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Old 12-01-2011, 09:23 AM
abo1955 abo1955 is offline
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The Price of Progress

MY IMAGE(S):



GENERAL INFORMATION:
Title: The Price of Progress
Year Created:
Medium: Oil
Surface: Board
Dimension: 12x18 inches
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

MY COMMENTS:
This painting is a commentary on the rape of Ontario heritage by developers.

MY QUESTIONS FOR THE GROUP:
Do the colours and atmosphere of the piece work for what I am attempting to express. What about the composition?
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Old 12-01-2011, 01:15 PM
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Re: The Price of Progress

Composition is tells the story line of Urban intrusion into old neighborhood ...although, to me, it looks like the completely in tacked brick house (star of your painting) might be in the process of being moved ...which would indicate preservation of that historic heritage by someone(?).

Maybe the house needs some obvious and intentional damage and disrespect to indicate the heritage rape?

Other than that, I like the colors, composition and atmosphere you've used here. Nice perspective BTW.
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Old 12-01-2011, 03:24 PM
abo1955 abo1955 is offline
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Re: The Price of Progress

Thanks for the comment Davefriend. You are right in that this particular house weas being moved but only because it originally belonged to a notable person in the community. Many more dwellings of tis age are just swept away. Anyhow I appreciate your thought that there are some people that care. Cheers Abo1955
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Old 12-01-2011, 03:28 PM
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Re: The Price of Progress

Quote:
Originally Posted by abo1955
Thanks for the comment Davefriend. You are right in that this particular house weas being moved but only because it originally belonged to a notable person in the community. Many more dwellings of tis age are just swept away. Anyhow I appreciate your thought that there are some people that care. Cheers Abo1955
I have been involved in architecture for almost 30 years and have seen the greed of some and the passionate respect of others, I'm sure I have participated at both ends of this spectrum during those years. Preserving or rescuing the evidences of our past is a noble goal, the inturpetation of that past can be a highly diverse and devisive effort.
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Last edited by davefriend : 12-01-2011 at 04:04 PM.
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:02 AM
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Re: The Price of Progress

You're trying to communicate a point with your painting and it's not working because you know what's "going on" but the viewer does not get the narrative just by looking. So, in that sense, the painting fails. Perhaps you could call it "survivor." Sometimes knocking down old structures is good progress. The viewer can't tell that historically meaningful structures have been lost.
That said, the painting is beautifully drafted and composed. Great job on the figures. I feel though since the hues are muted, you need to push the value range a bit to impart some punch. I try to illustrate.

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Old 12-02-2011, 04:52 PM
abo1955 abo1955 is offline
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Re: The Price of Progress

Thanks for your comments. I think that your suggestion of this house being a "survivor" is a good one. It was one of the houses lucky enough to be moved. I had suspected that the colours were a little too muted and will try to do something about it
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Old 12-02-2011, 04:58 PM
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Re: The Price of Progress

Quote:
Originally Posted by abo1955
Thanks for your comments. I think that your suggestion of this house being a "survivor" is a good one. It was one of the houses lucky enough to be moved. I had suspected that the colours were a little too muted and will try to do something about it
Don't entirely loose that 'dusty' construction atmosphere you've got in there, you know the, you can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs, type of thing These guys are hard at work messing things up
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Old 12-05-2011, 11:19 AM
abo1955 abo1955 is offline
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Re: The Price of Progress

Hi Dave friend... Thanks for the comment. I feel as though I like the dusty feel as well. Besides I have lost some value contrast in the photography. I suffer seriously from lack of skill in this area. I would like to move this painting to the Structured Forum. Can you help me do that?
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Old 12-05-2011, 11:31 AM
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Re: The Price of Progress

Quote:
Originally Posted by abo1955
Hi Dave friend... Thanks for the comment. I feel as though I like the dusty feel as well. Besides I have lost some value contrast in the photography. I suffer seriously from lack of skill in this area. I would like to move this painting to the Structured Forum. Can you help me do that?
I believe you just ask for the moderator to move the topic to the Structured Critique Forum by putting it in a post (Your previous post may have already done that?). All the best on this

Also see this About Structured Critique - WetCanvas‎ http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=957335

In the SCF there is a start a new thread button - have you tried that incase they have fixed it since the above noted link thread
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Last edited by davefriend : 12-05-2011 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 12-06-2011, 08:45 AM
abo1955 abo1955 is offline
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Re: The Price of Progress

It got done somehow!! Thanks anyway.
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Old 12-18-2011, 05:46 AM
DHart DHart is offline
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Re: The Price of Progress

There is only one thing that I would add to what has been said above. I think the old house roof should sag a bit in the middle. I think if you raise both corners on the roof a little the house will "sit down" just a bit. Otherwise, you are right, it is a beauty worth saving!
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Old 12-18-2011, 02:51 PM
KAScott KAScott is offline
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Re: The Price of Progress

Abo

I have to agree with tgsloth. The story you are trying to tell (lovely old homes destroyed to be repalced by glass, steel and cheap construction) simply is not in this painting.

When I looked at the painting, I couldn't understand why anyone would want to paint a picture of a rehab and restoration. This kind of construction site is just as typical when an old house is being salvaged and restored (like the houses in my town.)

Ask my husband to look at it and he had a different interpetation. This is a preserved historically significant house and the construction is going on around it. He said it looks just like the construction area 30 years ago in CHicago when a high rise was built around a preserved building (something to do with baseball, goats, cheeseburgers....??LOL!) .

Too many interpetations = your story is not told.

The story you are trying to tell - lovely old architecturally interesting houses being replaced by a McDonald's or concrete rabbit warren apartments - is not there. And if you have to explain a painting to the viewer then you have not succeeded in communicating with the viewer.

To tell the story, you need to show the house being or about to be dismantled. That would mean (1) windows covered with plywood and (2) early demolition - perhaps part of the roof opened up with the debris on the ground.

To tell the story, you need to show the new replacement construction crowding in. The background is simply houses - older looking houses - with some tall buildings in the far background. It looks like an older area in the city and 'progress' has not yet encroached upon it. Try changing the right side behind the construction to something like a chain link fence with I-beams up for a new building, scaffolding --- something that shows the new construction pushing right on top.

Overall, very good technique - brushwork, 'dusty feel' to the air, figures ...... Ony thing you might add is deeper shadowing to the ground to show tire ruts and mud.
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Last edited by KAScott : 12-18-2011 at 03:05 PM.
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:03 AM
abo1955 abo1955 is offline
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Re: The Price of Progress

Thanks for the comments KAS. I understand your comments and agree that the story has not been told. As you can tell I am still a novice at painting and not very good at working from my imagination. Everybodies comments have been very helpful and this piece will probably hang in my house(like they all do) and I will tell people the story! I have learned a lot from the experience and that is what it is all about. Cheers abo1955
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Old 12-19-2011, 03:11 PM
KAScott KAScott is offline
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Re: The Price of Progress

abo

You have lovely technique - way past 'just learning.'

As far as imagining a painting goes, the internet is a wonderful invention. If you have an idea for a subject, just browse Google Images and FLickr. Look at the photos that come up, say searching for 'demolition' or 'construction'. (Yep people really do fill up a Flickr stream with buildings being torn down....) By going through such photos, you can see which ones tell you a story and whcih ones do not. Study which ones work and which ones do not; and analyze the compostion and structure to see why they do or do not 'tell the story' or convey the idea. Then you can try composing a sketch using what you have learned about the elements needed to tell the story.

If you have some really good museums, go and look at the best paintings in the genre and style you use. (Landscape painter doesn't get a lot from looking at abstract! LOL!) Study the use of light and the composition.

I learned so much many decades ago when I was working in DC, had a COngressional aide ID which gave me better-than-normal access to getting close to paintings in the SMithsonian and security was not like it is today. Standing there with my nose only a few inches from a Monet and looking at each brush stroke with its defined mark was more educational than reading about them or seeing a photo.

Canvas and paint are expensive. Looking at photos or paintings and a pencil and piece of paper are not.

When I was learning many years ago and after 4 years was finally allowed to go to oils, my teacher would stil make me first do the subject in a pencil sketch (find the composition) , then charcoal (find the light and shadow), then pastel (find the colors) and finally in oils. Much easier to do it in pencil or charcoal and find it doesn't work before spending hours with the paints.

Break the composition problem down into basics. It is actually more a research and logic problem than 'imagination' which many seem to think is some sort of instant flash of idea.

Step one: I want to paint a picture that shows ( early dawn at the beach)(summer day in historic town of old house) (fill in the blank) - pick the subject

Step two: What shows (sunshine) (menace) (crowding) (danger) (peacefulness) (house being destroyed) (storm) in the situation I want to paint - this is identifying the elements you need to tell your story

If the object can be interpeted more than one way - and the other ways do not tell your story - change the object until it is unmistakeable.

Step three: Where do I put the elements in the painting to tell the story - layout of the painting - this is arranging the elements of the story in relation to each other (here old house, workers, the new constrution crowding in)

Step four - where is the light (this dictates shadow and mood)

Good luck!
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Last edited by KAScott : 12-19-2011 at 03:21 PM.
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Old 12-21-2011, 08:06 AM
abo1955 abo1955 is offline
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Re: The Price of Progress

KAS
You should have been an Art Teacher! Thanks for all your hard effort on my behalf. I'll keep your lesson and make good use of it in the future. abo
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