Friday, December 11, 2009

Sandy's Tree

I had planned on posting this today as the final painting, but after seeing the photo on the PC screen decided it needed some more tweaking. I mentioned earlier that I would be working on a study of one of Sandy Maudlin's paintings on Yupo of this subject. I did not copy her excellent composition of this; but, rather, added the same elements so I could see if I could replicate them. Her Christmas ornaments were as they should be, mine are more separate in a less pleasing way, but served my purpose for this study.

I took the Yupo and paints to my Thursday afternoon watercolor group at the Art Club and just started playing yesterday. This was such a great afternoon of playing with paint and banter with long-time artist buddies! Some days just happen to be wonderful get-togethers, although any time we can get together and paint is never bad!

I am starting to lean toward Yupo, every time I try to use it it excites me more! The vibrant colors, the ease of lifting highlights, it all makes sense to me. Now, if I could just attend one of Sandy's workshops to get those pesky techniques down, I would be thrilled! Sandy...make a DVD?!!!!

ASAP, I will finish those bare limbs I left so unartfully done on the upper left and add a few more Christmas light sparkles. I truly enjoyed working on this and promise Sandy to not use it for profit (other than adding more skills to my skill bank and the enjoyment I had studying her painting!). Thanks Sandy for inspiring me to try this painting!


RHCarpenter said...

Looks well painted to me, Susan, but I think the 2 ornaments are competing for our attention so there's a tension there between the two - perhaps tone down the red and let that yellow shine?

The Weaver of Grass said...

I too love workshops run by people whose work I admire Susan - they are so inspirational. I love your painting.

Sandy Maudlin said...

Great job using YUPO. If you erased/lifted off space for a third ornament, to make it look like it was hiding partially behind one of these, it would help balance the picture more. The evergreen and lights are super. SO GLAD you are loving YUPO. It's just too much fun to paint on.

Watercolors by Susan Roper said...

Thanks All!

Sandy...I agree, and will do this asap. I wondered about wiping out and balancing another, differently-colored ball between these two but hadn't done so yet in experimentation. I so appreciate your not being upset that I was making this painting from being inspired by yours, but in doing so I strayed from your excellent composition. I will take care of that, like I said, asap. So many things to do, so little time. But, it will happen. I am, truly, starting to lean toward Yupo as my ground of just speaks to me. Once I can learn more about doing this correctly, I know I can do this better than now, it just beckons me on!

Rhonda, due to Sandy's excellent suggestion of a third ball, I am hoping to bridge between the two with a less conspicuous ball and make this better...maybe a blue or green?

Lots to consider, but I am loving it all!

Ruth said...

Hi Susan, To me this is perfect, except for one little detail. I'll mention that first. On the right of the yellow ball is a bimp on outer edge. Drew my eye immediately to it. Since balls are perfectly round if you shored that up then I say this is spot-on perfect. Why? These 2 balls are offset by the 5 twinkling sparkles of lights = 7 objects. Your bg color is intense that makes these two balls sparkle with delicious color. The blue bg color the complement of the yellow; greens complement of red.
The red ball is in lower quadrant; the yellow although in center of right quadrant is balanced by the 2 sparkles up on its right. There is just enough green sprigs dancing into and across the balls. To me it's a perfect nestling of the 7 in among the branches of green. The addition of the sporadic brown branches is the perfect foil to break up all green twigs. This so works for me. ( I didn't look at Sandy's so am observing without prior knowledge of "what it should be".) I love this. It would make an outstanding Christmas card. The addition of those 5 sparkling lights are what cinch this for me. Colors are super. Ruth

Watercolors by Susan Roper said...

Wow Ruth...Now to make the correct decision. I knew about that "bimp" (I like that term!) you mentioned on the yellow ball and had decided that needed adjusting when I went in to make any corrections. As for those branches, I do want to add some dark green pine needles in a few places to break up the "blobs" that occur when working in Yupo and frame the center of interest better. If I go in, as Sandy suggested, and add a third ball then I feel it should recede in grayish tones of whatever color I choose for it so it fades into the background. But, I love the depth created behind those balls so will do nothing that would detract from that totally. Lots to consider here!

Ruth, have you painted on Yupo? If so, did you find it exciting? The first time I tried it in a workshop I was under-impressed, but the second painting in that workshop was well-received and even sold later! I have always found it to be an exciting ground to work on.

Ruth said...

Susan, I have never painted on Yupo so have no idea how you handle it. Have heard about it. Have heard others describing their experiences with it. Sounds interestng and a whole new area to "capture". Maybe I will try it sometime.
Here is my honest opinion: Looking at all the interesting "movement" of your bg colors, I am totally awed by all the different textures. To me they are all fun and as I travel around and enjoy, I wonder, "Neat. How was that done? Wow, that works. How intriguing the right amount of artistically drawn greenery, etc." To me the branches from your photo do not come across as blobs. Just impressionistic and suggested branches-neat contrast to the more detailed c of i. Maybe in the real, they look like blobs? I find them perfect as is. And I don't think you need any more strokes to point to or frame your c of i. Your brown branches do that. They work. I like the uncluttered "air" around the balls. It's enough to give the eye relief from the busy-i-ness of the outer bg.
And also to me to add a 3rd ball, even faded, would destroy your deep dark surrounding them and also become obviously formulaic.
Well, that's my 2-cents. I really could be all wrong. So I'll throw it back to you and let you sort out what is right for you.

Watercolors by Susan Roper said...

Okay, after having considered both of your thoughtful comments, Ruth, I think I will proceed with more caution and just fix that imperfection on the right side of that yellow ball and add a few more bits of pine needles to break up the middle bare tree branch in the upper left corner. IRL, it really IS a blob!

I think you would really like to paint on Yupo, but it is so totally different than w/c paper. You truly are not in charge most of the time; instead, the recipient of wonderful, magical "happenings" when the paint begins to blend and slide around the slick surface and you let your creative self come out and play and make something of what happened. I love it!

I hope you visit Sandy's blog and see her body of work on Yupo, it is magnificent!

Ruth said...

I have visited Sandy's blog. Scrolled thru many, many of her pages, enjoying every entry. My, I thought I had completed a lot. She is amazingly productive and in par excellence every time. The Yupo effect is truly unique in each piece. And, I'm so glad I've been privileged thru you to have experienced her work. Will continue exploring her work and what she has to say.
Now, back to your piece. One last thing (and I'll leave you in peace about this), I agree with Rhonda's observation that the two colors of the two balls create a tension, but unlike R., I think that tension plus the multiple unique bg textures are what make this piece striking and captivating. As I scroll thru the small thumbnails of blogs on my blog, your piece catches my eye everytime. ---With that being said, I'll leave this piece in peace and look forward to your final working of it. I loved Sandy's statement about when a painting is finished....I agree 100%, my mantra also.