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Monday, March 26, 2018

Great Advice for More Expressive Paintings

'Celebrate Spring'        11x14       pastel       ©Karen Margulis
available $165

I took the photo even though the conditions were not ideal. The redbud trees caught my eye as we drove past and I had to go back for a photo. The only problem was they were in the median of a busy road. I took the photo but there was a lot of unwanted information! It needed to be edited and simplified.  I didn't mind! I had a bad photo and permission to interpret it into a more interesting painting! I have this quote on my studio wall and it is great advice.

"Study nature. Exaggerate light; overstate – the less inhibited you are, the better." Sergei Bongart

There was no doubt that I needed to exaggerate and overstate. Once I eliminated the clutter of the cars and road I exaggerated the colors behind the tree to create the illusion of depth and the suggestion of other trees. I picked up on a spot of newly green grass and exaggerated the color and the light. One thing I didn't have to overstate was the color of the redbud in bloom. It really was a vibrant pink!

When we give ourselves permission to interpret our photos....to overstate and exaggerate...we will allow ourselves to paint with passion and express how we feel about or subject rather than just recording the details.


robertsloan2art said...

Wow! Yes to the lesson and wow to the redbuds! I took one look today and thought "Wow, those look like the redbuds I saw last time we went out, all along the roads on our way to the barn..." only to find out that yeah, that's what they are! I love them. They're native to Arkansas and every Spring we get tons of them. Plus that acid yellow green hazing the tops of trees, bright little smaller trees leafing out below them, red leaf buds on some trees, a color explosion almost like fall in some stretches.

Great lesson too. I love exaggerating the light and seeking the richest colors. Also leaving out all the boring bits like highway and cars, at least until I do the one planned highway nocturne that I mean to do.

OtterTail said...

Very pretty, well done! And great example for your lesson.