|Newly re-worked photo - Ta-dah!!!!|
Okay, I have to admit there isn't much painting happening. The current assignment for the SBA Distance Course is the Vegetable Study. I love botanical art but I never really thought about painting vegetables and I wasn't such a fan of painting them ... that is until I saw the beetroot study by Susannah Blaxill - this amazing piece is seen at many of the Shirley Sherwood exhibitions ... after meeting Susannah and chatting with her about her process, I realise capturing the essence and texture of such vegetables to that extent is incredibly painstaking and time consuming.
|My husband's suggestions ... very nice|
I have taken a few trips to the markets and my husband has frequented the veggie stand lately .... but nothing really leapt out at me and said 'paint me' ... although I have tried ... the kitchen is full of eggplants, brussels sprouts, radishes, swedes, beetroots, turnips - would make quite a vegetable soup! I did sit down for a couple of days with the winning subject - little eggplants - and sketched, did tonal studies then colour testing and finally painted one ... which left me sadly underwhelmed. Botanical art is very time consuming and tedious in its accuracy - at this stage of the course I want to have an affinity with my subject otherwise I fear it will show on the paper. So like a good artist I found many other things to do like sorting the cupboards, dusting, de-cluttering - basically avoiding the short deadline and trying not to stress.
|Persimmon - Photoshopped white background and watermarked|
I also turned my attention to the presentation of older artworks ... when my West Coast Gem was nominated recently for The Making a Mark Awards - Best Portrayal of Nature on a Blog - I was somewhat embarrassed by the appearance of the pic used. Botanical art is quite recognisable, often showing the white of the paper as the usual background to the painted subject. This background or negative space, is often as important as the subject itself ... so when it appears as a murky grey or blue-tinge on the photo of the artwork it's a disappointing depiction of hours of work.
The re-worked Alyogyne has a 'home made' VLJ watermark on it which I had fun with on Picasa .... I also learnt how to apply a watermark with Photoshop ... for now these versions will have to do. It is important that artists copyright protect their work and even though it doesn't stop others using your images in some way - hopefully it reminds them it is an original idea and permissions should be obtained under any circumstance.
Thank you so much to a very generous artist - Carrie Di Costanzo - for her helfpul advice after I commented on the beautiful paintings at Carrie's website. Carrie is a lovely artist and has exhibited at the American Society of Botanical Artists Juried Exhibition and recently won first prize at the California National Plant Society's exhibition.
Okay - so enough avoidance and procrastination ... my husband has just arrived with more turnips!!!
Any suggestions most welcome ... on either vegetables or presentation!