Anatomy of An Artist’s Exhibition - part 4
From Background to Main Subject
I had mentioned earlier in the blogs about calculating the exhibition painting time with possible interruptions in the work process. Christmas time is a busy time in preparation and interactions with friends and family. Indeed I hadn’t painted for three weeks over the holiday season. And an attempt to complete a Father Christmas decoration on plywood wasn’t done in time either. And a family request for a portrait of a group will be put on hold. I don’t mind doing for family or friends but five family members equal five separate portraits. Anxious to get back to my own work and I will review where I am and work slowly into getting involved with the paintings again.
I had also mentioned that I would work on all elements at the same time. But I found it easier this time to set up my paintings by working on the computer. Once I was pleased with the composition and the colour scheme, I went directly into the background elements. Since I also have a variety of sky and sea changes, that part of the background took my full attention. The sea on the coast will change colour and action with the weather and the reflective qualities of the sky. So I had to think about all the possibilities of colour schemes in the background matching my actions of the sea and to which boat scene that they would best suit. Obviously a large tanker would not be close to shore elements in my paintings. And the smaller boats may stick closer to the shoreline and the sea action there.
I ended up working on three background pieces simultaneously. The colour palettes were in the grays so that made it quicker using palettes in the same tones, although the sky is different in each. I may stay with working on three paintings at a time and as each gets closer to finish, I will already be starting three new ones. This is usually how I work with a series. I find I do not panic as to how many I am producing and my time line is easier to read as I progress. Also I find as a series they will run evenly in tone by cross working the canvasses.
Now that I have the backgrounds almost complete, I am ready on one to place my boat design element in the painting. The second one is almost complete with some more touchups, and the third is a little further behind with the background work. However it won’t be long until it is ready to proceed with the main subject matter. Once I have the boat designs in place, I will be lifting another canvass in to place and begin painting that background.
At first I will go back to the computer and do a composition and colour scheme again for the next three pieces. The computer drawings are bright and elementary in design as illustrated in the blog photo, but they are just a guide. If I wish to alter my direction I am confident that the basis of the painting has been thought out beforehand. So far I am still painting the Cape Islander fishing boat and its scenario. But with the next three I shall be tackling a new boat mold and background.