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Grand Canyon V

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Grand Canyon V

Postby CarlOwen » Fri Mar 03, 2017 10:43 am

Good morning. I started this one on February 27, 2017. I compiled four photos with Photoshop that I took of the canyon into one base photo that I wanted as the view and composition from which to work. Having learned the lessons form Grand Canyon IV, I skipped the first small drawing and went directly to the 18 by 24 inch paper size. It appears that the same size and shape interpretation problems exist as in the Grand Canyon IV drawing, at least for me. Interesting. However I now have the confidence to make this move. I am thinking about adding a few birds in the upper left quadrant in order to keep the viewer's gaze within the painting for a longer period of time. Otherwise, I think the vision will slip off when viewing the sky. So, here are the first two progress posts.
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Re: Grand Canyon V

Postby CarlOwen » Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:58 am

Good morning. This one is going to take some time. It is spring. Rose bushes to trim, garage to clean, flagstone to get ready to move, old plants to remove and much more. I may not get back to painting until May or June. But in the evenings in my so-called down time I draw. So may start Grand Canyon 6,7 and 8 as drawings. I wonder how that will impact my painting. Hum, we shall see. Moving on.

When laying in the background canyon line I noticed that the far right was tighter, less differentiated than the left which appears closer. It is like looking down the throat of the canyon. Serendipity. I intend to keep that as it gives a two point perspective to the drawing. One looking down into the canyon and one looking up to the right faded distance of the canyon. I am also learning some realities about drawing and then painting a secondary drawing. Size matters. It impacts the power of presence, visual scope of interest and perspective ambiance. As I said before, what works in a small drawing does not necessarily work in a large drawing. Same thing appears to be true when painting. It seems that larger paintings need less volume of lighter colors to create those visual light spaces balanced against the darker colors to create forms than the smaller paintings. Maybe it is how us humans see space and forms. Or, maybe it is just a quirk of my own way of defining forms. Anyway I am going to play with that approach for awhile. There is only one progress update on this post.
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Re: Grand Canyon V

Postby Pooch » Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:26 pm

Carl, I see that you are still in your "Grand Canyon Period." As far as the birds go, if you paint the sky dramatic enough, I don't think you'll need the birds. Maybe a coming storm far off in the distance or threatening clouds.
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Re: Grand Canyon V

Postby CarlOwen » Wed Mar 08, 2017 10:20 pm

Hum, good idea. I will visualize that in my mind. I have done plenty of sunrises and sunsets, not so much stormy skies. Need to review some of my storm photos. Storms are so dramatic. Thanks for the idea.
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Re: Grand Canyon V

Postby Pooch » Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:39 am

Yeah, ya can't beat a storm for drama. Birds can come off as a bit clichéd at times, if not done just right. Like when people paint sailboats and put in those squiggly lines that are supposed to be seagulls. A bit overdone.
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Re: Grand Canyon V

Postby CarlOwen » Thu Mar 09, 2017 10:05 am

Thanks Joseph. I have just about got the sky visual image in my mind and I like it much more than doing the bird thing. And, I agree with your last comments.
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Re: Grand Canyon V

Postby CarlOwen » Sun Mar 12, 2017 11:04 am

Good morning. I have a little to say about my past life, when I worked for a living, before I move on to drawing and painting process descriptions. Why? Because it is the foundation of how I think in order to create objects of beauty. And while of course, all our life paths are different, I think it is not that much different from any other artist involved with this endeavor.

I have been a student, a marine, a steel worker, a correctional officer, lieutenant, counselor, counselor supervisor, court liaison officer, assistant mental health bureau chief, an adjunct professor, a UCSD senior trainer, a drug treatment program designer and director, a union activist and a contract negotiator. All of those life experiences were intense human interactions of cooperation and conflict involvements.

Being an artist in the process of creating that object of beauty is not. Being an artist is being in the existence of one's own mind. It is almost autistic. It is isolation. It is a state of solitude even while being in the company of a crowd, for they do not exist. To be in the "zone" is to be totally unaware and uncaring of the world both in time and space. To reach "deep down" to pull out the ideas, the concepts, the methods of how to do it requires a depth of thought and emotional involvement that excludes everyone and everything. That state of mind is at times euphoric causing the artist to seek it again and again. It is also dangerous in the destruction of human relationships that leads to the path of isolation which is the exact opposite reason why we create in the first place. Recognizing this reality is the primary reason I have chosen to slow down my production of objects of beauty. The above commentary is another lesson I learned from doing Grand Canyon IV but did not know it until I started this production. I enjoy life as has been dealt to me and hope some of the thoughts expressed here will help other artists with life balance.

Now moving on, here is the single post for today. In doing this update I started out with a desire to do more canyon description working from the top moving down the page. That approach was quickly abandoned because the demand for structure of the forms started to kill the spontaneous and free look of the forms. So, I decided to just let my eye catch what stood out anywhere I wanted and drew those forms. I think that worked as the energy of the drawing returned. The unexpected and seeming less shadows of forms started to define the spaces of interest. I will be doing some more drawing today.
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Re: Grand Canyon V

Postby Pooch » Sun Mar 12, 2017 11:42 am

Carl, while there certainly are plenty of examples of the "tortured artists" who destroys his life through his work (Van Gogh is a good one) I actually think that they are in the minority.
Art or a normal life? I don't think that it has to be one or the other. Just my opinion, of course. Having something that allows you to be far from the maddening crowd for a while can also be looked on as a healthy thing, if not overdone. I've spent a lot of time enjoying things by myself.
I am a pilot with over 500 hours of flying time behind me, and the vast majority of those hours were spent alone in the sky. Just me, my airplane and the vast blueness. I loved not talking to anyone (except the control tower of course) and hearing nothing but the droning of the engines. pure bliss for me.
I'm also a model railroader. I've built myself a beautiful 8 1/2 foot long n scale railroad. Took me a year and a half. I built the railroad and the cabinet it sits on. I locked myself in my man cave and would work for hours all alone.
And now I'm back to painting. Again, one of those solitary experiences. Hmmm....I'm starting to see a pattern here!
It hasn't caused a problem between my wife and myself. I think she likes having her alone time too. It can be good for a relationship.
Naturally, everything in moderation. Know when to stop. That is the key, of course. If you're sitting for days without coming out, aren't eating, shaving, bathing...well that might be an indication you need a break. Also, if you get the sudden desire to cut off one of your ears.
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Re: Grand Canyon V

Postby CarlOwen » Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:02 pm

Good afternoon Joseph. Thank you for your comments. I see you got my point. Balance. I have been know to get so focused on an issue or project that my wife drug me to marriage counseling; twice. I see myself falling into that trap again and am putting on the brakes so to speak. So much life to enjoy and so little time left to do it. I also enjoyed reading your humor at the end of your post.
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Re: Grand Canyon V

Postby CarlOwen » Mon Mar 13, 2017 9:03 am

Good morning. Did a little more yesterday. I rather enjoyed getting trapped in the bluffs on the left. Defining shading, lines and darkening some areas to make forms clearer thereby giving the illusion of being closer than the canyon beyond. Enough said for today. I was really wordy yesterday. Only one post today.
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Re: Grand Canyon V

Postby CarlOwen » Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:36 am

Good morning. Had to take a break from grunt labor yesterday because my body refused to perform the duties my brain had planned. So, switched gears so to speak. Balance. I have three progress posts.
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Re: Grand Canyon V

Postby CarlOwen » Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:22 pm

Good afternoon. Did a little more work on this today. Closing in on the finish of this drawing. The forms in the canyon are smaller and more complex to present than the foreground. Takes a little more time to see it, interpret it and then to present it than the foreground. So, only one progress post today.
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Re: Grand Canyon V

Postby CarlOwen » Sat Mar 18, 2017 2:14 pm

Good afternoon. While working on the drawing and visualizing the dramatic sky it occurred to me that I needed to lay in the titanium white background on the canvas and then return to drawing because of the drying time needed for that background. It took a full large tube of paint to get it the way I wanted. It has lots of texture and depth. Good base to do a dramatic sky. However, because it is so thick it will take a month to dry enough for me to work on it. I took six pictures of the step development just to show how much it takes to do this dramatic sky background. Progress step one is just laying out the ground landscape grid. I don't want to try to grid the sky because I want the pallet knife to be free strikes without boundaries. After this posting I will return to the drawing and possibly the drawing for Grand Canyon VI. Comments welcome of course and enjoy.
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Re: Grand Canyon V

Postby CarlOwen » Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:52 am

Good morning. OK, back to the drawing. Finished it yesterday. There are two posts today. Going to do the sky white background on Grand Canyon VI before I start the Grand Canyon VI drawing. Compared to what I have done to date I believe Grand Canyon VI will be the most complex and difficult painting of this collection. I will be picking up the custom frames for the four of them sometime in May. I will not finish this self imposed project until July or August, maybe. Mind starting to ramble into seeing all four together in an exhibit so will stop now. Moving on. here are the two posts.
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Re: Grand Canyon V

Postby CarlOwen » Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:49 pm

Got the titanium white painted in for Grand Canyon VI done yesterday. Will be starting the drawing for Grand Canyon VI in a week or so. I think it will take me about a month to draw that one. So will be painting both Grand Canyon V and VI at the same time. That should be fun as I twist my mind through those two at the same time. I will be posting the drawing of Grand Canyon VI under the post name of Grand Canyon VI. At least that is the plan for now.
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Re: Grand Canyon V

Postby www-ksart-se » Fri Mar 24, 2017 5:26 am

Looking good. I'll be following this one to.
Better reading to my morning coffee the the news papers.
Thank you for charing.
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Re: Grand Canyon V

Postby Singular » Tue Mar 28, 2017 5:45 pm

Looking good. I see you have 2 working at the same time.
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Re: Grand Canyon V

Postby CarlOwen » Tue Mar 28, 2017 6:54 pm

Good evening Joe. Thanks and yes. I have laid in the titanium white under painting part of the sky on both canvases. I have started Grand Canyon VI drawing in order to keep my hands off Grand Canyon V. Both backgrounds need a month to dry before I put the skies in. I have bought four matching custom frames. The V and VI paintings must be completed by June so I can varnish them in December. Canyons 3 and IV will be varnished and framed in June. I intend to exhibit all four together in the spring of 2018. Didn't start out with this concept but it evolved into this task and for some reason I feel it must be done.
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Re: Grand Canyon V

Postby Pooch » Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:32 pm

Looking good, Carl. But don't put a time limit on yourself, ie, "Must be completed by June." Puts too much stress on you and takes some of the fun out of it. "I'll finish it when I finish it" is a better philosophy, unless you have a client waiting for it.
All just my opinion, of course. You can always say, "Oh shut up and mind your own business!"
Many have!
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Re: Grand Canyon V

Postby CarlOwen » Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:03 pm

Thanks for checking in Joseph, and thanks for your comments. Your last two comments caused a chuckle to pop through. I would never do that and you could never say anything that would upset me. You see, I have been hardened by 30 plus years in what I call the "Priz Biz", meaning that I have worked in corrections, or prisons and know it for what it is. So, I have grown a hard shell that a Galapagos turtle would envy. And, your suggestion about no birds and do a stormy sky has materialized in my mind. It is going to be magnificent, that is if I have the skill to do it. Thank you.
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