Friday, November 28, 2014
Years ago an artist friend that lived nearby told me the most difficult landscape painting to create is an all green scene. Since hearing that I have sought ways to work a green piece successfully. Scott Christensen told me the most valuable piece to the puzzle. His advice was that a green painting cannot survive without red. In this scene he might have suggested to have one pine tree on deaths door, in shades of red, just before the tree shifts to gray. I chose to add reds in the path. Still painting left handed until my right is healed up from surgery, it's all I can do to separate the trees and give the scene a sense of depth. Later on I may address the painting further, but I need the other hand.
oil on linen, 20" X 16"
Monday, November 10, 2014
Painting left handed has been quite a humbling experience. Timing is the most dramatic difference. Every move I make takes twice as long, from squeezing out additional paint to wiping out the brushes in between colors. I feel like I am watching a hand that doesn't belong to me moving the brush on the canvas willing it to go in the right direction. Soon I will have my right hand back and will be back to my normal speed and rhythm but until that time I will go with the flow.
Oil on linen, 16" X 20"
Sunday, November 02, 2014
20" X 24", oil
Two weeks ago I had surgery on my right hand, repairing damage from sculpting stone for many years. The result will be complete use of my hand but meanwhile I am learning to paint left handed. It's been an interesting time of discovery. The most difficult task is cleaning the brush after using each color. The second task that I often fail at is opening tubes of paint. Even with pliers squished under the half cast I have now and turning the tube, success is "iffy". A dear friend suggested bringing in a small bench vise from the shop to help, which was a super suggestion. As far as painting my brain knows the principles of value, color temperature, composition and so on, so I am getting some work done. The brushwork is lacking in interest and I am working to increase the action with my left hand. Tomorrow morning I will get a full hard cast and that will decrease the pain and increase the mobility of the little all knowing right fingers sticking out. I wouldn't suggest anyone right handed painting with their left as an exercise but if you are ever forced into it, know that it's possible and just as pleasing of an activity as working with your right.