Thursday, November 27, 2008

AEDM 27 - The Elopement - Finished?

This will be the hardest day of November to do art - but I'm determined to stick with AEDM, even though I started late. This is my contribution, completed the day before, as I've been posting late for the following day. It's tomorrow's post that will be hard to create.

Actually, I had Wednesday off from work, to relax a little before the family gatherings of the next few days. I painted almost all day, and this was the result. It's 24 x 18, watercolor.

I was completely lost fifteen minutes into this painting. It made no sense, I could not get the birds to look like anything but faded flat cut-outs, the colors were all at war... I struggled for two hours in the dark. Then a few things started to make some sense. The birds popped when I painted their eyes, and then I could see what else to do. It's really weird sometimes how just a tiny bit of white (like the unpainted eyes) can make the whole thing confusing to me. There were still lots of struggles, with the trees, with grays, which I needed more here than usual, and I'm not at home with them, yet. I needed them because of the setting for the elopement that is the subject of this painting - it was a beautiful, but dark, building in San Francisco. And I wanted the bright birds to have the strongest role, so I used warm grays behind them - like the shadows of the building where they exchanged their vows.

I wish the composition were different in some ways - but this was an important day's work for me - I learned several important things (primarily 1. I can struggle through a long lost period and then get a clue and follow it out, and 2. the way I drew the shapes left the wrong kind of decisions for the painting phase on a painting of this kind - it would have been OK for another subject, but it gave me fits in this one).

It may be finished - I'm sure I'll find a few things to tweak. And I'm not sure about the tree over the left bride... Might be too odd. It wouldn't be hard to change.

My inner artist placed four symbols of the brides in here, counting the bridal veiled birds, of course. And, naturally, there are small fish (they don't count, but my children will look for them).

11 comments:

tammy vitale said...

Wonderful! even more with knowing the impetus (the bridal picture) - I love seeing what sets off art because I use a lot of "props" to get me started, too. I am absolutely in love with all the movement in this (even your cats pictures has movement, as quiet as it is overall - the light, I think). I am in awe of folks who can do this, esp with watercolors which escape me. Do you put fish in all your paintings? If yes I'll now have to go back and look (yes, I found them here). I am thankful that Leah created a space where I could watch you work. You are very inspiring, tho I doubt I'll ever get to where you are with all those lovely abstracted backgrounds....mmmmm. Do you do prints?

Carol Cooper said...

Happy Thanksgiving Steve! Lovely LOVE birds! Everything in and about your painting gives a wonderful sense of peace and romance at the same time. I like the little birds up in the corner. You are so very talented!! :o)

Steve Emery said...

Tammy Vitale - (I love your name) Thank you so much. Movement is one of the things I chiefly enjoy in compositions, and I try for it, subconsciously or consciously, in nearly every piece. I have done a few prints, the really expensive way, and I need a less expensive route, so more people can share these images. Yes - if I have a space of blue (French ultramarine!) then there is liable to be a fish in it somewhere. This started over two years ago with a piece called Housecats and Weathervanes which has several.

Carol - Happy Thanksgiving to you, as well! Thanks for the compliments on the birds - it was an emotional experience. I'm still looking for a self portrait over on your blog (grin)...

linda said...

steve, this is a beautiful painting, especially knowing the sentiment and photos on which this painting is based...I find it to be simply lovely just as it is ...the grays are a perfect foil and capture the space in which the lovers stood....it is magical and hopefully can somehow be shared with those who were intimately involved...

happy thanksgiving to you and yours...

susan said...

Yes, it is a lovely picture - a day well spent. I agree with Linda in hoping the image can be shared with those involved. I think they'd be very touched.

DCup said...

I think it's stunning.

Pagan Sphinx said...

I love it. And the brides love it, too. SG1 said she would email you with her perceptions.

The feeling of intimacy comes across very strongly in the composition. If you saw the two young women together, you would know that you have captured that very well.

I can't find words to express how special this is, actually. That it came from the perception of a person and artist I admire very much touches us all in a way that is so magical.

Namaste, my dear friend
Gina

Jendi said...

Beautiful painting, Steve. The love in the birds' eyes is warm and true.

Steve Emery said...

Linda - Thank you! I tried to capture something of City Hall (beautiful space!) in the color around the brides. And I'm glad you could feel that.

Susan - Thanks. I have offered it to the mother of the bride, or to the brides (Pagan's choice).

DCup - Thank you!

Pagan - SG1 has already written and now we have only to handle the shipping details. I am delighted it turned out this way, and happy that they also feel I caught some of that lovers bliss in the painting.

Jendi - Thank you! You should have seen how long I stood pondering what color and what shape those eyes should be... I'm glad it worked. The brides' eyes gave me a clue...

The Cunning Runt said...

I was moved when I first saw this painting, but I'm soooooo slowwwww...

Now I'm sitting here in tears.

Thanks, man.

Steve Emery said...

Cunning Runt - Do you also know the brides? Or, like me, are you a bystander swept up in their story?