Experimenting with the Elements

Line Experiment
watercolor 14 x 21 inches

It has been a while since posting last. To get back into the painting mode I will sometimes take on a familiar subject and ‘let her rip’ by applying the paint in ways that are completely different than my normal painting ‘style.’ In this painting I used wet paper and an oil painting filbert brush to scrub in the paint. This yields wild and brilliant colors but also opened the door to using line in an otherwise different way. In the end, all of the elements (7 of them) are present, but some are emphasized in such a way as to attract attention.

This painting of half dome in Yosemite was more of an experiment than a painting. It may never see a frame or a mat, but it certainly allowed me to ‘get off the leash to run’ and get the crazy urges out of my system. It served another purpose: discovery. While fooling around in a free fashion, I found a few little ideas (like red shadows) and using dense, opaque colored line (integrating gouache into the watercolor pigment) atop the trees. This shifted the focus from the dome to the trees and the white shape behind them. These discoveries of how to exploit the different elements of design can often lead to new approaches in more serious paintings.

Open Studio is finished for 2009. Now I am putting everything away for next year and attempting to get back to living a normal life. Thanks to all who came and a special thanks to all my enthusiastic patrons.

5 thoughts on “Experimenting with the Elements”

  1. Love it!

    When I see something like this on screen I am tempted (only momentarily) to incorporate back-lighting into my work. I guess the challenge for us it to do that on paper… I know I'm not there yet.

    This should be made into postcards and sent far and wide. Or maybe your posting has already done that in a way. But it is the kind of image I would love to pin onto my studio wall in my higgledy-piggledy clutter of things to revisit regularly.

    Keep 'em coming!

  2. Mike,
    The dance of colors is an energetic burst that in the words Ed (the motivator) Whitney."Make something happen",and you did! Go for it Mike. TJO not anonymous just try to say Kudos!

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