is to not put a horizon's line across the center of a picture plane. In your painting...the far distant shore's edge falls right across the middle.

Technically, you have cut the painting in half, but as a viewer, the topmost part of the trees is in the "center" (positioned above the horizon is what viewer will see). I know your dilema, I face this all the time. You respond emotionally and artistically to the scene, but the old art ed classes and what teachers told you, kick in.

It is a hard choice. This painting may be pleasing to you, but "will it fly?" At this point, my thinking is, if you are trying to appeal to teachers and judges no. If you want to project what YOU see and KNOW of YOUR environment, YOU know best.

For instance, I could not roll in and think I could capture your North Western genre after you have lived, breathed and known your subject for so long...tell your own story your own way.

You have posted this painting in a couple of places. Apparently it means a great deal to you. Then frame and put it out to the public. YOU are the artist/author. It is your impression and finding of a wonderful day in wonderful lighting in a wonderful place. Go with it.

My addage is...when in doubt, pull a piece...when confident in the place you are in at the time and tied to a piece, with what you know to be true, put it out for the public.

Most Sincerely,
Diane

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Old 08-21-2000, 06:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by lseiler:

Curious Diane, ... Have you yourself entered any works in this competition?

Larry http://lseiler.artistnation.com [/b]

Hi Larry,

No I haven't, but I have thought about it for many years. Since I have never lived close enough to a national park to do an ongoing study (to become well familiar with a subject) I have been reluctant to submit anything. The closest I came was a beautiful scene I saw once in Yellowstone while on vacation. I found that it also impressed most people, including a multitude postcard photographers

I am doing more traveling now so perhaps I'll might revisit the possibility. It's one of the most wonderfully beautiful juried competitions offered.

------------------
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
L. Diane Johnson, NAPA, PSA, APOW
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Old 08-21-2000, 11:54 PM
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Diane-

While it is true that the committee tends to favor the big western national parks. There are several in the east, and certainly the Smokey Mtn Natl Park is fairly close to you. Why not give it a try?
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Old 08-22-2000, 01:01 AM
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LarrySeiler LarrySeiler is offline
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Thanks Diane...

Agreed...that was the dilemma. I am an artist AND an art instructor. The artist part of me was saying..."this works!" and the teacher part was saying, "its not suppose to!"

Of course...some conventions are broken in order to harness the tension it will bring and make what the artist wants to work work.

That's what is fun about this forum, versus the general "Critique" forum. It becomes a venue to think out loud among one's peers, and I valued (being familiar with your work) what you had to say. Thanks. This piece will be getting framed, but...would not be a one I'd enter for any competition.

Curious Diane, I've spent a great deal of time this summer hanging out around the Pictured Rocks of the national parks Lake Superior shoreline, studying and photographing the large water falls, rock formations, etc; will need to take in the fall color changes to complete my feel for it. Intending to produce a work for the National Arts for the Parks competition next year. Perhaps a couple. Have you yourself entered any works in this competition?

Larry http://lseiler.artistnation.com

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