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Mile Marker 34

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Mile Marker 34

Postby CarlOwen » Sat Aug 08, 2015 11:39 am

Well, for what it is worth, I have established this post to show my newest experiment. I know it should be in the In progress forum, but I am posting it here in order to allow for straight forward and even harsh critiques. You know, like the ones I deliver from time to time. My blunt critiques are for the purpose of snapping attention away from the 'nice, nice' comments that shall surely keep the competing artist in second place. I want more good artists in the world. I want to see excellence. I want to see more objects of beauty. I want to be a part of that. In order to do so, I tell it like it is, of course according to my opinion, as we all do. But more importantly, I observe, read, study, learn, experiment with new forms, new techniques and constantly strive to develop my skills as an artist.

So, to those ends, I asked Richard Devine who posts magnificent work in the in progress forum if I could try to copy his methods. He gave me permission provided I share my thoughts while producing the work. I am now working at two extremes. One with Cristo working on abstract expressionism and the other using Richard's methods of precise realism. At this point, the starting point, I am failing miserably. What a thrill. We shall see what happens, we shall see.

I am already in trouble with the control thing present in Richard's methods. I do not see the finished painting the way Richard does. I don't think I want to. Have to mull that one over. I am using his approach to try to understand that. Photos are references, not just to be copied. In that area, Richard and I are on the same page. But at this time, the beginning, it feels like I am putting on an overcoat in the summer time trying to control the structure of the painting from the very beginning.

The first two posts will be in a few minutes to an hour. I have to learn the windows 10 thing that was just installed. The base outline drawing is done in ink to make me conform to structure. When I use pencil, it is freer in that I can use the eraser, a lot.
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Re: Mile Marker 34

Postby CarlOwen » Sat Aug 08, 2015 2:09 pm

learning windows 10. Some things have changed from windows 7 but not nearly as difficult as windows 8. Not bad at all. Moving on.

Mile 34 is on New Mexico Highway 550 northwest of Cuba, NM at, guess how many miles? 34. By the time you get to this part of the state you can become overwhelmed by the vast distances you can see and by the beauty of it all. To the south of the highway are buttes, bluffs and crumpling shale cliffs once the bottom of an ancient ocean thousands and thousands of millennia ago. To the north are sweeping plains capped by bluffs in the distance. I think some, or most, folks disregard the southwest because they are not used to seeing hundreds of miles at a glance. It can be disconcerting. Or, maybe they suddenly feel very small and not quite as important as they imagine themselves to be. Or, maybe they sense that this is a dangerous and wild land, still. It is. And, I fit right in. I want to share it through paintings. Other artists have done the same throughout history. I feel I am in good company and I know I am right at home here.

Ok, why the above comments? It goes to the primary motivation for painting such landscapes. Before I begin a painting I must feel the need for it to exist. Once the feeling call has been answered, the organization, the subjects, the colors, the composition, the finished presentation form in my mind. I call it jumping into the deep dark canyons of my mind that is deeper than thought. From that abys the wisp of an idea forms. It is pulled and pushed to the surface to manifest into an object of beauty. Every artist knows exactly what I mean.

So, with this verbal background in place these base drawings are presented. They are much tighter than I usually do and much looser than Richard's. They are done in ink to control my passion for free use of space at my whim.
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Mile 34 drawing 1
Mile 34 drawing 2
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Re: Mile Marker 34

Postby Branwell » Sun Aug 09, 2015 3:14 am

Hi Carl.
I've only just joined this site, so I hope that you don't mind me jumping in.
Do you intend working into the drawings with paint? If so, what media do you intend using? Your approach is different to mine; I block in masses, and then lift out different tonal areas to start to establish a 'drawing'. I keep it all very loose, otherwise I find that my paintings tend to tighten up and become somewhat wooden. I'm interested to see how these works progress. They are lovely fluid line drawings.
http://richardspainting.blogspot.co.uk/
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Re: Mile Marker 34

Postby CarlOwen » Sun Aug 09, 2015 7:56 am

It is 6:56 a.m. here in New Mexico. So, good morning Richard. I looked at your website. All I can say is wow, and wow again. You are the real deal. Thank you for stopping by to take a look and make comments. I hope my work is worth your effort to make comments from time to time in the future.

Answering your questions. These drawings are the first two of a total of six I intend to do. I work in oils. My usual painting approach is like yours. I block in masses and then bring in the forms. Some of my paintings have been completed within an hour. Some, as long as seven years. Just depends on how long it takes me to solve the problems I have created for myself within the painting. I want my skies as ethereal as possible and my land as corporal as possible rich with textures.

I am attempting to do these paintings using Richard Devine's methods. He is also a wonderful artist on this site. I too fear the dead on arrival wooden presentation as the final product. That is why I have chosen to use a kind of modified continuous line drawing technique to block in the future color planes and shapes. It helps loosen up the rigidity. The lines are in ink to prevent me from straying to far. So, you see from the very start I have already changed and tweaked his method to suit my perceived goals. I hope they turn out well.

Thanks for you comments. Look forward to hearing from you again.
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Re: Mile Marker 34

Postby CarlOwen » Sun Aug 09, 2015 4:45 pm

Well, only drawing number three and I see what I thought was trouble before this one was only the beginning. I can see the development of my mind's attention to detail. While I always did that with portraits, I never considered it necessary with landscapes. They were sort of an escape from the rigid precision of portrait detail. Go figure. I am now experiencing my mind demanding attention not only to represent the outline of a shape, but it demands a variation within the quality, directionality and strength of line explaining that shape. The more I do the more I learn. The more I learn the more I develop. The more I develop the more I understand. The more I understand the more I see. The more I see the more I do. Interesting is it not? Going for drawing four now.
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Mile 34 drawing 3
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Re: Mile Marker 34

Postby ehoeveler » Sun Aug 09, 2015 4:49 pm

Drawings are full of promise - I know the ultimate will be great. E
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Re: Mile Marker 34

Postby CarlOwen » Sun Aug 09, 2015 5:43 pm

Thank you for you optimistic trust Elizabeth. I am deep in the throat of the dragon on these. I feel I am being swallowed by my inability to produce what I think I see as a potential end painting while trying to learn Richard's methodology and believing somehow, heroically, I shall crawl out victorious in this quest of learning and experimenting by doing.
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Re: Mile Marker 34

Postby ehoeveler » Sun Aug 09, 2015 8:34 pm

Even though you are a fine painter, you always wish to learn more. Trial and error as always and keep up the search! E
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Re: Mile Marker 34

Postby CarlOwen » Mon Aug 10, 2015 1:05 pm

Thank you Elizabeth for your comment and observation and opinion. Have two more done so far. Working on number six now while I wait for my camera batteries to finish charging.

Back in the 70's I was taught the continuous line drawing method. Did some decent work but I found it tedious and boring. Fun how once you learn something that it just takes a little practice to recall it. The first three in this collection was done in the attempt to do the continuous line method for the form description because, while Richard does his lines to define the space, I wanted just a little more of a freer look to the composition. Number one is tentative. Number Two adds a few more lines here and there. I noticed the difference and allowed it to grow. Number three introduces compound and cross hatch lines to add form shape and shadow implications. I am now at a few degrees beyond where I have ever been before. So, pressing on. Number four, which will be posted later, is starting to introduce a feeling of depth and focal interest with lines alone. Still on course. I don't want to smudge with my finger. I want the line to describe the depth quality. Number five has suddenly sprung into the next level. I have definition of form, shadow and shape with use of line only. All I did was watch it happen before me. Nice.

Starting number six after this post. All these drawings that will become oil paintings are done with a ball point ink pen. It makes me attend. And, the reason I am so talkative in this post is because I am fulfilling my side of the agreement with Richard Devine to describe my process in producing these paintings by trying to copy his methods. More later, much more.
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Re: Mile Marker 34

Postby CarlOwen » Tue Aug 11, 2015 9:37 am

Somewhere along the way I settled into doing six paintings in a series or collection. I have done as many as twelve and as few as three. But six seems optimal for the development of my skills to that point in time. Past six it is only a repeat of the sixth one, of course being in different forms, skies, etc. In my mind this sixth presentation proves my suspicion correct. I see no new development from the style and technique from the fifth one. I see bolder use of line, making deeper darks and lighter traces. To me that means, no more development at this time, just a display of confidence. So, here are the last three drawings before I start painting them.
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Mile 34 drawing 4
Mile 34 drawing 5
Mile 34 drawing 6
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Re: Mile Marker 34

Postby CarlOwen » Tue Aug 11, 2015 4:07 pm

Ok, I think I have the sky laid in. I am sure it will change as I do the clouds. This is an interesting process. It demands precision from the very beginning. I will follow it through to the end to see if the finished product is any different from some of my other landscapes. This process is time consuming. Since it is supposed to be about noon, I chose Cobalt blue and titanium white as the sky colors. I much more prefer the drama of Prussian blue in the sunrises and sunsets.

Once. when I was still in art school, an instructor told us that the pallet was where we mixed the paint, not on the canvas. Of course I followed instructions. I wanted a good grade. Got my 'A' and a few accolades from the instruction, etc. and felt somehow violated that I had prostituted myself for a grade. I forgave myself because I was the one paying the big bucks to put myself through college. But I disagreed then and I still do. It is my opinion that if I wanted to paint a picture for an old folks home I could do it this way. You see, a dead on arrival painting would fit just right in with a bunch of old folks waiting around to join that painting. I am not disparaging old folks, I am objecting to how they are treated.

I spread my paint out on my pallet, most of the time a paper plate, with the darker colors on the left with the lighter colors on the right with white at the farthest right in a kind of fan. I then take the pallet knife and slop stick paint in between the paint tube roles. It kind of looks like a messy rainbow waiting to be licked up by brush and pallet knife and with a purposeful movement splattered on the canvas. I put an additional tube roll of white in the center that I play about with and in between the rainbow colors. Sometime the rainbow is full spectrum, sometimes limited pallet colors.

I place colors in varied values on the canvas and swirl about using brushes, fingers ( to push the paint into the tooth of the canvas) paper towels that I rub between my hands to soften them before I touch, twist, pat and stroke the surface, and those delicate fan brushes to do the extremely soft blending. When the painting tells me, enough already, thank for the massage, I stop.

I welcome any comments, opinions and criticisms. With all this said, you are welcome to take a look at this process stage.
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Mile 34 sky 1
Mile 34 sky 2
Mile 34 sky 3
Mile 34 sky 4
Mile 34 sky 5
Mile 34 sky 6
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Re: Mile Marker 34

Postby ehoeveler » Wed Aug 12, 2015 12:42 pm

Absolutely thrilled with the drawing that has gotten even more detailed.
Goes without saying that the skies will be gorgeous - keep up the fabulous work! E
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Re: Mile Marker 34

Postby CarlOwen » Wed Aug 12, 2015 3:16 pm

Thank you Elizabeth. Using Richard's methods I am gaining in realism accuracy. I am loosing the abstraction quality. I wonder if I can negotiate the balance between the two in order to arrive at my personal quest's end. It is far to early to predict that. I have to just press on and decide what is important and what is not when these are finished.
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Re: Mile Marker 34

Postby Singular » Thu Aug 13, 2015 2:52 pm

Hey Carl,

I like what you are doing here with the progress, like Richard. It's nice to see.

all the best,
Joe
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Re: Mile Marker 34

Postby CarlOwen » Thu Aug 13, 2015 3:22 pm

Thank you Joe. Hum. I guess it bothers you that once again I posted in the fury forum instead of the in progress forum. So, ok I will live with that since in reality I get a lot of lookers and not enough comments to count. Guess that is just the nature of timid soles. Probably won't post any updates for a day or two. Still working on the skies. Blocking in the clouds right now. Tedious laying in free form shapes within a blocked off space. My brush keeps wanting to stray.
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Re: Mile Marker 34

Postby CarlOwen » Sat Aug 15, 2015 10:28 am

Put in base cloud shading to map the space on the first three. Will start the second three in a few minutes. I am feeling an exciting and adventurous tedium right now. As I lay in the cloud shading I am beginning to see the next set of colors in them. Maybe some pane grey, light violet purple, dark blue purple all gently faded into the cloud forms. Just don't know what method I will use. Dry brush? Wet blending? Stiff brush? Soft brush? I most likely will let the painting tell me. But, I would welcome any suggestions from anyone looking in.
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Mile 34 painting 1 sky stage 2
Mile 34 painting 2 sky stage 2
Mile 34 painting 3 sky stage 2
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Re: Mile Marker 34

Postby CarlOwen » Sun Aug 30, 2015 5:14 pm

I know it has been a while since my last post. Got interrupted with life. A good friend went to the hospital with a stroke and a heart attack. He is now home recovering. If he recovers enough he will be going to Albuquerque for open heart surgery for round two of this event. He knows we will do what we can, when we can.

Finished the retaining wall in the front yard. Had to hire another helper. The other one was lazy and ultimately useless. Now getting it set up for the sprinkler system. In Santa Fe you can re-route existing lines and sprinkler heads and no one cares. Add just one sprinkler head more than the original permit and you need to submit a plan, get a permit and an inspection. I keep very close attention to not adding a sprinkler head. And, in reality, I don't need to. I don't find fault with the permit system, I just like to work not needing one.

Now to the paintings. I have clumped them together in some posts and two updates of separate paintings for more detailed inspection of this phase. I am not finished with the skies but done enough to start on the land masses and forms.

To tired right now to go into lengthy descriptions about the process. Just postings to let everyone know I have not abandoned this project. I am learning to much from Richard's process about ridged attention to detail to give up now.

When I say land masses laid in, that is true to a point. I, for a lack of a better way to express it, let the painting talk to me. Some areas can be finished and some areas cannot. It depends on my skill, vision, and the medium's need to have time to dry to whatever soft/hard consistency that I want to lay the next layer. Anyway, I hope you enjoy. Feel free to ask any questions you want.
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Almost finished with skys
Started work on the land masses 1
Started work on land masses 2
Land mass laid in for painting 5
Land mass laid in for painting 6
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Re: Mile Marker 34

Postby ehoeveler » Sun Aug 30, 2015 9:24 pm

There's no need to send positive vibes because ya don't need them but I'll send anyway.
The perspectives you've given the land masses add strength, power and interest. Colors are full of
the desert sun and I'm loving those clouds, as always.
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Re: Mile Marker 34

Postby CarlOwen » Mon Aug 31, 2015 6:44 am

Good morning Elizabeth. Thank you for your comments. It will take me some time to finish these. At least more than I am used to given Richard's requirements about explaining and sharing my thoughts. Kind of nice in a way. It forces me to think about what I am doing in a different way. So with that said and while it is a little early in the morning, I am rested and fresh. So here we go.

I used Richeson oils for the sky. The paints worked well with the blending in the clouds and the blocked in spaces for the clouds. They are very nice smooth color true paints but a little thin for my taste. They are more suited for brush work use in portraits.

Winton oils are thicker, stiffer, well suited for my purpose of use with a pallet knife. So the sky is brush work with a few exceptions of some white strikes with a pallet knife to give just a touch of drama here and there. I used Winton titanium white for those white strikes to add texture to the clouds where I wanted the light to bounce off. I have discovered that properly placed textures, smooth quick strikes or slowly built up layers give the paintings more life, at least it does for me.

The land mass is done with a pallet knife. A small one, as I don't yet have the feel for using a larger knife and still have the control for making rock variations fine enough to present details while allowing a level of free abandonment that leaves that quick unencumbered look of freshness. Desert colors are based in raw umber, burnt umber, raw sienna, burnt sienna, and yellow ocher loosely mixed with titanium white.

I will place the white in the middle of a paper plate with all the other colors on the plate in a circle around and next to the plate edges. With a pallet knife I then do a loose dabble mixture between each of the colors and between the colors and the white center. Yellow ocher becomes straw, the sienna's become light and medium flesh tones while the umbers become faded grey browns not to be depended upon enough to present in large painted spaces, but excellent for my purpose of muting some of the other colors where I decide to do so. My pallet in the beginning is loosely mixed with variations in the mix between the colors. At the end, it is a complete mess.

When I look at the painting I decide where I am going to strike, draw, or glop a pile of paint and then mix it on the canvas. I have been frequently told not to glop my paint on the canvas and that the pallet is where to mix the paint. I use the knife edge to create those sharp land lines between the sky and the land dragging the paint down and away from the sky. Sometimes I have a heavy hand mixing the paint on the canvas. Sometimes I have a feather's touch barely dragging a new layer of paint over a different color paint to give that color exchange between the paints while making it look united. Sometimes I wait for the paint to dry before doing an overlay. It depends where I want what kind of texture to describe what kind of form look I want to present. It also depends on the total composition in regards to how much focal detail needed and where it is needed to draw the viewer into the area of interest I want to enhance. I have a lot more to say about focal interest at a later time.

These paintings are progressing mostly from top to bottom and from the left side to the right side because I have more control with my right hand than I do my left hand most of the time. The mountain sections done on the right side first were done that way because each bluff surface needed that sharp line separating it from the bluff behind it. So there are exceptions in the overall progress I just stated. When ever I have to go back and "fix" a section it is very difficult to regain that fresh appearance, so I do more thinking than painting so I can avoid the "fixing".

That is it for now. Hope to do more painting today.
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Re: Mile Marker 34

Postby Frank Joseph » Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:53 pm

You work 6 paintings at the same time? :O They look really great :)
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