Saturday, November 19, 2011

Monument Valley


1.53 Monument Valley. I was really pleased with this because I didn't feel the need to add too many details. My opinion on any kind of representational creative pursuit is that every detail that must be added to successfully convey the subject is a failure on the part of the artist. The most striking art is that which can convey a place, person or feeling with only a few sparse details. That experience of seeing a fish created with just four brushstrokes in a sumi-e painting affirms our humanity as it reminds us that we absorb more through our subconscious than any machine. Because of this, I cringe with every little bit of texture and finely detailed shadow that I have to add in order to give a recognizable shape to the subject that I'm painting. In this painting more than almost any other I was able to relax and trust the overall forms to convey the scene rather than the details. I also engaged in a little more manipulation of the scene than normal, stacking multiple layers of background up into the sky. I wanted the sense of the expanse of space in monument valley that you see in an aerial photograph but I still wanted to be up close to the mitten to feel like we were sitting with it, watching the sun set.

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