Thursday, July 31, 2014

WORKING OUTSIDE OUR COMFORT ZONE


Forgive the corny title.  I'm easily amused.  This is part of a series of experiments where I'm teaching myself to work with much thicker paint than my comfort zone dictates.  It's a lot of fun to cut the ties with how I'm used to working and having to deal with what's happening with the paint.  It's so easy to get trapped repeating what has worked in the past, and just trying to go with that. Don't get me wrong, there's a place for developing what you know, especially when galleries are expecting you to deliver dependable, recognizable work.  But, there's also a time for doing what feeds our creative impulse to explore.  For that we have to go outside our comfort zone.


AUSTIN TOWERS
©Jimmy Longacre 2014
??x?? oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
River's Edge Gallery Kerrville TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Monday, July 28, 2014

FREE TO EXAGGERATE

This scene appeared to be essentially bleached of color.  When I run into such situations, and it happens more than you might expect, I permit myself to exaggerate the subtle harmony in the landscape.  I may look for one color that I will play-up as the dominant, and then base the rest of the harmony on it.  It may only be a hint of color, as in the mesquite grove in the mid-ground of this painting.  There was really only a warm gray mass there with barely a hint of orange to red discernible in it.  Okay, good!  Now, the game is that all the other colors must respond to that hue and chroma strength.  Again, I'll usually take the hint from the actual landscape, as to local color, but seek to bring it into balance with the chosen dominant color.

TOWARDS MEXICO
©Jimmy Longacre 2014
9X12 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
River's Edge Gallery Kerrville TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

AN INTENTIONAL SHIFT IN PERCEPTION

For me, the change in how I see a subject is at the forefront right now.  This subject would have given me a lot more trouble if I had been seeing a statue in a leafy garden. There's an intentional shift that must take place in our brain that allows us to see a subject as shapes, values, color and edges.  Without the shift, we're left to render "things".  When we're in our thing-seeing mode beauty and simplicity seem to evade us.  Although there are plenty of beautiful "things" to see around us, for me, the fun of painting seems to evaporate whenever painting "things" is my motive.

Thing-seeing is the usual mode of perception, and it needs to be!  We have to drive safely, identify signage, and recognize our friends, etc.  There  is a real demand and usefulness for seeing "things", but not when we paint.  Then, it's time to see with "softened" vision.  Recognize patterns, how one shape may blend into another.  Compare values and subtle color relationships.  This kind of seeing brings a personal sense of beauty and order that moves us to paint.  It takes an intentional shift in perception.    

GARDEN CHERUB
©Jimmy Longacre 2014
12x9 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
River's Edge Gallery Kerrville TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Thursday, July 17, 2014


The view from my drive.  Like many painters, we can get to feeling pretty isolated by the day-after-day routine of spending hours on end alone in the studio.  I'm not asocial, and I do like to get out, but I have to admit to loving my solitude.  


THE FOOL ON THE HILL
©Jimmy Longacre 2014
10X8 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
River's Edge Gallery Kerrville TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

SECOND LOOKS

This is one I took from an earlier painting that had included more of this scene on the Frio River.  I was looking for an arrangement for a warm-up exercise.  I severely cropped into the original composition to simplify the shapes and play with color and edges.  It has exposed a number of weaknesses I need to work on.  (…sigh)

DEEP BREAKFAST
©Jimmy Longacre 2014
8x10 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
River's Edge Gallery Kerrville TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Sunday, July 13, 2014

THE POWER OF SIMPLIFICATION

Painting proceeds in plateaus. If we're paying attention, and painting regularly, there are times of improvement and times of frustration_not knowing what needs to happen to take us to "the next level".  Whatever "the next level" may be, a painter is always in pursuit of it.

It's surprising what can happen by applying intentional simplification to what you're doing.  Taking a step back and thinking about what can I do with this subject if I drastically simplify my approach. Painting is a multi-faceted affair, and that can happen in many different ways.  It may have to do with composition, or values, or color, shapes, brushwork…whatever.  The important thing is that we take inventory and sum up what we're doing and how we've been doing it, and then distill it down to its essence.  Skip the extra stuff and go for that essence.  That's the power of simplification. 

THE OTHER SIDE
©Jimmy Longacre 2014
8X10 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS

River's Edge Gallery Kerrville TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

ORDER FROM CHAOS


From a morning on the Lady Bird Lake hike and bike trail.  In the past I've had a tendency to steer clear of this type of scene, because there is such an overwhelming amount of information to get lost in.  Recently, I've begun to realize how important it is to make a decision, before beginning, about just what I want to try to do with what's before me.

There are a number of approaches to painting that will bring order to what we see.  They require a shift in "seeing".  When we're able to move away from seeing and naming things and objects, and begin to see Line, Shape, Value, Color, Texture and Edges, we are perceiving with the painter's eye.  These elements are the visual vocabulary necessary to express ourselves in a painting. Until we can make that shift, we're at the mercy of what is seen as "things".  From the new vision, we can select ways to approach a painting, and there are all sorts of choices to experiment with that are far more fun and exciting than literal transcription.


THE FOOTBRIDGE
©Jimmy Longacre 2014
16X20 oil on canvas panel

Jimmy Longacre
subjective realist landscape paintings

MY WEBSITE
MY BLOG: Paintbox & Easel

GALLERY LINKS
River's Edge Gallery Kerrville TX
Mustang Island Art Gallery_Port Aransas TX
Capital Fine Art Gallery Austin TX