Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Temptations of Complexity

In looking for subjects to paint on the hills and ravines around my neck of the woods, the combined textures and forms of various plants are intriguing to my eye, but also a challenge, as certain shapes and sizes are hard to execute with the blunt instrument of the pastel stick, and the variety of foliage textures can be daunting. In facing a 'persian rug' of patterns, I look for a breakup of the major shapes of the image plane to have a design that I can hang everything on regardless of the subject. I'm finding that value patterns, whether strictly defined by the effect of light and shadow, or mass of a form, or some combination, are what I'm relying on for this underlying structural support. There's a lot of drawing problems I'm encountering in these pieces, so much more work is needed on my part to really decode and even accurately get the proportions of certain forms down.
Tree trunks are analogous to the human figure in gesture, pose, subtlety, etc. I'm struggling with the simplest statements of this. Ferns are amazingly elegant, and I can only hint at that right now... 'there's a fern here'.. There's an endless variety of ideas to explore out in the big colorful 'mess' of nature. Spring is here...everyone get out and paint!




10 comments:

Kendra Melton said...

These are all wonderful! The hardest thing is simplifying all that nature puts before us. And you've done a miraculous job of pointing out the necessities in these. Just wonderful! :]

ti-igra said...

Wow! Bill! This is a wanderful pastels you do!
Wow, I have not words! Spring here now and in Ukraine! And I admire her and also on your pastels! I feel the light bar on the hill and trees that seem to be greenish in sunlight, flowering shrubs and fern.
So happy is the soul! Thanks, that gave inspiration! I run paint!
Spring in our hearts! :-)))))

Shane Pierce said...

wow - the value patterns are amazing
thanks for sharing these

Joel Wijeyesekera said...

Your plein-air works are very well done! I find a strong connection within these works - you have an expressivity in your style, but you are also respectful of the subject matter you depict. Great works!

shamatha said...

Hey bill I absolutely love your work you have inspired me to buy some pastels and try to go out and start painting some of the landscapes here in New Zealand. your work is just beautiful i love it so much. I am curious to know if you use different colours of paper and how many different pastel colours you work with cheers kyle 

karlsimon said...

I think you are doing very well. The shapes hold up very nicely despite the amount of texture. Beautiful!

Tom Scholes said...

Enjoy hearing your thoughts almost as much as I do the art. Thank you.

locuriatoons said...

hello bill,is very beautifull your blog.good bye!

S-Harkey said...

These are so, so beautiful. Your work has inspired me to take a pastels class and a plein air class this summer :)
Do you think we could see some in-process photos someday? I'd love to see how you tackle these beautiful paintings!

Alina Chau said...

Beautiful!! These are stunning!!