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Re: gallery walls

Postby Rebecca » Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:51 pm

Something's weird. I have been accusing the actual scene of having a molten quality which is unwieldy for painting unless it is tamed by tricks of composition, yet you read my comments as about the paintings. I re-read what I wrote and found no clarity about which is which. Then I thought hard about this. Is this sort of scene molten as we stand before it? No. It's fluffy, scented, textured, has intriguing light, humidity. And much more. But not molten in any way. Yet, as fodder for picture making, in terms of shapes, it's molten. But this is only after the shapes are put to canvas. On canvas, those shapes wriggle out of grasp. Unless they are the real theme, those shapes only defy pictorial intent. Top them with textures and things go out of control fast. Where did the perspective go? Where is the implied eye level? Where is the embedded lighting rhythm? What happened to aerial perspective? Something has to stabilize the scene. Something, anything to make it coherent! Composition. That'll do it.
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Re: gallery walls

Postby mdmattin » Sun Oct 01, 2017 12:07 am

I also thought about the molten landscape v. molten painting distinction and understood what you were getting at. I may have been lazy in just referring to "molten paintings." I was also somewhat confounded because "molten" has positive, or at least, powerful connotations to me - I think of molten lava, molten steel, heat, sparks, industry, ineluctable forces... whereas I think you meant something more like soggy, formless, gloppy, fuzzy, unfocussed... Anyway, I do encounter such situations and attempt to wrangle them.
Here's one I painted on a lot, and tried various compositional tricks to pull together, but never quite got to work:

molten sm.jpg
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The original scene was a bright, clear, summer day, so everything was covered in greenery and there wasn't much aerial perspective happening. I exaggerated it to get a sense of space. I hoped to use the mailbox to establish some higher contrast and sharp edges to beat the background down, but the distant hills still seem too saturated and gum droppy.

What is embedded lighting rhythm?

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Re: gallery walls

Postby Andre Jute » Sun Oct 01, 2017 12:27 am

mdmattin wrote:Here's one I painted on a lot, and tried various compositional tricks to pull together, but never quite got to work.


Wait till you're old and your eyes start going! You might consider that a very successful painting. I anyway know places, though admittedly not on the East Coast north of NY, where high humidity cause a haze exactly like the one you portray.

Serendipity, brother! That scene might just be telling you that here's a chance to start another style, now you've finished with the heroic representational style of the painting you worked on so long.
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Re: gallery walls

Postby Rebecca » Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:10 pm

mdmattin wrote:The original scene was a bright, clear, summer day, so everything was covered in greenery and there wasn't much aerial perspective happening. I exaggerated it to get a sense of space. I hoped to use the mailbox to establish some higher contrast and sharp edges to beat the background down, but the distant hills still seem too saturated and gum droppy.
...What is embedded lighting rhythm?

I admit molten may not be the best word. I was thinking of something like basaltic lava, which can move sluggishly with rounded mounds.

Actually, that's a pretty nice painting. I think those rounded forms of the terrestrial world would look more stable if your thin slips of the cloud world were exactly, and I mean exactly, horizontal, especially the ones that get closer to the horizon.

Embedded lighting rhythm would be the painted recognition that vegetation allows shafts of sunlight to penetrate, and where the light does not penetrate so well, shadow parallels the direction of light. Also, the shadow edges that run across the foliage volumes tend to be perpendicular to the flow of light. Here is a sketch by Claude Lorrain that embeds light rhythm in its depiction of middle ground tree foliage, simply by the intentional direction of the brush stroke. Two things are simplified at once: foliage masses and lighting. With the cast shadow on the ground confirming direction of light, the viewer can sense a world of related parts across the picture. That's not all that's going on here, but this rhythm is a major part of the feeling conveyed in this simple sketch.

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Re: gallery walls

Postby mdmattin » Sun Oct 22, 2017 3:37 am

Thanks, Rebecca,
I think I've been doing embedded lighting rhythm all along, to some extent, without knowing it, like the fellow who didn't know he'd been speaking in prose. I tried to do it more intentionally in this little sketch from imagination:

trees sm.jpg
trees sm.jpg (226.04 KiB) Viewed 54 times


Here's one I had been working on before. I might go back into it and try to get more embedded lighting rhythm going in the foliage:

quarry sm.jpg
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Re: gallery walls

Postby Andre Jute » Sun Oct 22, 2017 4:41 am

Don't you run the risk of destroying the contrast against the lighter tree of the figure kneeling at the water's edge? If you make the tree much darker, I suppose you could rework her with opaque white ink (Marialena knows the name of a good one) or gouache or something. Were me, with that successful drawing in hand, I'd put it aside and start again with the same theme on a clean sheet, this time putting her in virginal white.
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Re: gallery walls

Postby Rebecca » Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:56 pm

mdmattin wrote:Thanks, Rebecca, I think I've been doing embedded lighting rhythm all along, to some extent, without knowing it, like the fellow who didn't know he'd been speaking in prose...Matthew

Nice, Matthew. A couple thoughts... It only makes sense if you have unfiltered sunlight (no clouds or haze), and the foliage should probably be expressed as having particular volumes. So think of those volumes' form shadow edges as on balance being perpendicular to the flow of light. For example, if the general volume shape happens to be spherical, the form shadow edge will cut across the spherical form like the front half of an ellipse with its major axis perpendicular to the flow of light.
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