Thursday, March 6, 2008

Clouds and Doors

Music 2 (Clouds and Doors) 30 x 40 Acrylic Deep Gallery Wrapped Canvas







As you can see this is the second in my Music Series paintings. You probably see something different, though. I have chosen to begin giving my paintings a subtitle. Why? Because for people who are more auditory than visual this is important...and for people who are visual who sometimes need a bit of a hint as to what was happening with me when I was painting. Yes, I am trying to meet the needs of the viewer. Before, I have been mostly interested in painting and in having the viewer interpret the painting the way it spoke to them. Apparently this is very difficult for some people, so I have made the change with this series. But I am only doing the subtitles. What is your opinion on this subject? Do you think giving a painting an actual title is better? Does it give the viewer something to grab onto? Does not giving a title leave the viewer confused?






So this particular painting was painted while listening to
The Rolling Stones. And you may notice something interesting here...no purple or even blue. Well, that isn't black it is Paynes Gray...so a tiny bit of blue, but not obvious. I know using Paynes Gray has some issues for some artists. What do you think of it? I love it very much, but I know some feel as though it is better to use black. Do you have an opinion about this? I would love to hear from you.

14 comments:

Pandora said...

I love this painting! It has loads of energy which I suppose makes sense as you painted it to the Stones! I like the subtitle isea. I think it gives more room for interpretation and for the mind to ponder the painting providing it is suitably ambiguous and you don't spell it out for the viewer.

I hear alot of colour and materials snobbery from artists and everyone seems to have a different opinion. Cheaper paints can be better (more intense) than more expensive ones and I think that different colours are appropriate for different paintings. I like using paynes grey for some things and black for others. One of my favourite black substitutes is vandyke brown. It has a wonderful warmth to it!

Kim said...

Hello Pandora and thank you for visiting and commenting.

I am glad you like the painting, it was great fun to do, I can tell you. I could hardly wait to do that gestural marking.

Good, I am glad you think the subtitle idea is a good one. I struggle with not wanting to put ideas in a viewers head, so your thoughts here are greatly appreciated.

You are right, vandyke brown is a good dark hue. My work tends more towards the clear jewel tones, so I don't use a great deal of brown tones. I will have to consider that, however when I pull out that can of orange I have!

Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments here. I look forward to your comments again.

dmlebris said...

Hi Kim,

Sometimes I use Payne Grey - rarely black in my paintings.
I use bistre which has more life IMO - Well it works for me.

But, I love black for abstract work. It is great for strong statements; I use it in my monotypes.

I would not worry about the snobbery in this art world....It'll never go away. Just do your thing, paint, paint, paint! :)

Danielle

Kim said...

Hi Danielle, It is nice to hear an artist of your standard uses Paynes Gray. Someone once said to me using Paynes Gray was a no-no! I didn't understand why, because I always preferred the blueness of it. I do not think I know 'bistre' - I will go have a look for that one. If it works for you...I am sure it is wonderful.

A good strong black works great and I do use a lot of it. But sometimes I just want that touch of blue.

You are so right about the snobbery. Anyway, I have far too many things to do than worry about people like that. It is best to just be who we are, right?

I plan on doing just as you suggest...and PAINT!

Thanks Danielle! I always appreciate your wonderful comments.

Lynette said...

Kim, I saw this one in the Salon and I absolutely love all that energy and excitement...awesome painting! I've heard some artists say they would never use certain colors but I use any color I feel like using and to heck with the snobs! :)

Kim said...

Thanks Lynette! You are always good for my head! :) and my heart!

It is interesting to me to think of not using particular colors. Why would they do that? ...mental health, I suppose :)

Everyone has to do what they have to do. I suppose I can take this trying to understand thing to the limit.

Thanks Lynette!

Cestandrea said...

Kim, I was just in the middle of a lengthy comment on your painting and your post, when electricity went down and the computer too... Oh well, here I go again: (this will take time cause I love it so much)

Your art and your reflections are so inspiring to me! I love this painting and I like the title very much. In fact for me it has two titles, one (music2) which places it onto a serie's contact and another (clouds and doors) underlining it's individuality. While looking at the painting and reading the words, both melt together in my head, which is very nice. No need to look for a meaning, just savour the sight and the sound.

I always love to give a title to an artwork, sometimes is is something very obvious and sometimes not. It may sound completely phantastic or very real. Often I feel that a title can be like a frame, enhancing the visual impact by evoking ideas. A connection takes place, perhaps between the right side and the left side of the brain? :) Don't take me too seriously here but I love titles!
Everyone can do with it what he likes.

Payne grey, oh payne grey! (You notice, this post really kicks my brain:). Yesterday I went to the nearby artsupply store, to buy new graphic pens. Guess what: I stood a long time in front of the watercolours, looking for a little pot of payne grey, but the one from Winsor and Newton. They were out of stock!
Especially when it comes to watercolours I am in love with payne grey. It has a great "impact" but it does not leave "visual gaps", which pure black often does.
With acrylic paint I prefer mixtures of several colours like prussian blue, magenta and green to make something very dark but I always back away from black. In my experience and "under" my hands it quickly looks dull.

Any experience with paint and colour is so personal, though, and in other artist's painting (yours for instance) I love their use of black and how it enhances other colours around it.

Oups, I could go on and on about colour, one day I'll bathe in them:)
Have a wonderful day and I'm really looking forward to your next creative adventures! Thanks so much for sharing them.
Andrea

Kim said...

Wow Andrea! I am so very glad I have been able to spark this fabulous comment! Of course I am glad and honored you love the painting. I always love to hear that. I am sorry you had to begin again when you lost your electricity. I am grateful you had the energy to re-post, because you have so much to share here.

Titles, well I think I have come to the conclusion this is the way I need to proceed with this. As I have said, I have never wanted to impact the viewer with anything more than what they are seeing, but it seems with an abstract so many people are not sure enough about what they are looking at and need a bit of a push. And if someone is clear about it, then they know what it is they are seeing and the subtitle allows them to know what I was feeling...and they can separate it. I really appreciate your input here, as I was feeling really pulled in two directions with this one.

Oh yes, I can see where paynes gray would be exceptionally powerful in watercolors! Just you saying that makes me want to go and buy a pot, myself! And I usually only use watercolors for my own doodling kind of thing. I am sorry they were out of W&N in your shop. What did you do?

You know, Danielle said she preferred to blend hues to create "Bistre"! She couldn't get the post to happen, but it is an equal blend of hues opposite on the color wheel...like red/green, violet/yellow or blue/orange. That is a lot like what you are saying. I am going to be trying this very thing today! Blending to create black! I know what you mean about black being that way. I use it and use it a lot, as you know! I love the tension and the way black makes clear hues pop. That is why I use it specifically. But these blends can be used well in a different way! I also think a lot of my use of black also comes from my background.

I know just what you mean about colors...don't forget to use your body as a paint brush that day you bathe in colors! :)

Andrea, thank you so much for this post. I am so glad it touched you off with your wonderful comment. I always look forward to what you have to share here and this was an incredible sharing!

Remember, I can only share when I have such wonderful people commenting...I am not good with conversations with just me! :)

Thank you my friend!

Roshanda said...

When I paint, I always use paynes gray. But, there are times when I really want black and I end up using it, just for my own sake. I think you need to use what you feel is right; sometimes it will be gray, and others you will need to use the black.

I really like this painting. I think it is ok to let the viewer determine the meaning for themselves. Even with a title, each viewer will interpret the meaning differently.

Kim said...

Hello Roshanda! It is good to hear you like Paynes Gray, too. I hear you about black...it really does just depend, doesn't it?

I am glad you like this painting and am happy for your insight about allowing the viewer to draw their own conclusions. Titles seem to be most important for the non-artist.

Thank you for visiting and for your insights! I look forward to another visit from you.

WILSONART said...

Kim, I too adore Payne's. I think sometimes it gets really underestimated.Just the word gray kind of turned me off of it,,,until I actually TRIED it! I usually mix for the blacks also,,in a couple of classes I was told to never, ever use pure black, so got used to mixing the darks to create it. But,,,,on occasion I DO use pure black. I think all colors have their place, and it kind of depends on how I'm feeling.
As for titles,,,I have an on-going series, "Internal Landscapes". Each piece in the series has a subtitle. Such as:
Internal Landscape/Dejavu or
Internal Landscape/Pain
These works are always inspired by an emotion I am feeling when I paint them.
So yes,,, I like titles, and find them valuable.

Kim said...

It sounds as though Paynes is a hue a lot of people like! What I would like to know is why instructors think it is important to tell people what to and what not to use across the board? I agree with you "all colors have their place". I have been taught the good color artist can make any color work effectively depending on what it is combined with! There are colors I know I do not work with well, but that doesn't mean it can't happen! I guess I just don't get it.

"Internal Landscapes" That is cool. I love that title and the way you use it, too.

I think I have been convinced here it is the way to go. :)

Thanks Babs! As always, you have some great insights.

San said...

Kim, I love the big, bold brush stroke--it looks calligraphic.

Titles do provide doors for viewers. I believe your subtitles are just as effective. This Music series is richly textured. The use of positive and negative space--all those openings--haunts, like a melody.

Kim said...

Hi San! I am glad you like this one, too. These are quite fun to do, I have to say.

Yes, I am getting the idea giving paintings titles is a good idea. One artist even told me if you can create a story around each painting. I am not that good with storytelling, but I am thinking the best thing to do is give them titles.

Thank you for the generous, kind words about The Music Series! Now to find buyers who feel the same way :) But why am I telling you that? Seriously, I so appreciate your insights.