"Crenulated," 24x30x2 oil on canvas
"Crenulated," was inspired by a 150ft long, multi-colored, centuries old stone wall I saw in southern France. It is painting that will be a part of my Window Within a Window series.
1. Before I applied paint, I had textured my 24x30 canvas with gesso. I used a large palette knife, about 8 inches long and 1 inch wide, and applied 3 layers allowing each layer to dry.
2. Since I knew that I needed some dark crevices in the old stones, I added dark colors with a palette knife first. The circular shapes were created by applying paint to bubble wrap and then pressed onto the canvas. I felt I needed some different textures in those areas. I call this the 'toddler period' as I have lots of questions spinning in my head because there are many artistic decisions yet to be made. This kind of problem solving revs my engine.
3. At this stage I began toning down the darker values as well as the round shapes, but I am not sure I like them. The wood beam also has less contrast and I am wondering what I might paint above it.
4. I finally decided upon the landscape to paint within the window. Because this wall was inspired by a visit to southern France, a castle scene seemed appropriate.
Note that I have begun to add stones above the wooden beam and I could not resist putting that one stone out on the tip.
5. Those implied stone steps going down to the right, now lead to an old castle window. Why? Oh, for a little humor and to entice the viewer to ask more questions. From a composition stand point, the larger window needed something from which to balance it.
6. Glazing various colors like stained glass, serve to develop the background. I like the other 'window' created witnin the beam and add clouds up above it. I also carry the blue sky colors behind and up. This creates more depth and mystery in the painting. At this point, a title for this painting is alluding me, so for now I am just referring to it as my "Castle" painting.
You may not be able to see it, but I had to moved the castle from being smack in the middle of the hill in the landscape. I am gradating my colors at this stage. With various layers of paint, I made the bottom corners darker and then gradated lighter tones toward the larger window. The upper part of the painting has fewer layers.
7. What questions does this painting generate for you? I love painting my window concept series because windows tend to ask questions. What does crenulated mean? To find out, click here.
What additional questions do you have about my process? Please send me a message/question or comment. I love receiving feedback and hearing your reactions.Comment on or Share this Article →
Studio Sign for a Reminder
As a reminder, this sign is posted on my studio wall visible just beyond my easel; it has been there for months. Then several weeks ago, a friend of my husband's walked in an wanted to know what it meant - what did yelling have to do with art? Ever since then, Bob has been checking on my paintings to see if my "50 foot voice" is evident - which I think is pretty cool and I need that kind of support. Since Bob is a regular contributor to my monthly newsletter, read past newsletters by clicking here, he decided to write about it in his article for the month of July. I have copied it below.
Where is Your Fifty-Foot Voice? by Bob North, Husband of the Artist
"There is a sign in Carol's studio that says "where is your fifty foot voice?" No, she's not practicing for American Idol, and this doesn't mean vocal projection or being heard at the back of the lecture hall.
It's all about the visual dimension, creating art that grabs your attention and starts speaking to the heart and the mind even before you can see the brushstrokes on the canvas. At a distance, a painting is the sum of all the individual parts the human eye can't resolve. How does the artist create this sense of voice at a distance? Carol's recent use of the "window" - creating a sense of multiple paintings on one canvas - is one way.
The window creates an immediate sense of intrigue and mystery that asks you questions. What's going on in the painting? How are the windowed segments related to the rest of the composition? Color is another means of getting your attention across the room. It's not just bright and vibrant hues, but combinations, contrasts and color harmony. You see much of this in her featured painting here, Breaking Free!.
Finally, it's a sense of depth that can compel you to walk up to the painting and see where a path leads. That also happens with Breaking Free! when I want to go peek out that window at the landscape to catch a glimpse of who escaped. Oops! You may interpret the painting differently..? We'll see a lot more of this effect in Carol's work soon and I will be making sure her 50 foot voice continues to show up."
Do you ever look at your work and ask yourself this question? Or how about, what am I trying to say? Why am I trying to say it?Comment on or Share this Article →