Friday, December 9, 2011
"Even in the snow, the palm tree offers up childhood memories of the coast." This photo was taken last year from my upstairs studio. However, as a child this is what I saw at Christmas minus the snow. Whatever your childhood memory is, it's fun to reflect and cherish particular people and places.
White is an interesting color that can be the main attraction in a piece. I have been using it a lot because of its carrying power even on top of a muted background. There is a tendency to only use white in this way when the background is extremely dark so that it will show up well. But if you want a more subtle look, try using it on muted or "grayed down" colors. The contrast is not as strong as it would be on black or other dark colors, but the viewer can then be surprised as they get closer to the piece. Everything in a piece does not need to be distinguished from across the room. It was also nice to use tube acrylic white with the pouring medium with specks of it still suspended in the medium that look like snow flurries.
Another thing to note is the placement of the flourishes in the trees as though they were an extension of the palm branches. My desire for the month of December is to practice different placements and flourishes where they might not be expected just to show that they can be part of a contemporary piece. We don't all need to do flourished birds and use typical settings reminiscent of the 1800's....although there is nothing wrong about doing that. I still enjoy studying and looking at historical references and even doing "stand alone" flourishes with no hint of contemporary techniques, but it is exciting to push it to the limit. Just something to think about.