Untamed Land

Untamed Land
Untamed Land

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Feel of the Paint

The photo above is an extreme close up of my newest effort. The varnish is still drying on this one. If you cannot yet tell, the bird is a Sandhill Crane. I like these highly magnified photos because they show the raw texture of the acrylic paint that I use in my paintings.

Adding my signature is the last step in the painting process. Some paintings are so bad that I do not ever sign them. In fact I have signed many paintings in the past that I wish I had never signed. 
I was happy to sign this one. Whether I paint well or totally fail to achieve the results that I desired, I am compelled to keep at it.
Why do I keep painting no matter what? It is the love of the process of creating something using just clumsy brushes and a few basic colors. There is joy in mixing and applying colors and feeling the painting slowly come to life. It is intoxicating to me. It is in some way a very selfish act.
There is nothing intellectual about it for me. My head is full of incoherent mush. It is all organic emotion, satisfaction, creation. Something beyond just me.
This particular painting started out with me trying to create the look of snow covered mountains soaring up into the clouds. It is a look that I have revisited many times in earlier paintings.
The interesting challenge of it is to paint a flat background and create the look of atmosphere, contours and depth using only snow.
Sandhill Cranes are also interesting to paint because of the subtle tonal variety, and texture of their plumage.
There are two main cranes in this painting with flying cranes in the background.
So finally, this is the whole painting. It is 16x20". I am proud of it. For now anyway.
This photo was taken in a different light. What should I name it? Niel Young did an album called, 'Ragged Glory'. I like that name but I already used it as a title for another painting. The ruffled feathers at the tail end of the cranes reminds me of feather dusters. Feather Dusters is also the title of another painting. How about, 'Ruffled Glory'? No, that's stupid. Any suggestions?


tess stieben said...

I also painted a sandhill crane which is showing in an exhibition in Calgary presently. I just posted it to my artblog. I always find it difficult to name paintings. But does it matter if we give two paintings the same name if it works for them, just add sandhill crane to the end of the title to differentiate it from the previously named one.

john said...

Thanks for the suggestion Tess. I had not thought of that.

Jeremy Pearse said...

I really like this one John, (I think the second photo is best). Thanks for including the close-ups too, I always find it fascination how different artists apply paint - very educational!