Monday, May 29, 2006

new painting

I did it! I decided to forget about caution by jumping into my new series project with both feet and tackling a large canvas (48" x 48" x 1.5") FIRST. The following so-far-unnamed painting represents your average 40-hour workweek of labour. But since I hardly put in an average workweek I was still working on it at 8:00 on Sunday night.

I always start by making numerous thumbnail sketches in my sketchbook, working out composition. If it works small, then it will work large. I never make value sketches, though, because, as Robert Genn recently delineated, I am not a value painter but a colour painter. Values seem to work themselves out without too much input from me. Usually.

In spite of the strongly symbolic and abstracted elements, this painting feels like a landscape to me. The atmosphere and elements of landscape are all there, albeit reorganized and reinterpreted. I'm having a bit of a struggle figuring out how to name this one and the ones that follow. I usually have a formula, but this time I'm stumped. Any suggestions from those who've faced this before?


Blogger ValGalArt said...

How about: Life Symbols or Symbols of my life? Beautiful work Andrea and this is a pretty biiiiig painting!

29/5/06 10:07 a.m.  
Blogger anne altman said...

gorgeous vivid colors!

29/5/06 10:29 a.m.  
Blogger L-girl said...

Wow! I love it.

29/5/06 10:47 a.m.  
Blogger Caroline said...

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!

Before I opened the comment box I was thinking Life Cycles or Span of life - and now I notice that Valgalart has "life" in her suggestions too...

Or maybe how about "Council of elders" or "Ancestral traces"?

And looking at it and thinking about other works you've done I think that they are all in a new category that I'd call Life Tracks or Life Tracts. They are landscapes but with time included.

I went to flickr and looked at it in the largest you've uploaded and it really is even more gorgeous with all the detail.

And I am obviously slipping into fabric mode as I also look at it and see it as a tapestry.

Glad you dived in and did it!


29/5/06 11:00 a.m.  
Blogger Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

What a good way to show us start to finish, the close up and details, are amazingly fine. The raindrops and roots...Thank yo for taking us close...

29/5/06 1:35 p.m.  
Blogger Brian the Mennonite said...

Looks GREAT Andrea...the painting's not bad either. :)

29/5/06 3:29 p.m.  
Blogger Jaimie said...

This is absolutely luscious. gawd I wish I could paint on a larger scale. congrats to you! Beautiful and unique as always.

29/5/06 3:41 p.m.  
Blogger Shari said...

How about Evolution? As you are evolving as well with your move into larger pieces. I thought of this because of the fossils in the earth, the evolution of things.

29/5/06 4:52 p.m.  
Blogger carla said...

This is spectacular! I had a feeling you were working on something; it's been very quiet around here lately. It looks amazing in the larger version on flikr...the colors have such an irridescence to them. The red at the bottom seems to undulate! Wow! I don't have any specific ideas for a name, but I think that you should have it reflect this stage in your artistic evolution. I see a certain significance in the bird (it makes me think of the Phoenix) and the green leaves and tree (which looks a lot like the trees in that horse painting I'm still dawdling over)...something about rebirth, freshness, and triumph! Well done, Andrea!!

29/5/06 5:31 p.m.  
Blogger Calvin said...

Very cool painting. Coming to your site makes me want to try to pick up a brush. :)

29/5/06 5:42 p.m.  
Blogger Nabeel said...

ohh this is awesome .. not only tha painting but the whole coloring process .. i mean .. i can now see what colors you go thru .. like the steps this painting had to go through before it was final .. awesome !!

29/5/06 5:53 p.m.  
Blogger andrea said...

Val: I like the use of the word "life" and must think how I can use it. It's a tricky process this naming thing!

Anne, L-girl and Calvin: Thanks for your kind words.

Caroline: Great minds think alike (you, me and Val! :). I like "Life Tracks". Just pondering all day I have at least got a name for the series that ties the ancient aspect to the landscape part that I'm exploring: Primal Landscapes. I can see the tapestry aspect, too; I just can't see the Andrea with needle-and-thread aspect! :)

Tongue in Cheek: Is the phrase God is in the details or the devil is in the details? I like to think it's the former...

Brian: It *is* a pretty nice-looking easel, isn't it? :)

Jaimie: It's incredibly liberating to use larger brushes (though the amount of paint I use does not liberate the pocket book much!). Give it a try!

Shari and Carla: Evolution is good. I was thinking, though, that I'd go with single-word adjectives or verbs, so maybe I should go with 'evolve'. Hmmm... the wheels are a-spinning (creaking).

Nabeel: It can be kind of a laborious process with all the layering. It's even worse when I make poor colour choices and have to re-paint some areas (like the red strip along the bottom) but to get the effect I want I have to do it so am resigned to it. Thanks.

29/5/06 7:19 p.m.  
Blogger Brian the Mennonite said...

Yeah...nice easel. I was thinking of calling it a rack, but that would be a little much. I've got to remember that Joyce reads here too.

29/5/06 8:26 p.m.  
Blogger kyknoord said...

Stunning. I really love those hand-sized trilobites. The name that springs to mind for me is 'natural history'

29/5/06 11:32 p.m.  
Blogger Peter Matthes said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

29/5/06 11:38 p.m.  
Blogger Peter Matthes said...

Your work is really very beautiful. There is a real tribal theme to some of it.

I wish I had half of your talent Andrea.

29/5/06 11:40 p.m.  
Anonymous Detlef said...

Well done, great effort. I suggest "Amalgam" as a title.

30/5/06 1:53 a.m.  
Blogger buep said...

I adore your pictures, they have a very special magic.

30/5/06 2:16 a.m.  
Blogger Reluctant Nomad said...

I would love to walk into a room where every wall was dominated by those paintings.

30/5/06 4:37 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea ! This is amazing ! I LOVE it ! Your work is always fantastic of course, The size of this piece really draws me in.I wouldn't feel right throwing titles at you for your work.I really enjoy when you put the start to finish together like this.{ PS/ Love your pretty hair ! :)lol. Keep up the fabulous work !!!

30/5/06 4:51 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look at you, you look like a little 19 year old something painting in her college dorm. Now to the painting...LOVE it. I love your art work large (and small too) but this one packs a PUNCH! Hmmmm, names? I didn't read the comments above me so if its a repeat, sorry. I think something along the lines of Heritage or have a lot of symbolic images on this. Oh how about "Buried culture".
Heehee, I'm clueless. Love this though...a LOT!

30/5/06 6:57 a.m.  
Blogger Sally said...

This is SO AWESOME! I love that you showed us the steps and I'm so intrigued how you started out with base colors that, in the end, don't dominate the color scheme of the completed picture. I have so much to learn about painting - sometimes I think I'm barely evolved past the paint-by-numbers method of painting with the final colors being the original colors put down. I love that it involves layers and planning but I wonder if I'd have the patience - I'm such an impatient painter.

It's brilliant!

30/5/06 7:53 a.m.  
Blogger Cherrypie said...

Simply stunning!

30/5/06 10:01 a.m.  
Blogger Laini Taylor said...

Ooh, I love step-by-steps! Thanks for showing your stages. And I love the painting! I've been wanting to do a big painting myself lately, but I don't know if I'll get to it. Is the whole series going to be big?

30/5/06 10:37 a.m.  
Blogger cream said...

I love the colours! The painting looks 3D!
For me it conjures up Life as an Indian Summer!

30/5/06 10:53 a.m.  
Blogger angel said...

now that is beauty. i sat looking at it up close for several minutes! this one & "one silver voice" are my favourites.

30/5/06 12:55 p.m.  
Blogger andrea said...

Brian: Ha! I actually thought of the rack thing, too, but was much too ladylike to say it. :)

Kyknoord: I'm onto the ancient history and the time themes. I sat in bed with a thesaurus last night (Yeah, I'm a lot of fun) and finally came up with Epoch. I want it to be a single word name and that's the best I could do with those themes so I'm going with it.

Peter: I love the tribal thing, too, which is why I'm going to use "primal" in my series title.

Detlef: I love that word! I was going to go with it if it meant something other than the stuff that goes into dental cavities but apparently it doesn't so I abandoned it. Hesitantly.

Buep and Cherrypie and Angel: Thank you!

Nomad: I'd better get painting then! #2 is in the planning stages now.

Sheri and Andrea: Thanks. I washed my hair in special recognition of the photo being taken. :) And I love it that you think I look 19 from behind. Just don't scream when I turn around and you see the wrinkles and bags on my face!

Sally and Laini: It's taken a couple of years to develop this layering process, but in spite of its laborious nature I'm sticking with it for now. I'm hoping to keep painting big. Material costs are the only thing standing in my way right now.

Cream: Ack! Stop giving me ideas or I'll start changing my mind! :)

30/5/06 3:25 p.m.  
Blogger Brian the Mennonite said...

I thought so. Now a question about your this large painting. Will you be bringing this to a gallery, or will you be selling it privately, or how does this whole world of galleries and selling work? An how much would this painting go for, if I'm allowed to ask?

30/5/06 3:47 p.m.  
Blogger Toni said...

I stayed away from the computer all weekend and pretty much till now. WOW, WOW, WOW, wait till I show Kathy at the gallery.
I wish we lived closer. See I knew you had it in you to go big, bold and beautiful!!!! And to see the whole process is an added bonus.
If I had the money this would be sold to me on the spot. For me it is such an awsome life cycle you painted here.
You are amazing. And I am looking forward to more.

31/5/06 5:55 a.m.  
Blogger susan said...

i love it andrea! how did i miss this post until now? ....
oh to name a paitning. that is the least of the worries. you made the painting and how lovely is that? very.
it does smack of the words:
to me anyway...
when all else fails, my husband helps me by letting the dictionary fall open and with eyes shut, we point at a word...
great work andrea!

31/5/06 6:12 a.m.  
Blogger andrea said...

Thanks for the great feedback. It's good to know that I'm not deluded in thinking I'm on the right track here...

31/5/06 3:07 p.m.  
Blogger HildaRose said...

OH my, this is great! You look really good large. I have a soft spot in my heart for this native feel. You do it with so much energy. Thanks for the series of images showing your process, thought that was helpful to be able to see how you work.

Next one...

1/6/06 3:16 a.m.  
Blogger Twisselman said...

This is wonderful... showing us your process in stages. Beautiful.

I see you've decided on a naming strategy...primal... The layers in the earth suggest the archaeological eons from earth's history (don't ask me to name them)... you know, all the '-lithics', right?

1/6/06 6:31 a.m.  
Blogger justin said...

Lovely rich colours as usual, Andrea, and very interesting to see your painting evolve. I liked the first two paintings just as they were. A title for your painting? Perhaps something like "A look back in time" or "The patterns of life" or something more mysterious. I feel a bit scared looking at it closely.

1/6/06 3:17 p.m.  
Blogger Caty said...

"walking around" would be a nice title for me.....I liked as well each step of your painting, as a painting itself!

2/6/06 7:52 a.m.  
Blogger albina said...

See what happens when one is absent from blogs for too long? Shop is closed and new paintings pouring in – and what a painting! As everyone before me – seeing the process is always very interesting, I don’t think it detracts from the experience of viewing finished painting; it enhances the appreciation of so many layers at work to make a spectacular whole. I don’t know about the name, but you are right about the landscape feeling… Despite all the vibrant colors and symbolism this painting is peaceful, as a walk in the autumn woods is peaceful. Beautiful.

3/6/06 6:13 p.m.  
Blogger tiffinix said...

Oh Andrea - beautiful so very amazing! I tried to comment a few times - blogger was being silly! I love the photo of you working and your process. The end result is gorgeous - I just really adore your style and your color choices. Wonderful!

9/6/06 9:02 p.m.  

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