This week I’ve spent time thinking about how to use light and color differently. I’ve been looking for clues in the watercolor paintings of J.M.W. Turner who created works 200 years ago with an incredible feeling of atmosphere and depth. I’ve also been looking at the work of Direk Kingnok, a current artist from Thailand. He creates shapes out of light and shadow and his paintings have a similar feeling of thick atmosphere. The way either of them use light and shadow is amazing, creating dark values that still glow. I greatly admire both for how loose and confident their works feel.
In my own work, I sometimes think that colors can grow too sweet and need to be muted by some degree. I’ve been trying to exercise some control over bright color by mixing mostly transparent shades of grey and working them over dried areas of pure color. I’ve also been paying more attention to creating depth and form through subtle shadows. It’s been helpful to find ways to bring down some of the bright colors when painting scenes of a city filled with brightly colored buildings. I’m pretty happy with the results and I’m sure I will continue figuring things out.
Thank you to all that looked at my Etsy shop, ArtFromBrian, last week. I look forward to adding more items and making more connections with people that love paintings.
Here is one work from this week that, hopefully, illustrates a more measured approach to light and color.
Again, I find myself walking around San Francisco and feeling amazed by the structure and detail of the houses. The craftsmanship and knowledge of the people that designed and built them is incredible to me. They give off a feeling of quality and history. The streets tell the stories of so many people that once lived here. I recently discovered that the public library has photographic records of the city dating back to the 1800’s and I find the hours slip away while I try to wrap my head around the amount of change and, occasionally, how similar things are.
Another thing about San Francisco that captivates me is the trees. Trees, plants, and flowers seem to spring up from everywhere. The moisture in the air and, usually, generous sunlight seem to account for a great variety of healthy plant-life, though the fern in my apartment seems to disagree. After a year of living here, I’m still a little unsure of how the seasons affect the trees and flowers. As some are losing their leaves, others seem to be coming into bloom. After spending most of my life in places that get tons of snow and cold, the weather and plants are inspiring.
And this leads to my most recent project. I’ve spent most of the last month putting together my store on Etsy.com called ArtFromBrian, where I have most of the watercolor paintings featured in this blog and several others for sale.
If you have some time, click HERE for a link to my store. Thank you to everyone for your support.
And here is a painting of houses and trees on Page Street that I finished this week: