Spring Large painting:
I had already decided on my theme for Spring. My plan is to do a series of four paintings which will not only give indications of the season but also life’s season associated with it. I produced a sketch for the large painting which will be square 60 x 60. I decided to paint in the Surrealist style for this picture and did a sketch first:
I felt this would work well but the shadows took the eye out of the picture so I have amended it in the final painting. Also I decided to bring the heads down a tad as the sketch seemed a bit top heavy, and also lowered the pen writing, to give a more circular composition.
I have used contrasting Yellow and Blue as the main “spring” colours, complimented by delicate pinks in the faces and blossom
I was happier with the new composition and preferred the shadows going around the top of the hand to bring it forward. I just wish I could have produced a more vibrant green for the traffic lights, but there doesn’t appear to be one. I have even included the proposed London “Shard” on the horizon!
I struggled a bit with the acrylics which I normally use with a palette knife, I found that they did not blend when used “smooth”. “Time” indicated by the dandelion produces seeds for growth and seeds of unrest in the war cameo on the left horizon. Blossom is produced with the help of the industry of man on the right horizon. The dandelion turns into a pen for the first written words.
The faces go from very young when nothing is really seen, to the excitement of toddling and discovery to the blindness of youth and eventually to a young girl, whose butterfly ear hears what is going on, and who’s eyes see what is happening but whose mouth is still missing because she has yet to gain sufficient wisdom to express ideas. The heads are like egg-shells, indicating the birth of an embryo and its subsequent growth.
I feel that traffic lights are iconic in that the "stops and goes" to control the traffic are also indicative of the "stops and goes" in life.
Also the colours very neatly fit the seasons, i.e. Green is for new growth and also therefore represents youth, hence Spring. Amber or Yellow is equal to warmth and the colour of the sun and in life is a happy colour, therefore Summer.
Red and Amber represent Autumn. The Red signalling or warning the approach of Winter mixed with Amber it produces Orange, the colour of Autumn leaves. Orange is also an accepting colour a comfortable colour, neither too passionate nor too cool. One of the main colours of Autumn.
Red alert, red for stop (death). Red beside Blue (which is the colour of Winter) are fugitive colours for the eye, producing unclear vision, signalling old age "sans eyes". Red for blood - i.e. life blood without which death follows.
So for me traffic lights are the microcosm of the stages of life.
Large Spring painting Check and Log
- Can you see an interest developing and running through your work? Consider how to identify an interest and how to develop it in your future work.
There are two significant interests in my work, Surrealism, which I had never really been terribly interested in before, but I can see that it is a way of painting symbolically and it has also helped me to free up and think more humorously about painting. For me that is a good development because I feel it will help me to move away from representational work.
- Are you happy with your original concept of how to paint the seasons? Do you feel the need to re-appraise the direction of your work.
I still feel comfortable with the options I have chosen, although I may change the style later, but at the moment I feel my ideas are right. My next “Summer” painting will probably be in the Impressionist style, the Autumn may well be Realist, with Winter Abstract. Autumn is the only possible question-mark. I am constantly re-appraising and considering new and different approaches to develop a looser more painterly style.
- How are you using the various techniques covered in the other assignments? Are you managing to make use of those experiences in your project work?
I am certainly considering possibilities much more and am also learning different techniques from fellow students by going on the forums and looking at their work.
- Make notes in your log of the progress you have made and things to which you need to give particular attention.
One of the difficulties I have yet to come to grips with is producing something that I would normally consider to be a sketch, as a finished piece of work. When I look at my sketch books I can see some of the quick sketches produce a good effect because they are spontaneous and rapid and I need to figure out how to keep that spontaneity in my finished work.