The cotton candy business died... Long live the artist entrepreneur!
I've now made enough unsuccessful cotton candy batches that my family has asked me to stop. The organic flavors didn't work at all and the comercial grade machine was way to slow to consider building a business around. At this point, I've realized that I'm relieved to be focusing on my art again. I'm just gonna have to find another occcasionto wear my newly tailored hot pink tuxedo. Art openings?
Meanwhile, as an attempt to make it possible for local folk to afford a piece of my art, I'm doing a series of small to tiny paintings. Northcoast Open Studios is coming up in June and I thought it would be good to get at least 50 of them done.
This little marsh wren was one of my initial paintings in the series. I really enjoy getting involved in all the fluffy textures of the feathers, as well as the tiny birdish expressions. This little guy has a huge personality!
This piece evolved over several months. I wasn't sure how the foreground field was going to resolve. It ended up requiring several layers of paint, each applied with an eye for leaving the previous marks visable from underneath.
When I look at fields of grass, especially after their colors have turned toward the browns and wheats of fall, I see a woven tapestry of color. Any section could be blown up into a Jackson Pollack painting.
So there was no way that I could just simplify the field.
Also, the layers of detail help to tell the story of distance. I wanted the built up layers of farm buildings in the distance to really feel like they were far away, so it was necessary to have the viewer feel as if they had to walk across the field to get to them.
The other challenge I was playing with was making the focal point be so far back in the painting. One of the things I like about being outdoors is how far off I can gaze. When we are indoors, we get used to seeing only 20ft in from of us if we happen to be at the end of a hallway.
Once we go outdoors, it gets hard to even measure things in units of feet.
It can be a tricky puzzle, figuring out how to convey that distance with a 16" x 20" rectangle!
Focal points typically have higher contrast both in value and color. But high contrast elements often pop forward. So I had to figure out how to make the distance both interesting to the eye and appear more distant then the foreground fields...