Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Gruppe and some fast food

Here I am again, blogging from McDonalds. Maybe tomorrow I will have my internet connection back. I am going to shoot some bullets at this Gruppe painting.
  • All off the greens and blues are pthalo of course, the green grass at the foot of the barn, the foreground shadows, even the deep color of the pines at the right.
  • All of the shapes and masses are kept large, that is they aren't chopped up with distracting, interrupting details. Every nuance within the shapes is subordinated to the larger shape. That is , when you look at it you see the big shape and THEN the variety within in it.
  • The trees are handled as a blur of fine sticks against the sky. Both have to be wet to do this and it takes a bit of practice. I always liked that effect though and have painted a zillion trees that way. This is more a convention than something you will always observe. It is a simplified explanation of what is actually seen.
  • The big squared off shape of the sky as it descends above the pine tree at the right makes the sky the positive shape. It is painted over the trees and makes the sky the "big" shape. This curving, thrusting form also brings the viewers eye around that corner and down towards the river. Gruppe does the same thing again to the right of the barn roof.
  • Notice how Gruppe has linked all of the light shapes of the rocks beginning at 9:00 and continuing along the stream into the picture. The upright trunks of the trees are tied into that series of shapes too.
  • The dark pine next to the barn's roof and the pine that "ends" the stream bracket and close in the illuminated tree and barn "punchline".
That's about as much McDonalds as I can take. Be back soon.


mariandioguardi.com said...

I really like the way everything is lifted by the stream. That is my favorite part of this design.

Mary Byrom said...

The shapes are lovely and the colors are a delight! Hope your internet is back on soon...

Clem Robins said...

hurry back, stape. i need you to tell me how the hell to assemble this new easel.

Philip Koch said...

I think it is genuinely hard to have a poetic or insightful response in the middle of a McDonalds.

Sometimes I wonder what George Inness, Winslow Homer or Georgia O'Keffee would make of McDonalds.

Lucy said...

This is an excellent series on Gruppe. The use of thalo is always a scary thought but these paintings show that it's how you use it that counts.

Lucy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
billspaintingmn said...

Stape! So good to read this with my morning coffee!
I can always learn something from your posts.

(McDonalds fries are my weakness)and I may probably stop there today..

Luanne Meader said...

Love this picture! As an antiques dealer, a few Gruppes have passed through my hands. We had a big one of fall birches once and while waiting to bring it out for sale we hung it next to a big north light window. What I noticed was how it appeared so different in changing light during the day and under incandescent light at night. But it was always great and read well. In my own painting, I may like a picture in a certain light, but it is awful in another. When I paint outside, the colors seem right but then garish indoors. May I ask if you could give some info or tips about this problem and proper studio night lighting? Thanks for this wonderful blog.

alotter said...

I notice the foreground shadow, which some have called the "threshhold". A Good Thing. I also notice a tendency of the whole foreground area to slide off and out of the picture to the right. Not such a Good Thing. Maybe that's just my eyes and mind tricking me.

Judy P. said...

Lots to absorb and learn here! Bullet #2 about shapes and masses kept large, is something I want to make work for me better- can keeping the value the same within the mass, and keeping lines soft, enough to get a bunch of little objects read as one unit?
Bullet #4, about the big square of the sky, really adds to the painting, but I think it's an advanced touch I'm not ready for yet. If I happened to create a passage like that (if only!) I would study it and think 'oh, it's interfering with the distant perspective I'm trying for, so I would soften and fade that out. Amateurs!
Also please answer Luanne's question- I notice that too!

Stapleton Kearns said...

mariandioguardi.com ;
I like that too.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Mary Byrom;
I have it back!

Stapleton Kearns said...

Clem Robins ;
Make sure that the tensioner bale is pulled forward enough on the power struts, that's important!

Stapleton Kearns said...

Philip Koch;
I have discovered that their salads are edible.

Stapleton Kearns said...

It is how use use it that counts, BUT it does install a "look": it is a bold color with a little bit too much "punch" for my taste and when I see painters who use it, I almost always know it, and often their art is marred by a overly (for my taste) colored painting.

Stapleton Kearns said...

That is a good topic! I don't know the answer either. Of course that never stopped me before. Great possibilities opened for me when I discovered I could still write about topics about which I knew little or nothing.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I don't know, It doesn't bother me.The river sucks me in so hard that I don't slide out the right.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Judy P. ;
There is a blog post to write I guess. I will go after that one soon.