Saturday, August 20, 2005

on tranquil land

How come the larger paintings aren't as strong as the smaller ones? I've been fretting over this one for several days and I'm still not satisfied. Unlike the last one which I appear to have painted in my sleep, I can recall every inch of struggle to get this one right. Time to leave it alone. What's interesting about the creative process is its unpredictability. And as for me I'm either a goddess or a bum; there's never any in-between.

This title comes from a Wordsworth poem. My knowledge of the poet is very limited -- I wasn't exactly impressed when I studied him but then I was only 17. While searching for a title today I found this small anthology of his poetry that my grandparents had purchased at Dove Cottage, Grasmere (my grandmother made a notation and added the date: 1965), where he wrote a lot of his most famous poems. I remember choosing it (and others) among the books that were being distributed when my grandmother died. Today I finally read most of it -- not by intention but because there were very few of those simple, evocative phrases that grab me when I'm naming a painting so I had to keep searching. He used an awful lot of adjectives. I remember reading once that good writers use muscular verbs and try not to clutter their work with lots of flowery filler. At the end of my time with him, I was really no fonder of him than when I started. (I should really do some research and find out how highly regarded he is these days.) ... but according to the bio in the front he appears to have led a facsinating life.


Blogger carla said...

What is the size of this one? I hope you don't mind if I give you my input, which may be way off since I can't see the painting "in person." I am wondering if the large block of blue might be too "flat," especially if it is a larger piece. I am finding that my eye doesn't connect with a strong focal point from which to travel around through various elements. "The Fields Breathe Sweet" has more of a central focus and a stronger balance of the elements and textures. I really love that one! Maybe "On Tranquil Land" needs more texture in the flat areas...perhaps create some tone-on-tone pattern that guides the eye? Overall, though, I think it's lovely, and I think you are smart to let it sit for a while.

Please feel free to give me input on my work...I am just starting up again after such a long time and I feel like I'm fumbling around. I really would welcome any critiques and suggestions!

Take care,

21/8/05 4:51 p.m.  
Blogger andrea said...

Hi Carla. Yes, please -- I love the feedback from a non-jaundiced eye! And I think you're right about that large central segment/element. It would've been wiser maybe to use the bird footprint pattern there instead of to the left. I try hard to create unexpected sorts of compositions -- something that makes you want to give it a second glance to put it all together -- but because of that it's very hit-and-miss sometimes. As for the size, it's a bit bigger than the other (24" x 20" instead of 20" x 16") and the one reason it's better to see it "in real life" is because I use gallery-wrapped canvas and continue painting the images around the sides, but I also know that if the composition doesn't work in a small digital image then there's some definite re-thinking necessary. Helpful -- thank you.

And in response to an earlier question, I was a teacher for 15 years so it feels very strange to not be anticipating the "start" of the year.

21/8/05 6:46 p.m.  

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