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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Jimmy Longacre_subjective realist landscape paintings_ QUICK APPROACH and PAINTER'S VISION

SEEING AND DESIGNING THE BIG LIGHT/DARK PATTERN is the quickest way I know of for launching into a painting with confidence. Whether outside or in the studio, a quick assessment of the light and dark shapes offers an overview of whether the painting will have "snap".  If there isn't an underlying order to the pattern, the chances are good that I'll become lost trying to make something happen with a subject.  
The tendency for the inexperienced painter is to begin trying to draw the "things" in the subject.  The problem with that is that we blind ourselves to the elements that give any painting impact: shape, value, color and edges.  Our usual mode of seeing, I call "common vision".  This is when we see the multitude of "things" before us with endless detail and non-descriminate focus.  We're just taking it all in as information.  "Painter's vision" requires an intentional shift of mode.  In this mode we see the simple shapes of light and dark and their connectedness as pattern.  Until we see the subject in this way, we're faced with the thankless task of attempting to transcribe things and details.
Here are a couple of paintings from my recent trip to my Taos workshop.  I found these subjects in a garden at one of the places we went to paint.  Each subject offered the potential for a "good" painting.  Both had correctible flaws in their arrangement of light and dark shapes.  Taking a moment to make those adjustments in a quick note of how the light and dark silhouettes could be made to interact as a balanced pattern gave me the assurance that the paintings would be fun and worthwhile. Below, is the simplified steps, beginning with the arrangement of light and dark shapes, or "notan".

©Jimmy Longacre 2015
12X12 oil on canvas panel
©Jimmy Longacre 2015
18X14 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings


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