|L. S. Eldridge|
L. S. Eldridge
W A T E R C O L O R S
Notes from the Deckle Edge
Okay, I will try and post again about my latest work and hope my computer doesn't fail again. I am working on a painting of tractors. I wasn't happy with one of the tires on my first try and reworked it till the paper failed. On my second try I had figured out what I didn't like about the tire, but something was wrong with the paper. It made all of my paints granulate. I decided to cut my losses and keep my sanity. So, this is the third try.
Perception is a funny thing. I took computer science in college (one class) and I remember saying that perception would be the hardest thing to overcome in the evolution of computers. I was convinced, and still am, that eventually it will all be chemical, but perception would be hard thing to control. But, my professor's definition of perception and mine were two different things. Funny. Sort of proved my point. His definition was quite literal. His definition of perception was that a robot could identify a cup as a cup. To me, that is identification, not perception. Perception is more ephemeral. Case in point...my family perceives this tractor painting as bright, intense color. But, while I am painting it I think it is dull. If I step away from it and look at it from a different angle, it becomes more pleasing to me. Brighter. But I want to keep that bright color, so how I finish it out is really important. I guess my problem is that I like it surrounded by white. I'll figure it out eventually.
Took some photos downtown Rogers this morning. The "Russell" sign was the subject and luckily for me there was work being done at the time. I look forward to working on this painting.
A beautiful day and I intend to paint all afternoon! Have been working on my tractors and am happy with it so far. Detail takes a lot of time, but is worth the effort if that is the look you are going after. Sometimes, very little detail appeals to me. I might try this both ways. We'll see. I have a bridge painting in mind next. But I also want to continue with my paintings of the Crystal Bridges construction site. I have three of those completed so far. The Nabholz construction crew I had scanned last week. I fixed some problems on "Coppering the Roof at Crystal Bridges" and will take that back to be rescanned. It had some value problems that I have now resolved. I guess I had better stop looking at it or I will always find something to change. Artist's lament. The gentleman with red/white/blue hard hat will be my next subject - just too much fun. And he kind of slouches, which he would hate I am sure, but I love it.
I should count the painting of the gentleman I met at the Crystal Bridges overlook ("Old-School Gentleman" featured on my portraits page) as part of that series of paintings. He probably doesn't like his wrinkles, but it was what made him beautiful and interesting to me. I approached him and told him I thought his face was amazing and asked if I could paint him. He was a little skeptical at first, but after talking for a few minutes he consented, and I took one photo. It has been over a year since I met him there at the Crystal Bridges overlook, but I believe his name was Mr. Beck. 91 years old at the time, and a WW2 veteran. He had been a pilot in China. Had a son that had been interested in art at one time. A charming gentleman, I enjoyed him very much. Alice Walton and the new director of the museum were there at the same time. But to my eye, he was a standout. I hope I will see him again so I can show him the painting.
"On the first day of spring I dig my fingers deep into the soft earth. I can feel its energy and my spirits soar." - Helen Hayes
Looks like a couple of my posts have gone missing. Weird. Let me save you a lot of time and hassle regarding the use of a ruling pen: Get one. It is very easy to use for small straight lines using watercolor. I found mine at our somewhat local university bookstore. While I was there I picked up a rolling ruler which was competitively priced and a package of french curves (included three). Also purchased a three sided eraser that is easy to hold.
To use the ruling pen, I mixed together a generous amount of burnt sienna and water together in a small gerber juice bottle and shook well. Then I just dip the pen so that it retains an average amount then start drawing. It helps to hold the pen somewhat on its side, not straight up and down. I also recommend taping pennies (3) to the bottom of your french curves or triangles if they don't sit up from the paper as it could prove a problem with paint getting underneath. I still have my original triangles with pennies taped to the bottom from drafting and architectural design classes I took many years ago. I haven't even had to change the tape.
I am doing a value study of a couple of tractors, but will be helping judge some yearbooks today and won't get back to my value study till this evening.
"Spring has returned. The earth is like a child that knows poems."
All images on this site are protected by U. S. Copyright laws. No image may be reproduced without the express, written permission
of the artist, L. S. Eldridge.