Thursday, October 15, 2009
Here's a photo I took today. I love the fall. I like fall best when it is past its peak, then I see about half leaves and half dark branches. This year I have taken a lot of photos and although I seldom paint from photos I may make an exception or two this winter. The fall is so short and I really like the moody feeling of it and I like using the colors . I can subdue them a bit. That way my paintings are the color of 500 dollar suits!
Here is how I am thinking of the painting. I am going to lose the phone poles and I am going to change the road from blacktop to gravel. I think both detract from the scene, here's why. I like the romantic look I get by not indicating that it is in our current time. I think that allows the viewer more of an opportunity for a kind of wistful longing to be in the place. But that is a personal choice of mine. You might want to leave the telephone poles in. Even I could leave those on the left, in the painting as they aren't too assertive.
I would have taken the right hand pole out even if it had been a natural object, like a birch tree. It is jammed against the picture plane and attracts too much attention to itself, it looks so huge that close in. But it also does another thing, it doesn't seem like real vision, we don't see the same way a camera does. A camera sees everything with the same amount of clarity. A viewer looking at a painting which copies the photo might subconsciously feel they need to turn their head and refocus to see the pole, after they have looked at the house. We tend to read from left to right, or at least design that way traditionally, and so after you look at the house your attention then moves over to that pole. I would rather you looked at the house and then into the distance beyond it.
I changed the road for the same reason as above, it is more evocative to me if I make it look a little "old timey" some of you will find that too sentimental and that's fine. I am showing you how I do things more than how YOU should do things.
But there is another important reason I have removed both the telephone poles and the blacktop and that is this. Both are super hard edged. I know I don't want that. My road is softened into its surroundings with grass and leaves and other incursions that blur its edges. You could probably soften up the blacktop road with leaves strewn at its edges and leave it paved though.
I also reworked the sky a little bit, I felt I could improve on the shapes of the clouds and sky patterns up there. I made them more similar to the background, just a little. I like to do that sometimes, make them compliment each other.
Tomorrow I am gong to go out and give the thing a shot in paint if the weather holds, I am excited as it looks like it will make a pretty good painting. As I work on the thing I might find I need to change a lot of other things, but I will see what happens out there.