Thursday, March 3, 2011

To emulate Emily or not to emulate Emily


Today, I finally got back to my painting of the trail to Ammonite Falls. I think the first go-through with colour and the first attempt to create the design is lots of fun. I know that the final painting will look quite different in all the details so don't need to get too worried about how it looks now. But I also know that the first layer of colour will sort of be the "bones" of the painting. Everything can be changed - but chances are some of the original will remain.

Right now I think the overall design is good, but the road is too red - it was more pinkish - and the trees and bushes are too green - they were more misty blue-green. The mauve haze behind the tree trunks is put on too solidly and the tree trunks themselves are not very graceful. And the sky is the wrong colour. It needs to be hazy like the forest - maybe a bit mauve. Maybe the pink road can give way to the mauve forest and then to a blueish-mauve sky - stronger in colour than the the current pale blue sky - with the greenish/blue forest encroaching onto the painting from both sides.

Right now everything is pretty sketchy. I don't want to make too much detail (e.g. no individual leaves) - but I'm probably not prepared to go quite as far toward abstraction as Emily Carr. Her many forest pictures depict the west coast underbrush as green eddies and swirls around the base of the trees and totem poles. I like them a lot - but... That being said, I think that it is quite proper and respectful for a west coast artist (which I am trying to be) to emulate Emily - our best known BC artist. She worked so hard to try to depict our huge forests. Maybe swirly underbrush and shafts of light from above will be the answer. Or maybe that will be another painting.

Eventually the picture will sort of take off on its own - so I'll wait and see what happens then.

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