I did not mean to neglect my blog for so very long. I have been working, but not (unfortunately) on painting. As you may or may not know, my husband is in a wheelchair and my son does not drive so many errands fall exclusively in my lap. If I am not going to get a good 8 hours or more to devote to painting, I have to wait until another day.
Recently what I have been working on is needle felting - my other area of expertise. I've been doing a number of experiments and often, as I work with the fiber, I find myself pondering the same artistic puzzles that I ponder while painting.
Color is a puzzle to which one can devote a lifetime! There is such a difference between seeing a color and then trying to reproduce it in paint especially if the color in question is significantly modified by its environment.
Colors are changed by shadows and reflected color. I do have a theory of the color of shadows and most of the time it is extremely effective and accurate. It's an alchemist theory: 1 part science and 1 part magic. The color of a shadow is a darker color of the object IN shadow modified by the complimentary color of the object CASTING the shadow. Knowing that doesn't make finding the color on my palette easy. It does make it interesting.
The parts of my iris that are in shadow are devilishly interesting to resolve and I have not quite resolved them. I go through a process of refining. Approximating the color and then searching for that "magic", that unexpected combination which not only realizes the color itself but breathes life into the subject.
It's puzzles such as these that make me grateful for the Impressionists study of how we see. Knowing that by getting two colors close to one another, the viewer will transform them into more than if the two colors were blended into one. The Impressionists made use, on a very grand scale, of human need to resolve what we see. I do the same thing, but on a very small scale so small that the viewer is probably not aware that I have purposely made use of their eyes to complete my painting.
It is my plan for the day to get back into the studio and paint!! My mini-van is in the shop for repairs so I cannot go anywhere which will allow me the pleasure of going where I like the most - into the art!