Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween (and green)

Its Halloween tonight and I am writing this sitting in the house rather than the studio, about every three minutes the doorbell rings and I have more kids at the door. Trick or treat! Our dark neighborhood of small antique homes is very charming with all of the porch lights on. We all have porches with bracketed posts and spindled railings. It could be a scene from fifty years ago.We live in town, so it is a village scene. The streets are full of people, there are big groups of adults pushing strollers and their kids are running up to the doors in costume. Paging Norman Rockwell. Would Norman Rockwell please report to the nostalgia portal? I hope my candy holds out.

Here is the finished version of the painting of which I showed you the demo week or two ago. I sent it back to the gallery of CNY where they sold it in an hour.I think the economy is turning around, at least my sales seem to show that. What a difference there has been in the last couple of months. I hope all of you reading this who are arting for a living, are having the same experience.

I am going to finish the posts on making greens with a few more things, and then tomorrow I will start a new subject. I was asked about the pink I was using. Since I tube my own colors, I can tube mixtures. My pink is my own homemade version of a color available from Williamsburg paints that they call Persian Rose. Persian Rose is a quinacridone rose and white mixture heated up with a shot of diperrolpyrroll orange. That gives it a hot undertone. It is the antidote for green though.
I call the version that I make Pornstar Pink. When you look at it on the palette it looks fluorescent. You would wonder what on earth I would do with a strong pink like that. Its enough to make a feather boa blush. Several of my artists friends are using my pink and when I make it now, I have to make about a quart. I can't easily describe to you how I make my version so I suggest you acquire a tube of the Persian Rose which is similar.

The last addendum to the mixing greens series is this. I am always urging the readers of this blog to make decisions about their art. You have heard me say things like "you cannot observe good design into a painting". The same is true with color and doubly true with the greens. I manipulate my greens a lot, desaturating them, pushing them in different directions to get variety and installing warm notes. I push a lot of reds into my greens. In the summer everything is either yellow or blue or a combination of the two (green) so I smuggle red, I wrote a post about that here.
A thing to watch out for and avoid is chartreuse, in the summer it is easy to fill paintings with poisonous yellow greens and some painters have done that, their paintings get poisonous. A great variety of greens and a careful control of the yellower and cooler greens will usually result in better landscapes. Here comes my old joke again but I do mean something by it. "I want to make paintings the color of 500 dollar suits. What I mean by that is there are loud greens in nature that would never make it onto the racks at Brooks Brothers ( a local retailer known for their restrained taste and high quality). You may want to use those hues, but do it sparingly, if you do use an acidic color, make it an accent, allot to it the area you would a tie.


Unknown said...

That painting is filled with such beautiful soft light, I am not at all surprised it sold so quickly. Congratulations.
I am spending my Halloween night trying to wash skunk smell off my dog. Yes, the same dog that rolled in slimy green cow manure during our Jaffrey workshop. It is raining out, and I've been standing out in the rain trying to wash my dog with vinegar. Now I don't know which smells worse, wet dog with vinegar, or skunk.

Philip Koch said...

Stape- congratulations on your sale!

Deb- Boy your dog really knows how to celebrate the holiday.

tom martino said...

What helpful advice about mixing greens! Thanks. And the beautiful painting evokes a warm mood -- and,yes,again, it is no wonder that it flew of the wall of the gallery!

Deborah Paris said...

Congrats on the sale! I agree with you- sales and activity are picking up without a doubt.

julie susanne said...

What a beautiful painting Stape! I agree with the others’ observations wholeheartedly.

And a great Halloween post-

I am likely the painter that might use your Pornstar Pink most abhorrently for paintings you most likely consider a “contemporary painting [that] is over colored and has a cheapshot kind of carnival tawdriness.” MY Halloween post shows a good example of this. I am that painter that you speak about from time to time, “I am of course not talking about you, your favorite artist, or anyone you have ever met, I mean, those OTHER people.” I love your wit- even if it is directed my way. Keep it coming!

Interestingly, I love landscapes, have abstracts on my walls, and paint surrealist narratives- though, my last purchase was a Jim Condron landscape. Despite my extreme difference from you in painting style, your posts increasingly stretch me to improve my painting and expand my knowledge of painting genres and history.

A blog as good as yours has unintended consequences- it advances all art!

A most sincere thank-you, Stapleton Kearns.

Gregory Becker said...

Now that is what I call a fast sale. Congratulations.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I am glad to hear you are having such fine bonding experiences with your dog.He an d the skunk probably think its a game.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thanks. I remember you washing your basement in vinegar last month.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thanks. I am glad to be on tho a new subject though. I was beginning to get a little sick of typing the word green.

Stapleton Kearns said...

It sounds like you are having the same experience with your sales.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thank you.You can't be the painter to whom I refer he has far to much of an attitude to ever be so complimentary to a member of the derriere garde like me. Who is Audrey?

Stapleton Kearns said...

Lets hope it keeps up. I have tuition's to pay.

willek said...

Stepping on greens was just great. How about stepping on Phthalo? I have recently been surprised to see a picture that I thought was of a sensible color while painting it turn into a phthalo horror when seen the next day. I think the problem comes from the phalo decaying a lot slower than other pigments so when you lighten those mixtures the phthalo prevails. I have made up some phthalo and white values and used those to mix with with limited success. I think that once you do a value mixture with phthalo and something else, you have to mix it over to get a lighter value. Dont just add white or yellow. Is this unclear?

I did like the phthalo/ocher mixes you showed and their use by Carlson.