Sunday, January 30, 2011

Teacups and Torsos

Torso Study - 8 x 10 - top
Teacup Study - 8 x 8 - bottom
We spent the New Year's holiday hiking the Oregon Coast and visiting art galleries in Newport, Lincoln City and Salishan. Our favorite, as always, was the Lawrence Gallery at Salishan.

Allan loved several colorful paintings by Jennifer Diehl. We felt we'd seen her somewhere before, Portland perhaps? The gallery manager raved about her style, said she was the up-and-coming artist on the West Coast.

Her works are painted directly, all in one sitting. I remembered where we'd met her. She had a show at the Lawrence Gallery in Portland were we'd chatted and admired her works. (Direct painting means doing the painting all at once, no underpainting, glazes or working over.)

Seeing the freshness of Jennifer's work gave me the familiar urge to try a direct-painted masterpiece myself! I found a teacup and proceeded, spending a Sunday afternoon smooshing paint around on Teacup, above.

It was good for me, in that it reinforced that copying someone else's style does not make it my own. I'm not a direct painter. I prefer studies, underpaintings, washes and glazes, much like the Old Masters. I loved Jennifer's beautiful paintings so much that I wanted to make one myself, and I did. But now I've returned to my own style, which consists of drawings, studies, washes, underpaintings and glazes, similar to the Old Master's techniques of Rembrant, Vermeer and Caravaggio. It's just me, I guess.

To think own self be true.

Torso Study was done as soon as I finished Teacup, using a variation of glazes and underpaintings. It led me into a larger figure work--still in progress--in keeping with my New Year's resolution to focus on the figure.

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