Friday, September 09, 2005

Reflections on Sunflower painting

Finally, here is the completed painting - at least I decided that it was completed and that I would not apply any more paint on it. After months of procrastination, inaction and perhaps fear that I would make a total mess, I disciplined myself one afternoon to finish it once and for all.

By now, the paint on the sunflowers have been layered countless times and the vase or jug has been painted over many times because I just could not figure out how to do the variations in tones. I tried to have stronger shades around the sides but did not like how the vase was competing for attention with the flowers.

I like the blue background best (it was a mix of ultramarine and cereleun (check spelling another time) blue and white. The green base has been lightened with cadmium yellow so that it now looks more pleasant than the previous green that looked like it belonged to a muddy river bank. I think I did too many cover jobs and my teacher would probably say that this painting is overworked, especially the green base. I can agree with that because that was what happened because I was really experimenting with various colours and ways of painting. Didn't like, so painted over; didn't know how to get the tonal variations so tried different combinations of colours and brush strokes.

Overall I think the picture is pretty so long as one does not go too close to see the thickness of the paint that wasn't the result of artistry but because of indecision and lack of technique. I shall work towards improving these weaknesses by reading and doing more still lifes for practice. I had touched up the purple flowers and they contributed to the overall freshness of the flowers. I like to think that the vase is not set on a table but rather against a brilliant blue sky and is sitting on an open field. Perhaps deep down I really would prefer to print outdoors but given the humidity and heat of our weather, I will have to remain indoors till I have reached a level of mastery that enables me to finish a painting in just a few hours.

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