Suns Moons Stars / pastel

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When I was in art school they told us to not make a balanced composition. They said the mind seeks balance and when it finds balance it immediately moves on to the next thing. If you give the art viewer unbalance it keeps their attention longer because they want to fix it. So, I guess this still life would get a better grade than the one I did when I was a young chick in school because it’s less balanced. It’s top heavy for one thing, with the big flowers above the lighter peaches and even lighter starfish.

I consider this pastel to be bright and bold but I realize a lot of people would think this is tame compared to the garish modern art they’re used to looking at. I’m talking about overly bright colors with no place for your eyes to rest. The kind of art that makes you want to put on your sunglasses. Once I heard a juror / art teacher say she doesn’t like gray. I thought no wonder she doesn’t hang my paintings. They all have some gray. I need gray to make shadows. shadows add depth and you need shadows to show light, but those things aren’t important to “contemporary” jurors.

Once I had an artist friend that told me she hates green. It makes her feel sick. I said, no nature lover, huh? And she said no she’s not a nature lover. I wondered if she was talking about my paintings which have a lot of green. I’ll just continue to use the gray and green that I like.

I think this pastel shows  solar energy. When I think of paintings that are glaringly bright with  colors straight out of the tube unmixed, it reminds me of someone yelling at you. Like, screamers are weak if they have to yell, and there’s no need to fight back because you can’t reason with someone who’s having a fit. Or, that artist  using neon paint could be a primitive and doesn’t know how to mix colors and how to use gray. In which case, it’s not my responsibility to try to make them follow the path I was taught. But if an educated art teacher / juror rejects paintings because they have gray in them that’s discrimination.

 

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This shows a close up of a peach, its reflection and the starfish and its reflection. It’s a complicated section for your eye because the starfish on the edge of the table points into the reflection. Then you have a double peach because it’s attached to its reflection. The starfish is on the edge of the table to give the composition more for the viewer to worry about and keep their attention longer.

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One thing that made the reflections difficult was that at first I had the red and white checked vinyl under the still life but when I drew it I made the checks larger and blue. I couldn’t exactly visualize how to draw the table cloth reflections but I knew it would have a curve. So I did the checker design in pastel on paper and put it under the flower pot. I made a little cheat sheet. Then I could draw it and it was easier to work that part out.

17 thoughts on “Suns Moons Stars / pastel”

  1. Your reflections in the vase are genius. Spoilt a bit for me by the Sunflowers. But that’s personal taste – I just hate Sunflowers! They are painted beautifully though. With the chequered cloth quite a challenge. Love it overall.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is wonderful, Chris.

    I rememeber we were taught that the human eye likes variation because our ancestors brachiated through the trees amidst shimmering leaves above great savannahs. And without variation, the eye gets bored and, as you say, goes elsewhere.

    I’m going to post more Nabi this week. Sometimes they exceeded the absolute limit of what my eye can see without beginning to get very, very tired. But they did know about paint and I suppose they were trying to make a point before abstraction and very mixed media descended on us!

    This is wonderful. It makes me smile how much goes into the making of a painting like this when those of us who do not create take everything forgranted!

    Sarah

    Liked by 1 person

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