Welcome to the Cooper studio, Jefferson, Iowa, where the current painting is at a crossroads. It's pushing and pulling my thought processes around. Back and forth. This way and that way. Yes or no, and then a no and yes. And YOU thought painting was easy? Dios mio!
Focus-wise, when it comes to a painting, just like a lot of artists, I like to break the canvas into thirds. And I think the larger the canvas, the more important that becomes. This one's a 30 x 30.
And the focus is definitely hanging on that upper horizontal 1/3 mark. As you might guess, the bottom 2/3 is the portion that has me saying "whaaaaat?!"
Yes, it's present and accounted for, the story continues there, but the details, what about those critters? Can I leave them out? What about the light that shoots between her elbow and her side? Can the painting live without that? Can the light and shadows on that lower portion go absent if that's what the composition wants? That's the "back" of back & forth. The "forth" says put those details in there. Make it work. Put those critters in with such finesse, just the right touch to point to the true focus. Accentuate it. Go for it! Whew. Back & forth.
That title? Figurative. Literal Or Figurative. I sometimes think of literal as photo realism in the painting world. Figurative then would be an impression. A translation of the reality..
As you surely know by now, I am a figurative painter. Hooked on painting people. If you paint a landscape, leaving a branch out of your favorite tree (for compositional purposes!) who's to know? Or care?
If you're painting three women walking up the street, and you leave off the bottom of their shirts, or the fingers off a hand - whoa. Now you start to offend folks.
Push, pull. Literal or figurative. Back & forth. And you though it was just painting and canvas and brushes. Ha.
Thanks for stopping by!
And before the blog gets posted, we have a post script! Your really did want the rest of the story, right??! Add the bottom of the shirts, don't pay much attention to the fingers, and forget the shaft of light shooting between her elbow and shirt. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. It's signed and I like it :)
Hottest Ride Ever, an acrylic painting on a remarkable 30 x 30 inch canvas, making ALL of us wish for summer...
Oh, and the linkable for that ever desirable zoom-able view, right here. Enjoy!
Welcome to the Cooper studio, Jefferson, Iowa, where I've been catching up on some reading. Don't you love it when I do that - it always sparks an interesting blog post or two :)
But today, I just want to share. I'll give you a couple of paragraphs from the article I just read, and applauded, and then you can decide for yourself, if you want to click on the link and finish the article!
The people who are splashing paint on a canvas in pretty patterns, or brushing it on in aesthetically pleasing color combinations, are not doing anything abstract. They are merely depositing little tangible blobs of paint that do not stand in for anything at all.
I genuinely believe that people have derived a sense of aesthetic pleasure from some of their creations. But they are not in fact works of art. The most beautiful of their color fields cannot compare to a field of primroses. They are not works of art, no matter how beautiful, because there are no real abstractions in them, there are no meaningful selections from nature, no great activity of mind. They may mix colors prettily as they please (most of them aim for ugliness) but without selection based on knowledge of the forms of the real world they do not make works of art - and they are not artists.
What did we do before Google? Or it's less-quick-off-the-tongue-counterparts? Seriously, what did we do? How did we find things? and worse yet, how long did it take?
Let me outline the search of the evening:
Wanted: a barely running school bus, preferably a short bus, preferably currently residing somewhere in central Iowa. Preferably cheap. Hey, we can even set up a trade: donate a short bus, and we'll get you a week's worth of free advertising during the last full week of July. Let's see how many follow along on that line - because any biking aficionado will know the last full weekend in July is RAGBRAI week...
And now you'd like the rest of the story? Here goes: Jefferson, Iowa will be hosting the (brace yourself) IOWA BICYCLE FESTIVAL! We will be festival-ing on May 26th, all over the town square of Jefferson, Iowa.
All things bicycle. And to the state that hosts RAGBRAI, you know that's a lot. We are having a bicycle parade, featuring nothing less than (we hope) a whole bunch of RAGBRAI buses and their crazy team people. And after the parade, and everybody gets back to the town square, we need a bus to paint, in somebody's team colors, and then auction off. Possibly we'll need to bribe someone to haul it off. Whichever. Guaranteed fun. But we have to find a bus.
And so what did we google? Iowa salvage yards.
That's what our generations have been reduced to, you know. If you need something, just google it. Need a painting? Yeah, you can google that too.
But here's something we need to explain to salvage yards: if you want somebody to google you, so you can sell them a bus, you gotta give them the info. How many buses do you have in stock? Big buses, little buses? With tires, or without? What's the price? What's your phone number?
Now being artists who like to sell paintings, we all know that kind of stuff. We always give the info for the google searchers. We always have a great online portfolio showing all our available paintings. We definitely state what size those paintings are, big AND little. And we certainly do state whether they come with frames or without. And the price, absolutely, it's right there under the painting. And a phone number? But of course we give them that bit of info as well! Right on our ever-so-perfect-website.