Monday, August 22, 2011

August 25--The BIG Vista

I had a real treat yesterday that's likely to translate into an interesting demonstration on this subject. We took a drive up into the Jemez Mountains and although it was stormy, I have some wonderful photos of the BIG vista to inspire me. 

I love painting the vast, open spaces. It's a chance to play with aerial perspective about as much as anyone ever gets to in New Mexico. (Some call it the "Land of Enchantment". Others call it the "Land of NO Humidity" = little atmospheric regression.) Our topic will be how the air affects the landscape

Find a good photo with lots of rich information leading well back into space, including all four value masses: the sky, mountains or mesas, trees, and foreground. We’ll discuss ‘the rules’ of distance and look at how to control values, colors, edges and use effective strokes. Think BIG, at least in scope, if not in scale. You may paint any size piece, of course, and use any media you like.

For those who were with me last week, I encourage you to apply that lesson to this week's painting. Don't just rush ahead to the next painting. Why not look around for an inspirational color scheme from another artist and see if it can be incorporated into the painting you plan to do?! Analyze how the artist used color expressively, what kinds of layering or strokes were incorporated, and the balance of warm or cool, and light or dark colors. This may help you do two things: consider the values in the big vista photo you're using, and free yourself of the tyranny of the color in that photo!

I also suggest that if you plan to come to next week's class on CLIFFSIDES (September 1), you might consider combining the subject matter with this week's class, as well. Perhaps you have some photographs of your trip to The Grand Canyon or Canyon de Chelly, or others locations that include a cliff and large panoramic vista. That would be a good subject for this week and next, and you might find next week's demonstration comes at a good time for the details of the painting. Just a thought for you...

Please RSVP if you're coming to this week's class and are not already enrolled. The class is $25.00 at the door. And remember, we're meeting in our new location.

See you on Thursday,