Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Painting an apple a day.....

Granny Smith's Grin   oil/canvas   4 x 4 x 1.5
The artists in my classes will attest to the fact that I love apples. Almost always, we paint apples for the first session in the fall, as they are easy to lug along and fun to paint. And then they provide a treat for the ride home. We also discuss design elements. If we attest to the simple explanation of good design as "big and little things arranged pleasingly on a page", then we must also admit that not every still-life set-up offers the ultimate in great design. Sometimes it is necessary, and even preferable, to allow our imaginations to create where reality falls short. I think of line, especially pencil line, as an inviting element incorporated into a painting. Those first pencil lines that peek through a watercolor not only function as a design element, but also allow soulfulness to appear by watching the attempts, and perhaps the struggles, of the artist. Lines that have virtually no meaning literally still pack a punch when read visually. Squiggly energetic lines playing with the front-stage round form of the apple. Yum. In "Varietal" I painted the scene in front of me, then added calligraphic line work in the form of the various kinds of apples that are available to us in the marketplace. Playful lines. Colorful lines. Contrasted with rounded forms. Crunch.

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