Small format Trying to Contain the Anger #5

In this version I isolated the face and upper body of the figure. The colors I used were mostly warm. I wanted the position of the hands and the face to convey emotion, not the vigorous brushstrokes or saturated colors I  usually use. I am really happy with this figure but I am not sure there is a sense of strong emotion here.

I have done 5 of these smaller paintings. I started out with the idea of a suite but they seem to have developed more as studies. I like them however they are labeled. I have 1 more small canvas that I’m thinking of something different. And then I have the larger canvas 30″x 30″ that I’ll probably do one last figure on it.

small anger brown

Trying to Contain the Anger #5

Small format, green

Another in the suite of smaller format pictures. I wasn’t sure how the green would work . There is actually more yellow in the hair but doesn’t show up well.  I wanted to try  colors I don’t normally use for figures.  I think the face and arms could use more green but I am satisfied with these results. I may try one with a spectrum of colors or maybe just shades of grey. [sounds like I have my next 2 paintings!]  The figure is a close up, focusing on her face and left arm. I plan to do another  close up. I have 2 smaller square canvases and a larger one left. [30″ x 30” or app. 76cm x 76 cm.]

green small figure compressed

Trying to Contain the Anger, Blue

Finished. These smaller canvases are 20″ x 20″ or app. 51 cm x 51 cm

trying to Contain the Anger, blue

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painting again

Good Grief! I didn’t realize its been over 2 months since I’ve painted! Shame on me. I could say life got in the way but that is no excuse.

Anyway, here is another small canvas Trying to Contain the Anger.  This is the first layer. Generally pleased with it. Have some anatomical adjustments  to do but that is the beauty of oil. Mess it up and one can just paint over it, wet into wet for me.

I feel good when I paint. If something is bothering me, if I am obsessing over things, I can paint. And I calm down. No, the problems are the same but I am seeing them differently. My mind is engaged with painting problems, with seeing, with feeling. And what I was obsessing about just isn’t that important anymore.

blue anger first layer

Blue Anger. First layer. French ultramarine, alizarin crimson, and titanium white. 2ft x 2ft or app. 61.5 cm x 61.5 cm.

Small format Suite

I have a bunch of 20″ x 20″ canvases that I am going to use as studies. They also will be paintings in their own right. I can work faster on the smaller canvases, taking days rather than weeks to complete. I plan to experiment with color. I am thinking of them as a “suite”.  It will incorporate the figure as well as the angel motifs, having them influence each other but not necessarily in a linear way. A series, to me, seems to imply one done then the next, rather methodical. I want there to be a fluid or more organic relationship among these smaller paintings. At least, that is the plan at this point.

This is almost finished. Some of the yellow on the arm needs to be toned down

small-anger-1

Trying to Contain the Anger, small suite 1

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almost finished

I’m almost finished with Trying to Contain the Anger but there are a few areas that need refinement.  I am including a closeup of her face. I used some retouch varnish in the dark blue (ultramarine) as it appeared to be sinking. I don’t usually use varnish at all tho some of my earlier paintings do have a thin coat. It depends, mostly, on the thickness of the paint whether I use it or not. The picture seems a little out of focus to me. I think that is because I didn’t use a flash. I want to represent the colors of the painting as “true” as possible. Often, the flash bounces off of the paint and washes areas out. I’m going to let it rest for awhile and focus on Lucifer Rising. 

Right now Lucifer looks too ropey and the brushstrokes are too uniform. I am thinking of adding wings as the angels on the ceiling of St. Mark’s in Venice have 6. I’ll have to see how that shakes out. With the angel, I can be freer with my interpretation and concentrate on the process more so than using a figure. When I was in grad school, the profs told me to lose the figure. I did but then as soon as I got out of school I went back to it.

close-up-almost-finished

close up

almost-finished-anger

Trying to Contain the Anger

progress-lucifer

Progress  on Lucifer Rising 3

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progress #2

I’ve adjusted the figure to be a bit more central to the picture plane. Still in early stages and I hesitated to even post a picture since it will probably change dramatically with each new layer. I’ve found, tho, that looking at a picture of a painting sometimes helps me see things that I miss with my naked eye. So here it is with a detail of brushwork .

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detail of face and hand

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third layer

The angel painting is pretty much the same as in the previous post. I have a background and a figure and they don’t quite go together yet. The back ground has pale, pastel “morning” colors while the angel has bold, saturated colors and full of expressive brushstrokes.  I have to think less literal about the background. It’s not a sky but  an imaginary place.

I’m having neck and shoulder pain. I think starting painting again in earnest may have contributed to the problem. The weather changes here  haven’t helped either. ( hot, cold, hot, cold!) I am hoping with some P.T. and pain meds I can get myself back in shape.

Digital images taken without flash with a Nikon Coolpix camera. I’d love to get a DSLR but they are still pricey for me.

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