Archive for October 1st, 2009

GC Myers 2009 Taking ShapeI am now into the part of my process where things happen much quicker and all the pieces fall into place.  I first proceed by moving in with a combination of white paint, unbleached titanium, along with some deep cadmium yellow, painting the walls of the structures.  This really brings light to the surface and opens up the whole surface.  In painting these walls I generally highlight one side of each structure which gives the appearance of that side receiving light and the other being in shade.  I don’t necessarily have this representation of light completely accurate.  I’ve said before that I am more concerned with how the whole thing translate more than being completely true to nature.

GC Myers 2009 White in PlaceTo further illustrate my point, if you look at this second photo with all of the white in place, you’ll notice that the highlighted side of each structure is facing the center of the painting.  Much like my roofs, I am trying to bring the eye to the center of the painting.  I hope I am not jading how people will look at my work but in my mind, this manipulation of natural light translates in my brain as being natural, having a sense of rightness.

GC Myers 2009 Brightening the SkyNow I’m moving  along faster and decisions are made quickly.  I immediately jump from the village to the sky and start layering in different shades of yellows and whites, trying to locate where my light focus will lay.  Usually in a piece like this, one with a central cradle or saddle, I will have the light intensity grow from the low point.  Such is the case with  this piece.  It’s at this point that I begin to also start to re-darken the far edges of the sky, inserting more red and also a few selected strokes of a light violet.

GC Myers 2009 DetailIn this detail you can see these violet strokes.  In the final version of the painting these strokes may barely show but even the smallest bit that does show through brings me a real sense of delight when I look at the sky of the painting.  This tiny detail, I feel, brings a fullness or richness to the whole piece.  I can’t fully explain this but I know I feel better when it’s there when I’m painting in this obsessionist manner.

GC Myers 2009 Building Up LandscapeSo I continue in the sky adding more and more layers of lighter and lighter color.  As you can see, the center is starting to glow a bit.  When I am close to where I want the final sky to be, I move to the edge and put on a thin transparent layer of  a nickel azo gold color, burnishing it so that it blends into the rest of the sky but darkens the edges.  When I’m somewhat satisfied ( I don’t have to be completely satisfied at this point- there is room to re-enter at a later point in the process), I begin to ponder how to bring the landscape alive with color.  I want it to maintain some darkness, to give a contrast to the sky and make it pop with light, but I still want a certain vividness.  I’m also trying to create more distance into the picture.  I have found that this creation of distance often dictates how effective my paintings will be.  In this painting I have chosen an orangish blend of color for the farthest layer and a deeper red for the one before it.  Both are deep and dark in color and show well under the brightest part of the sky above.

So, I stand back and look at this thing.  I think I’m ready to work on the waterway and the bridge next, starting to feel what I may need to do incorporate these elements smoothly into the rest of the composition.  I first add a light layer of the red oxide to the water surface.  It probably won’t show through much but what does will have a unifying effect with the rest of the painting.  I’m starting to look at the road on both sides of the waterway and how it rises to the horizon in a very viney, limb-like way. GC Myers 2009Wanting to mirror this effect, I’m beginning to think that I may use some bare, bony trees on the top ridge, dark silhouettes against the skylight.  This would be an expansion of an idea I used in this piece that I finished a few weeks back, a much smaller 12″ square piece.  It’s a piece that I like a lot and feel that the trees could be really dynamic in the sky of this larger piece.

But that’s something I will have to debate in my head before I jump in too deeply.  Decisions at this point in a painting can have a major influence on the final feel of a piece and shouldn’t be rushed.  But, you never know.

To be continued…

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: