Wednesday, July 6, 2011

More about the Cleavo- Heavo show.

I found this sign at the ferry terminal in Rockland, Maine. It means you won't be allowed in, but with a lot more attitude.

Below is another question from the comments on the Xanthippe Cleavage- Heaver show.

"I think she'd be smart to do at least 3 or 4 paintings on her scouting trip. Why waste time? Paint smart and fast... after all, you see what grabs you in about 3 - 10 seconds...then she can use the studies for some of the big ones she paints in her studio".

Stape sez.............

This is a possible show you could do and it might be very fine. But I am not a plein air, one shot and into the frame guy. Lots of people are and for them that might be the answer. I am not disparaging that, it's not what I would do myself. I in no way intend to tell this commenter or anyone else how they should do their show, but I , having done a number of shows have my own way I can reveal and some of you will find it useful. Some folks are quick to hear "You should do it THIS way!" when I mean only to describe how I would" do it" based on my own particular temperament, abilities and experience. This is an "opinion piece" and not Holy Writ. Bullets!
  • I don't enjoy making small paintings as much as larger ones. I like the bigger canvas, I find it easier to think on. I enjoy working at least 16 by 20 and larger. I am very happy on a 24 by 30. I am not much slower at that scale either.
  • I get something in a painting that I make on location, that I lose blowing paintings up from little studies in the studio. Enlarging studies does give an advantage in that I can apply a treatment or raison D'etre to the painting in the studio that wasn't in the study. I am probably going to end up doing just that for at least a few pictures in such a show, but it is also laborious and time consuming in the extreme (for me).
  • If I am going to make a painting in the studio from a study done outside I would rather do that study 24" by 30". Here's why; If the study comes out real well, it's the painting. If it doesn't, I can either scrap it and try again (most likely ) or if it bears a fault that a redesign would cure, I might make a studio picture from it. When I do, I will have a full sized study to work with and not have the problem of enlarging a little painting, and the danger created by having to invent contents for the spaces that become empty and devoid of information as I enlarge the image.
  • A majority of the 24" by 30"s I make will see a bit of work in the studio, some a lot. But then they will go onto the walls of the gallery (and rather efficiently), not anywhere near as quick as a one shot study, but relatively quickly. They will however have some of the immediacy that a painting done on location can have. That often isn't often in a blown up study. My brushwork will also have a better look if it is done on location. I can fake a passage or two in a painting but my brushwork is usually better outside responding to nature dancing in front of me than in my studio.
  • Lastly, as you know, I do a bit of historicism in my painting and my heroes worked this way. When you go to a museum or gallery and see a Hibbard, Metcalf, Monet or other impressionist master, what you are looking at is the painting they made. It is not often the result of blowing up a little study. For the painters from a generation before, this would certainly have been the case, like Hudson River school work. But I do a more impressionist thing than that, generally.

Snowcamp is scheduled, here is the information on that.

Held in late January and early February Snowcamp is the flagship model Stapleton Kearns workshop. Set in an old wooden inn on a high ridgetop in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, the views from the property are unbelievable. With the inn there at your back, if you start to freeze, you can run inside for a cup of coffee and a warm up beside the fire. WE eat in our own dining room at a big round table and talk about art and our lives in it. These two workshops will fill, sign up if you want to go.


Philip Koch said...

Another scorching day in Baltimore (the deep South seems to be creeping north) and I did a double take when I scrolled down and saw Stape's photo accompanying his notice of his next Snowcamp. Boy does that look good to my sunburned little eyes!

I liked this post- it's an exposition of Stapleton's deep love of and history with painting out on location. He is undeniably right there is something to brushwork that can have an assurance done outside but wilts a bit when you try it indoors. We're all a little different as painter, but I think every painter would benefit from a long stint of just such painiting.

One last note: I think Stapleton is bravely bearing up under the cloud of the passing of his favorite contemporary artist, Cy Twombly. Rumor has it the Kearns mansion contains the largest collection of Twombly's work in New Hampshire.

Debra Norton said...

I like your attitude Stape!

Brady said...

I don't want to disturb you from your grief, but I'm not exactly sure what you mean by a treatment or raison D'etre?

I know the french means "reason to exist" but I don't know how that applies to one painting and not another.

Does this mean that certain paintings have a theme? Or, that they have a larger meaning, sort of like a moral to a story?

And, how would you know which painting lends itself to a treatment? What separates it from other paintings that you do?

Thanks for the post, you really help a lot.

Mary Byrom said...

Preferences and choice are good. Good to do your thing as long as it works for you.
A thought about Ms. ICH's show...maybe she'd better paint ALL small paintings like 5x7, 6x8, 8x10 and maybe a few "larger" ones like 10x12's, 11x14's... if she wants to sell something. If this is her hobby she can go ahead paint piles of big ones.
If she's new at this and hasn't been doing it for 30 years (with a nice batch of collectors and or galleries waiting for her new work) and she doesn't want to just do it as a weekend hobby... then it might be good to check out the market place she's entering (since there is money and time invested here).
There are a whole bunch of 3D realities out there...I've seen some experienced painters sitting around with paintings stacking up, when only a short time ago they were selling piles of paintings. From what I've observed in the past several months at plein air events and shows, sales were good, light and scattered, different depending on each event and location. Smaller paintings and lower prices landed lots of sales. Big names landed a few sales. At one show a name artist sold a 40x60 plein air painting. He also showed 4x5 plein air paintings. Once upon a time he only painted BIG paintings. He's been in the biz a long time. This change was a surprise....I'm "ICH" ing to see how Ms. ICH does!