Friday, July 23, 2010

4th of July Painting

Here's a watercolor I just finished of the crowd waiting for the 4th of July parade. Normally I don't work on a painting this long, but the subject matter demanded a lot of attention to detail. I had fun doing each figure. It's interesting to really study the body language of each person. By the time I finish a painting like this, I feel as if I know everybody in it. Faces are almost irrelevant in a picture like know them from their clothes, their hairstyle, their body build and gesture.

This is 20"x 9." I can't imagine finding a frame for it, if I wanted to frame it. Why do I never think of that when I start to paint? It would be one thing if the size had anything to do with the painting's content, but all I cared about here was that it be long and narrow. Usually my choice of size has to do with whatever piece of paper is handy and how big my backing board is. My application of masking tape to hold the paper on the board is totally arbitrary and usually isn't even straight. I seem to be constantly trying to prove that I am careless and flippant about my work in order to negate the preciousness other artists feel for their work. It is almost pathetic to me, how they value what they have done. The world is full of people who can paint a wonderful fact this town is full of them. There is nothing extroadinary about any of us.

Painting is an activity like riding a bicycle or reading a book or cooking a meal. The bike ride is enjoyed and then forgotten. Reading the book is a great experience, but when it's over it's relegated to the bookcase or the thrift shop. Cooking and eating is fun and pleasurable, but when it's over, it's over. A finished painting is the byproduct of the activity of the painter...........the residue left after the fun, the garbage after the meal.
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