Saturday, September 09, 2006

Bougainvilla in my garden

I am watching the movie "I am Sam" - a highly emotional movie about how a father who has the IQ of a seven year old raised a daughter till she is seven years old only to face the possibility of losing her because the state considered him unfit as a parent. Sean Penn was the father and he was really superb. I can imagine that for an actor to reach that level of perfection in assuming the role of the character he is playing, it would take the best of his talent and a lot of hard work to research that role. For me, an artist is not just someone who thrives on creativity. Nothing in life comes easy. Talent alone cannot survive without a will and perseverence to explore unknown territories in our lives. Talent alone does not produce works of art. I started to paint my exuberant bouganvilla plant yesterday afternoon. I had no drafts, no sketches.
At the end of my painting session which was hard work, I came up with this:
I may have captured the overall look of the plant's appearance but there is still a lot more work to do. This afternoon, I spent about three hours trying to figure out how to make the flowers look like bouganivillas and how to put in all those leaves. At one point, I regretted choosing this subject because I realised that I did not know enough about the form and texture of the components of this plant. I really should have done my research before attempting to paint such a complicated subject. I should have done my drawings and sketches and attempt to paint parts of this plant aiming to master each before embarking on this painting. But I did not want to give up. Since I have started painting, I will take this as an exercise to experiment with colours, creating as accurate an impression as I could and taking the opportunity to study the make-up of this lovely creation in nature before my eyes. There were too many leaves and I had a problem painting the flowers because there were too many of them and the different shades present in each bunch coupled with the changing light presented me with such a headache that I was contemplating aborting this endeavour. Then I thought about just having fun and not to worry too much about the details or agonize over whether I have created a likeness to the flowers or the leaves. From this point on, I started to enjoy painting and since I was more relaxed and less restrained in trying various ways to get the flowers and the leaves to look like what they were supposed to be. By 7pm. this was what I had come up with. Initially, I painted in some parts of the background using the pattern of the retaining wall but it was aweful. Thank goodness for acrylics, I was able to wash off the mistakes and give the backgound a lighter colour. I shall have to work on the background in my next session.For now, the state of the painting is like this. I don't know what will be the final outcome but I do know that "nothing ventured, nothing gained". I have to paint as much and as often as I can in order to fulfil what I set out to do in art. Talent alone is not enough.


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