Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Trying Something New


Sometimes I get commissioned to paint something that I'd never have imagined myself painting.  I've come to realize that this is a good thing.  I can too easily get stuck in a rut painting the same subjects over and over.  Like any painter, I've got some default subjects: things that I paint when I can't think of a new thing to paint.  They're good to have but I they can fill time that should be spent in exploring new ideas. 
This past winter I was asked to paint a competitive skier racing down a hill.  Not a subject that I've tackled before but one that holds a lot of promise; there's movement and colour and - most important to me - light.  Luckily the reference photo that I was given was very well done.  All that was required was changing the landscape to make the composition better.   I especially enjoyed sculpting the snow with thick paint to get a sense of the terrain and playing with the juxtaposition of hot reds and cool blues. 
My client was pleased with the result and so was I.  It was refreshing to try something completely new and get out of the well-worn rut.

3 comments:

Pam Weber said...

I feel the same way about commission work- gets one out of the comfort zone. It's not always about painting something to match a person's colour swatch.
Your work has such vitality and depth. Awesome.

Ingrid Christensen said...

Hey Pam, nice to hear from you again.
Thanks for reading my blog and for the kind words.

Dean H. said...

Love the colors and the downhill speed you have captured with your bold strokes, Ingrid!

I agree about not staying within a comfort zone. I like to paint from photos for the various challenges plus a group event called the Weekend Drawing Event at Wet Canvas site. It's almost akin to being an illustrator and given an assignment to complete quickly.