Thursday, May 27, 2010

Seascape project 3

Here again is the painted sketch done on location on the left and my layin on the right. Below is the second days work on the seascape, sorry the color is not better, I shot it in the failing light after working on it yesterday.

I do feel a little self conscious posting my stumbling towards my result, working outside I often go very directly to a finish. But seascape painting for me is much more experimental and much more difficult. But I am showing you how this picture gets made so you get to see me fumbling too. Boy, this picture better come out good, a lot of people are watching, and I know they will laugh at me if it doesn't!

I spoke a little last night about this pictures problems and today I went after a few of them. Painting is problem solving. It is a self critical process, I look at the painting and say,"why isn't this working" and then try to fix it. Sometimes I feel like one of those mathematicians in the movies from the 1930's who work on about six blackboards on their way to solving an equation. Below is the painting at the end of today's session.

I scraped the left hand corner of the canvas all the way down and went at it again. I still don't feel its right, but its better. I raised the end of the wave up so that I would be looking out at it, rather than down on it. I am trying to get it out of the "hole". I am not totally happy with the bottom line of the foam or the planes below it, but I am getting closer. I need to tie the structure of the rising planes beneath the breaker into the sea in front of it better, and the foam needs to roll down its surface more energetically. I hope I know how to do that tomorrow. I didn't today. Each days painting is a rehearsal for tomorrow's. Tomorrow I will refine it further. I am also getting closer to the tonality and value structure I want. I didn't work on anything today other than the water. I still have used no references, this is all out of my head. I am not painting a breaker that I remember, I am making it up out of wave anatomy and knowledge of how to build structures using light and shadows on planar structure.

I will show you tomorrow what happens next.


Gregory Becker said...

Much better picture. I can now see the temperatures in the sky. Nice drama.
You took my next words out of my mouth and it had to do with a question of problem solving;
I was going to ask...Does style develop out of our problem solving toolbox? I've been thinking about that lately. And that is that the best painters are really good problem solvers.
It makes me want to take on more problem oriented challenges and even if I fail, I still gain something that I can add to what I already know.

Robert J. Simone said...

In regards to Gregory's comment, I am curious as to why so many are worried about "developing style". Did they sit around in second or third grade trying to develop a handwriting style, too? Several of my students have been caught up in this thinking. Doesn't it make sense to learn foundational stuff like the constituent parts of form, color and value relationships, design, etc? Doesn't style flow naturally from that, the way handwriting style emerged when we stopped thinking about how to form the letters?

By the way, if you bomb on this seascape, we won't be laughing at you, we'll be laughing with you...

Anonymous said...

Excellent work, nice distance with grays, you captured the swells of the ocean but didn't tighten down too much, it is still loose, kept great color in the rocks. I got Robinsons book you suggested, really helped but I agree, ocean and rock paintings are very difficult. Good job and very timely.

billspaintingmn said...

Looking good Stape! The mood of the sky & water has a magical-ness
to it.
Is knowing when to stop, or call it finished more of a personal thing?
(It looks good, or ready to frame
I agree with Simone about style, well said.

Anonymous said...

Hi Stape,
What you and Greg are talking about is the real gritty truth, to attempt to create art requires going to the edge of our capability and taking a few more steps. Stepping out into the unprotected open space. We are pushed to do this when we are students, and we do it knowing our teachers are there to save us. Once we are on our own we think we shoud feel comfortable in our knowledge. When we feel anxious we scurry back to the comfort zone. What I have come to realize reading your blog and working every week with a group of professional and serious painters, is that anxiety is a sign of real creativity trying to break through, its pretty addictive! (Says the little greatgrandmother as risk junky!)or as Oscar Wilde said, "The anxiety is unbearable. I only hope it lasts forever."
Thank you, thank you this blog is the air I breath! Terry

alotter said...

I hate to nag, but I'm still in the dark as to how the two perspectives differ, apart from the lowered horizon line.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thank you. It is slowly coming around.

Stapleton Kearns said...

That's it exactly.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Good luck with that.

Stapleton Kearns said...

It is not finished. I have big areas that are only a layin.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thank you. I am often out of my comfort zone painting.Particularly painting seascape.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Look at the wave, it is in a different perspective.