I went to the farm yesterday and explored a bit - shot a bunch of photos and met the "owner"... Long story.
Anyway, I put the camera on the ground and shot across the field. I like the "big" sky but I'd like to get more detail in the close grasses/dried crop stubble.
I will need to get more 4x4s before I continue. I have it I my head that I'd like to create 100 of them and see how mind blown the curator is - no "boundaries" were given so I feel the need to see how much I can get away with.
I really thought I'd be finishing out the month of April with the bunny but I just can't bring myself to paint another bunny. I've lost my connection to the object and feel drawn to...well, nothing really. I just know I don't feel drawn to painting another bunny.
The photo reference for this painting was taken in early February when the area was blanketed in snow. I'm fairly certain the location is the exact same as the first painting, just at a slightly different angle. I've included some progress shots to show the transition of the foreground.
I may need to invest in some new tiny brushes if I'm going to continue in this direction.
This is the earliest image - the foreground was too soft.
In this image you can see a bit more detail in the foreground shadows.
Then I softened the left side of the foreground and darkened the right to help balance the areas of light and dark in the composition.
Final image - I played with the middle ground a bit. I thought I was done after the last progress shot but the more I thought about it the more the middle ground bugged me. I middle ground glows in the photo and in my memory so I tried to create some luminosity within the white space. I'm not sure you can see the difference in these images but in the painting, there is a definite glow now.
I've signed up to be part of a landscape show to be held next year - 2015. The show is sponsored by the county and will feature artistic representations of preserved farmland in honor of the 30th anniversary of the program. No one asked if I was a landscape artist when I signed up...
I'm really nervous about this - the entire process is a new to me. To be a part of this show, all you had to do was fill out a form and choose the farm(s) you want to document. Farms were assigned to artists - supposedly based on postmark date. I listed 7 farms on my application - and the farm I was assigned - "Dublin Creators" in Springfield, NJ - was not at the top of my list. I listed the farm because of the location - I actually used to own the farm neighboring this property in another life... As farms go, this one is fairly typical and doesn't really inspire me. There is a large, open expanse of land and some trees in the distance - no barns, no fences, just open, tillable land - not much to be inspired by, in my opinion. Oh, and I don't paint landscapes, lets not forget that!
For some reason, I didn't want to paint today, which clearly meant I had to paint today. The bunnies and I are close to parting ways which gave me the perfect opportunity to start exploring this new project I've gotten myself into. I took a ride out to the farm tonight, in the rain, about 15 minutes before dark - perfect time to visit a landscape setting.
Here's my first attempt and the photo I used as loose reference material. I took the photo from the car, so you're looking through the grass/weeds on the side of the road to the field. The painting is on the right, just in case you were confused (I'm a comedian tonight).
I've experienced a ton of introspection lately. Who am I kidding - this is a constant! I spend almost equal time searching myself for answers and asking others for insights.
I used to watch Shark Tank regularly. You know, the show with all the rich entrepreneurs who listen to small business owners beg for cash to grow. There's that obnoxious bald shark, Mr. Wonderful, who likes to tell the presenters of bad ideas, "You're dead to me." He's so matter of fact, so certain that he wants nothing to do with the business.
Then there's me. I'm looking at this bunny, so clearly not alive, but I'm not sure he's dead to me.
By the way, same bunny, different day, feels like a "him" not a "her" this time around.
Oh, and I tossed the other frozen bunny. It wasn't perfect after all.
My mom and her sister have a thing for collecting things. They've gone through many phases over the years including deviled egg plates, beanie babies, and millefiori glass. Today's bunny is from the millefiori collection.
The things in my life that are making me paint aren't getting any easier so I figured it would make sense to make the bunny harder too.
There are stages to artmaking. For me, they are fairly concrete and flow in a logical order; start by setting up the object, select the surface size to paint on, sketch the image onto the surface in pencil, begin painting, take photos of painting, blog about painting, stare at painting...
I wish there were some concrete stages for other aspects of my life. I keep going back and forth from sadness to anger to indifference to depression (very different from simple sadness) to rage (again, different from anger) to pitty to relief... This is the flow, in no particular order and with no end in sight.
During my undergraduate studies, I spent a great deal of time in the painting studio working with traditional oils. Teaching middle school art for the past 12 years has taken me away from those roots. This "one a day" project is aimed at re-inspiring that creativity and technique.
Other "one a day" painting blogs to check out:
Kellie Marian Hill
The usual Subjects