Final Thoughts. When I began this journey I started with some questions to guide my process. My questions began with, "How do you even start creating a painting?" As Bob Ross said to me over and over... All you have to do is decide, and that will be the right decision. Pick up your brush and put the paint onto the canvas. That is how you start. There is no need to be afraid, anything you do, you can undo. Just like I tell teachers who are afriad of computers. We can always fix anything that you could possibly do.
Each painting medium has a technique to make that medium work best. As I learned from my first Super-Fantastic Failure, to my more evolved paintings, it is best not to use techniques that are for another paint. The evolution of painting bears this truism out. When cave men first scratched on the walls of their caves with the only thing available, rocks, and other colorful items they found lying around, they used a rough style to convey quick messages, probably religious ones. The Egyptians used minerals mixed with a bonding agent such as sap, or insect guts to contain the minerals in their paint. Their style is very linear with robust colors that really pop out at you. Their technique is best suited for tomb and temple walls in religious ceremonies. In the Roman Era art was used to commemorate events, such as the conuering of an enemy city, like Carthage. The Medieval era is fascinating to me. They used dye's and cloth to weave huge tapestries for artistic and instructional purposes. Most medieval art warned against sin. The reniassance is where we start to get a lot of oil based paint used. Most probably due to increased travel and trade within Europe with the rise of the merchant class. The paintings are scientific in nature, trying to understand the world and man's place within it. They are meant to be pleasing to the eye and hung in homes to beautify their surroundings. If we take the history of art we can see that it has been used to convey complex ideas to the masses, as well as to just be art for art's sake.
I enjoy painting winter scenes. I lived in North Carolina for a number of years and I really enjoyed the Winter there. It would snow and then a couple of days later the snow would be gone. You get the fun of playing in it, without the mess of living in it for a long period of time. I think I'll continue to paint winter scenes. My last two seem to be good enough to sell. I don't think I am going to sell them, but give them to family members for Christmas presents. Infact I belive one of my cohort mated made a comment about that on the blog.
All in all this has been a positive journey, and not the end in any way. I am going to continue to paint.
This project was a lot of fun. I honestly never thought I'd be able to paint. I really thought I would, as my sister told me, when I started the project, "suck." It's true what they say, practice makes perfect. This last painting was better than the second and third paintings. The fourth, well, I knocked it out of the park last week. That painting was awesome.
I wanted to truly judge what I learnd and how much I improved during these 5 weeks, so I repainted painting number 2. Here is the original number 2:
It's not bad, actually when I did it I was telling everyone how awesome it was. For my first oil based painting, it's great! I learned about technique, and how to properly dispose of the paint thinner chemicals.
This week I started with a black canvas. I used the reccomended paint to turn the white canvas into a black one, Black Gesso. Last time I used house paint. There was a bucket of black house paint in the garage when we moved in and I never got rid of it. One question that just popped into my mind, nothing in this house was painted black when we moved in, why did he need black house paint? I'm probably not going to get that question answered any time soon.
I added Clouds and Mountains.
I enjoy painting mountains. They're fun, and good to look at. I belive that this particular painting is cursed for me. Look at that range of mountains. I could have put a tree or something else on the lower right side to frame it a bit and then had some fun with maybe a frozen lake, or valley on the lower left. That would have been quite a majestic vista of a painting. My wife summed it up when she looked at the mountains, and then came back later to see what I had done, "you dumb __(biblical term for a donkey)" I had something set in my mind, and couldn't bring myself to deviate from the plan. I do plan to continue to paint, and the more I practice I think I will be more comfortable just letting the painting take me where it wants to go, but for now I will stick with my mental picture as a guide.
This is similar to the original attempt at this, but I learned to watch the horizon, and perspective within the work. I let the viewer see the peaks in the back by moving the trees to the sides, and I didn't over blend the snow on the bottom. I had to let this sit overnight because we went to the Dodger Game last night (I will refer you to the images posted on instagram for the instagram project). I awoke at about 3 this morning (currently dealing with a bout of insomnia, it happens sometimes) and picked the brush up. Some of the paint had dried enough to be a pain to work with, but after giving it some paint thinner, it was good to go.... and drip onto the floor. I got to redo the snow effect. I also wanted to make this a Christmas scene and give the painting as a present, most probably to my dad. He has a colelction of things from my two sisters and I on his wall, and might want to add this one.
My brother in law came over to buff out some scratches I put into the front fender of my car when I attempted to knock over my house by misjudging the entrance to our garage. He liked the painting but then asked me, "so the lone rural church out in the snowy mountains gets it's electricity for the Christmas lights from where?" To answer anyone else who may have had the same question... on the left side of the church it is a little dark, that's where the power generator is. It is on right now as we look at the church.
The mountains remind me, again, of images I've seen of Austria. I've been looking up various Christmas traditions in Austria. They are not very dissimilar than Germany. Yule logs, Christmas Carols, the song Silent Night (one of my favorite) was first sung in 1818 at St. Nicholas church in Oberdorf, Austria. Instead of stockings Santa fills childrens shoes, they don't decorate the Christmas Tree until Christmas Eve, among many other traditions. I always feel more connected to my family, ones here, and those who have already gone, at Christmas. It was when we were all together, Christmas Eve my mom would throw a huge party for family and friends. My Great Aunt and Jon's family would both come.
I didn't expect to find a connection to my Greau Aunt in this project. Originally my mind was on my friend Jon, but he was only an afterthought in my mind once she entered the thought processes. I liked the freedom of exploration this project offered. You start with an outline of what you want to explore and learn and then you let the knowledge just take you to new horizons.