Monday, July 19, 2010

Different Takes on the Same Subject


Daisies and Bells 16 x 20

Daisies and Bells 2  20 x 20 

Starting in September, I'll be teaching a course in painting from life at the Calgary School of Art. 
It's becoming very clear to me that photos are a weak reference for paintings and that I need to work from life as often as possible. 
Last week Sharon Williams and I painted a still life of some flowers from my garden.  The flower arrangement is holding up surprisingly well, so I've painted it again, using a different colour for the background. 
The first time the background was the strong, warm red of my studio wall which, when the light hit it, leaned orange.  Because of the hot colour scheme and the lively company, this painting is full of bold, thick paint and drama.
The second time I put the vase against a creamy white fabric.  The incandescent light turned the background a pale, creamy cool.  That, and the fact that I was alone in the studio, changed the mood of the painting from vibrant and vigorous to muted and more subtle.  I found it more natural to avoid big impasto marks and to work more delicately overall.  There is a lot of transparency left in this painting, and a greater degree of translucence than in the first one. 
I'm not sure that I would have even bothered painting these pieces if I'd only had the photo to work from. 


C said...

Great points! lots of interesting stuff on this blog.

Ingrid Christensen said...

Thanks C. There's just so much to say about painting.

Sharon said...

Hi again: Just managed to soften the back line of my painting, what with the week teaching at Series. Will post it soon and will link it to your post if that's ok with you?

Ingrid Christensen said...

Hi Sharon,
I look forward to seeing your painting. Please do link it to mine.

Caroline said...

Hello I followed Sharon's link and found your beautiful flower painting. So interesting to see the two artist's version. I love the way the flowers are so vibrant with life and movement, the colours are also lovely. Beautiful paintings and very interesting to read about the cool and warm colours.

Ingrid Christensen said...

Hi Caroline,
Thanks for the comments.
I enjoy painting with Sharon because we have such different views on the world. It's fascinating to watch her paint.