This blog is dedicated to the memory of my life partner of nearly thirty years, Dr. Howard G. Hanson-- artist, writer, musician, and teacher-- who with me celebrated a belief that we can achieve whatever we allow ourselves to imagine. This blog reflects the whole person that our lives together enabled.

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Saturday, February 5, 2011

One More Winter Day

I wish I had kept a step-by-step record of this painting.  It began as three birds searching for seeds in the snow.  At the end of the first session, the other two birds had to go:  their presence made the painting seem trite, but taking them away left the remaining bird sitting almost in the middle of the painting.  In fact, the right edge of the bird splits the composition in half--sorta. 

Yet I liked how I'd done the bird, so I set out to find a way to make the composition work by guiding the viewer's eye by using accents of warm light within areas of cool.
We use isolation to bring attention to a subject or to lead the eye to a place we want it to go.  The bird image in this painting is about as isolated as you can get:  its size, its contrast, its gesture all give emphasis to the isolation and by doing so, make the eye cling to the image itself.  I needed to make the eye roam around so that the viewer could register the cold of the snow and the subtle colors in it even though we call it white.

For two days the bird's surroundings morphed.  What began as a snow-covered field became woods in the background that went through many adjustments and deletes until finally there was nothing left to do and that's how you know when a painting is finished.

In this picture, I photoshopped a frame around it to help isolate the painting itself.  This painting needs the frame to be complete.  So what does that tell me?   I'll answer that:  it tells me there's still so much to learn...


Enjoy your Saturday.
Dianne

4 comments:

Casey Klahn said...

This is exceptional, Diane.

Minla said...

I can't imagine this painting could have been any better if it had all gone according to plan.

Franziska San Pedro said...

Dianne,
would have loved to see the progress of your painting. I always forget to take pictures, too. Once I have started on something I get so carried away that nothing can stop me -not even a camera :-)
It's nice to read about the two little birds that didn't make it to visibility but now we know that they are there. That's what I love about painting: all the thoughts what could be, what we decide to show in the end and what is hidden underneath. Thank you for sharing,
Franziska
@FlavorDesigns

Annice said...

So glad you are back "into" it. Love the snowy scene.