Today's subject was Concept; why am I painting this? What draws me into this scene? What am I trying to say, to capture? Marc's assignment to us was to go find something we wanted to paint and choose a few words to describe what the big idea is. He discussed the difference between illustration vs. emotion in a painting. Illustration will give the viewer the hard facts, the lines, the colors. To be successful as an artist/painter, we must want to evoke emotion in the viewer and this will take time and experience. I wonder if I can apply this to the problems I encountered yesterday with the unsatisfying creek painting. I knew how I was responding emotionally to the peaceful flowing water but can see that I need more experience to be able to intuit values and colors to communicate the loveliness.
Today I was determined! So, what caught my eye was the enchanting simplicity of the red-roofed shed with baskets hanging off the eaves (and the shed behind it with the red wagon repeating the roof color), all nestled against the explosion of cool green trees. (I guess that's more than a few words to express the Big Idea)
I set up my kit on the lawn (out in the open) and painted hard, with one eye glancing upward as the sky did its changeable thing. Uh oh, thunder in the distance. My setup was only 20 feet or so from the covered deck; I had time. A few minutes more painting...I really was forced to concentrate: where are the shadows, how saggy should I make the roofline? how dark do I go in the back shed? Yikes! That is a very dark cloud heading this direction! What did Marc say about intuition? Mine was telling me it was time to move to shelter. Two minutes after everything was safely relocated, the heavens opened (and not with angels!) This is my quick 2 hour painting: