Monday, July 26, 2010

Week 6 Wrap Up - Instructor Feedback

Today Marcia sent along her feedback on last week's submissions. I include below a small picture of the submission(s) for each lesson with her comments quoted to the right.

Warm-Up 6.1: Produce Sketches of the Final Painting

"This exercise certainly leaves me eager to see what you've come up with. Good job on the warm up. Simply, quick sketches to illuminate the possibilities. Not much more to it than that."

Warm Up 6.2: Getting Started with Painting

"Excellent progression from sketch, to color. This type of flower can be tricky, since you have layers and depth, and it means keeping lots of control over where the color is moving, in an effort to keep your highlights light, and the shadows deeper. So far, so good!

Warm Up 6.3: Deepening Colors, Moving Toward Completion

"Nice progression toward completion. You're keeping the color from muddying, it's remaining vibrant. I am going to hold my other comments till I see the end result..."

Final Painting

"Lovely work! Here is all that's working well, in my opinion. The color is vibrant, and as I mentioned earlier, you've kept it from getting muddy. I don't have any sense that you've overworked it at all. The light areas have stayed light, and the dark, dark, lending a nice sense of three dimensions.

"It's a good choice of botanical composition, classic in many ways. I especially like the way in which you are hinting at certain details -- the way the sepals trail off to little wisps, and the hint at veination in the flower. Some artists like to go even further with this, but I tend to err on the 'less is more' side of things.

"The only constructive commentary I might offer is a feeling that I get from this -- not so much technique, as the mood of the piece. For you and your style, so to speak, this feels a little -- what is the word? -- tight and a little formal, as if you were not loose as you were working. Curiosity question how much did you enjoy this exercise, really? I'm recalling an earlier exercise, in which you added a wonderful, original background. Somehow this doesn't have some of that kind of energy. From a purely technical perspective, it's terrific! Just more a feeling that I get from it, and I know that you like to stretch yourself, and you really seem to value this kind of feedback.

"As always, it has been a pleasure! I'm eager to read your journal. "

Journal Entry

"Many thanks for your thoughtful feedback. I had to smile at this line... All this can happen at seemingly so glacial a rate as to be imperceptible.

"You have come so far, and I have enjoyed your enthusiasm and commitment in the class so much. I should put a little stickie on my calendar to remind me to occasionally visit your blog. I think since I use the computer so much at work, I tend not to think of it for enjoyment, and yet, between art and food blogs, there really are a number of good ones out there, that I should get in the habit of occasionally checking."

End of Marcia's feedback.

Okay, now it's me again! :-) Below is my response to Marcia's question on tight, formal, and fun:

Yes, indeed, I had fun, but it was cautious fun! :-) I found my first selection of Sweet Pepperbush too tough to handle. What I presented was my second cut at a rose. After laying down some color, I had become dissatisfied with my initial sketch work and so started over. Although I kept the roses in the fridge, I dealt with some blossoming and misshaped flowers. Towards the end, I was working from my tonal sketch as much as from the rose. All that together kept me tense, but I didn't mind walking the tightrope too much. I just kept telling myself, "No screwing around, Perry. Pay attention. Play close."

I am reminded of a dear friend who happens to be a fantastic artist... She talks about the soul of a painting. To that I attribute the ability to render the uniqueness, the life, of an individual subject. See, I didn't paint "my" rose; I painted "a" rose. I figure in time I'll get more comfortable and can then fly about a bit more relaxed and simultaneously precise. I guess this time around I was totally concerned with execution. All that said, ya, I agree with your observation! :-)

Oh! Here's something that I found so cool! The rose was done; I was looking it over closely under a lamp in a darkened room. I continued to view the painting as I turned away from the light. I then saw an afterimage halo around the rose of about a half inch of bright white with the rest of the paper fading out! I thought now how cool would it be to get that down right--and immediately squashed that thought. I couldn't take the chance of botching up my final work. I'll have to give that a try on my first rose, just to see if I can get there with something of a very light wash.

Okay, this is it. Class over! Movin' on! Sigh... Smile... repeat.


  1. "I didn't paint 'my' rose; I painted 'a' rose".
    I stopped in my tracks when I read this line. There are so few of us who actually "get" these words; you have, in one simple sentence, exposed the heart of a true artist.
    That rates an A+ in my book!