Wednesday, November 21, 2012

On Recovering It

No, we are not considering rehab.  Have you ever had a painting that was way off after the initial painting session.  Really?  Well, I have.  And for some stubborn reason I decided to avoid the fire and attempt a recovery.

On our recent trip to Algonquin, where we were stunned by the colour, we took to setting up on a dirt road (the middle of the dirt road), with 30 minutes left before sundown.  This combination wiped my memory clean and I did a small painting start from hell.

Starting the Recovery

Even though the recovery process is under way here, you can see the start.  Lines, bloody lines.  What shapes, what values?  Tiny brush.  Why??

Years ago I did an abstract work shop with Lila Lewis Irving.  What a lot of fun and learning. An abstract painter who can actually paint representationally.  Beautifully.  She came around to me as I was looking at my last abstract for the session.  Silence.  I looked at her.  "I have no idea how you can fix that" she said encouraging me.  My thoughts exactly.  My neighbour Jill then asked me if I wanted a full pot of paint - she was leaving for home.  I found out it was "Quin Gold".  What the hell, I threw it on my mess.  It covered the whole 22x30 painting about a centimetre thick.  Now what?  I reached for a windshield wiper and dragged the paint off.  Voila!  Am image came to life, interesting, simplified, worked from each angle.  Simple.

The thought returned to me for this attempted recovery.  I wanted to convey late day light.  Cool and warm.  Lets cover the painting with mineral violet.

Recovery Wash

Ok, the shapes began to appear.  I knew they were pretty much the way I wanted them.  Sky, tree line, meadow to foreground (gradation), and trees pattern.  Next I established the darks to indicate the form and the picture planes.

Establish the Darks

So now, put in the shapes in the right values.  Then the colours

Shapes in Shadow Value

My memory told me it wasn't this dark when I started the painting.  So now I have the deep shadows I can paint the light from all the surrounding sources.

Just Before Sundown, 10x12, Oil on Board

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