Harmony in Autumn – Oil Painting

Harmony in Autumn

I painted this little painting while I wait for the large painting I started a week ago to dry. Its similar in content to the large painting and in a way I’m trying ideas at this small scale to incorporate into the larger painting. I actually prefer small paintings, not only the painting of them but also as a spectator. The closeness of a small painting when viewed, is intimate and because of the size is usually a single person experience.

Its an interesting subject – how do we like to view paintings. Personally, I like the physical contact with a painting, to touch the surface and handle the piece of canvas. Its similar in a way to why some people don’t like the modern electronic books or maps, they like the ‘feel’ of the paper. The robust nature of oil paintings allows this without damage (within reason). This is why I leave  a white border as this is a form of frame and the ‘unframed’ painting looks ‘finished’.

As I mentioned in the last post, modern home design favours large paintings. In a recent TV program on interior design and DIY, the decorator, when the room was finished, had a tip for the ‘would be’ DIY viewers. She put strips of masking tape on a few 4’x4′ stretched canvases. Any paint left over from the decorating was painted onto the canvasses in rough geometric patches and the tape was then removed. She had produced wonderful modern paintings, which she said, were very much in harmony with the colour scheme of the newly decorated room. And sure enough they were impressive large modern paintings looking great when hung.

It occurred to me that what myself and countless other ‘artists’ were producing were completely and utterly different from this form of art. And I mean different, not superior or more ‘artistic’, just different and should be viewed differently. At the moment small paintings don’t follow the ‘painting-framing-gallery-sale-wall hanging’ route. But that’s OK with me. I like small paintings.

The colours here are Burnt Sienna, Yellow Ochre and French Ultramarine as the basic under colours. The intensity of colour was heightened by adding Cadmium Yellow or Viridian Green to the basic mixes. As in recent work, there was no medium used, just White Spirits. The painting is 12″x9″ and took about 2 hours to produce. I say produce because the ‘solvent’ method (see last few posts) means there is a lot of time spent waiting for the solvent to evaporate. I’ll have a video of the process for the next post. See you then.