Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Does this hat look good on me?

One of my Snowcamp icicle people e-mailed this picture of me taken while I was doing a painting demonstration. It was 10 degrees below zero at the time. One wrote, "I miss Snowcamp". I am looking forward to the seeing the second group of you, dress warmly.

Last week I published this picture and mentioned lead ins. One of the commenters asked if I would write about lead ins so here we go.

At the top is the painting as I had it early in the process. Later I established the tracks through the snow to better convey the viewer into the painting. In the original painting everything crosses the image from one side to another. It slides by you like the view out of a car window. I thought that I had left an opening for the viewer to get into the picture and that would be enough. It wasn't. it was, in this instance, necessary to "haul" them in.

I didn't want to drive the road all the way through my nice middle ground snow field, particularly because I already had one road up there. So I took the viewer over to the right hand side and provided them with that little triangular pine tree pointing right up into the subject matter of the piece. But I added another little "leader" pointing the way to the red barn too.

Out about 3/4 the way to the buildings is an accent. It is here;

I know it looks like nothing, but it serves a purpose. It is part of a chain of details that lead you up to that red barn. All of this is eye control. I have used the road and some accents to drive the viewer deep into the painting.
Tomorrow I will show some historic painters using lead ins.


Michael Chesley Johnson, Artist / Writer said...

Good post. It's fun taking a painting back to the studio and getting a feeling for what needs to be changed, enhanced or subdued.

Unknown said...

In answer to your question...
Because you're an artist, you just look eccentric. Otherwise, you'd be mistaken for the guy who lives under the bridge downtown.

Great seeing your thought processes on this painting, which is really lovely.

willek said...

You are at your best when posting in this way. The thought process really helps and the piece de resistaunce was the comment on the accent.

After reading this, I have decided that the picture I painted outside yesterday needs a little frozen pond in the foreground. So I gotta go.

R Yvonne Colclasure said...

I was painting "mindlessly" before I found your blog. I have learned a LOT from your posts. Thank you for sharing. It all makes sense with your wonderful examples to look at as you explain. This is a beautiful painting.

barbara b. land of boz said...

Thank you Stapleton. Once again you have reminded me to be the "master of my brush" hum....

Also, was that the use of the "string of pearls" as a lead in?
And the hat is "to die for" in hunting country. So you munt be in style.
barbara b.

Gaye Sekula: Impressions said...

Stunning painting!

billspaintingmn said...

The contrast of that icecle hanging
off your mustash to the bright orenge hat, acts as a lead in to that deep in thought look behind those wirerim glasses.
See Stape, I'm listening! Yes that hat looks good on you.

Mary Bullock said...

Stape - just got back from a trip up to Rangeley Maine - have you ever painted up there?

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thank you. Watch for Michael's upcoming article on winter painting in The Artists magazine. He even quotes me briefly.
Here is a link to his web site.


Stapleton Kearns said...

Do you think I just look eccentric?........Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thanks. Hows about a walrus on that frozen pond. Nothing says frozen like a walrus. Cad orange and cerulean makes a great walrus color.

Stapleton Kearns said...


Stapleton Kearns said...

Oh I suppose their is a little of that in there. Every compositional device can be augmented with a touch of another.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thank you. I tool am stunned.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Notice also I the position of my mouth. I am about to spit out a hedgehog that has gotten caught up between my molars during lunch.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I have been to Rangely but have never painted up there. Northern Maine is fabulous. You must be painting there?

Kathy Morrissey said...

I like the hat but I prefer the pearls in your ASK STAPE photo! Stay warm. Beautiful painting!

Mary Bullock said...

Well, let's say that I tried to paint there - it is really, really cold there in the winter! I did not to equipped with the winter gear you were suggesting. But now that I've been there - I must go back with warmer clothes - it is fabulous.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I can wear the pearls and the hat. Do you think I need garters?

Lewis MacKenzie said...

That's what I call crafty! Very useful post, thanks.