Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Foxwood - Finished

OK - here it as as I left it last night. First Youngest told me the lines had to go (he was right). That was work I did yesterday before this photo was taken and posted.

Then Linda suggested that the top wasn't done yet (and I knew that, though I didn't want to think about it yesterday). So I worked up the top quite a bit tonight, and liked it better.

Then I showed it to Dearest and she said that the top and the bottom looked like different paintings. The foxes were more hard edged, and painted in a different manner than the top. And I knew that, too, but was even more resistant to thinking about that, because I had liked how the foxes turned out and I didn't want to mess with them. But it was the usual - they were "precious" and still too outlined. I realized that I really had nothing to lose - they didn't work as they were. So I was at peace about changing them, and knew what to do and thought I could manage it without damaging them.

So here they are repainted somewhat, and blended into the painting. Now they're in the wood, instead of on it. And I like the light on them better in this version. As usual, though, the camera is losing the beautiful rose colors, leaning towards a hotter red and emphasizing the orange. This painting is actually more balanced over the three secondary colors, and a rosy pink, pale blues, and some yellow for emphasis and light. So it's a sort of homage to how I used to feel about the basic Crayola box of eight. The six colors were all equally favorites, and I felt sorry for brown and black.

Maybe you can't see much difference between these two in the photos - and then again, maybe you can... I thought the differences might be interesting to some of you. Click on them to see larger versions.

Thanks to everyone who made the concrete and constructive suggestions, especially Dearest, who made hers after she was pretty much done talking for the day.


linda said...

I can *really* see the difference between the two paintings and can see how you integrated the foxes into the woods with a lighter palette and it does make the whole painting seem more cohesive...I think you could do more if you were inclined or stop at this point...also, I do see alot of the roses and pinks you have used and I love them! I think I am missing some of the purple/blues,the depths in those shades, the shadowy aspect of a wooded grove...perhaps you have lightened them as you have lightened up the whole painting? I still see another fox there in the center and my brain wants to give him the rest of that leg and perhaps an ear or a nose peeking out :) *grinning*

in reading this, I found myself wondering what you would have done with this, had it just been you and the work~I find the suggestions and/or judgement of others to sometimes be confusing ~ after all, who is the painter.... given that experience, I wondered about your feelings as you sound a little bit frustrated by it all!

MLight said...

Linda - Re: your last paragraph. I'm always really hesitant to give my opinions on Steve's art for that very reason. He's the artist; I'm certainly not. He has to drag them out of me (also part of why I rarely comment here, even though, more than once a day, I check to see who else has left comments).

Genie Sea said...

Yes! The foxes are much more balanced and the foreground foxes more defined. I really adore your colors. I am still loving the reaction between the two foxes. It's such a delicious painting. :)

Steve Emery said...

Linda - I still haven't taken it off the board - still waiting for the weekend and the opportunity to look more, and possibly refine and push things further.

As for the frustration, I'm mostly frustrated that part of me knows what I need to do, and other parts (closer to the surface) sweep it under the rug trying to avoid the truth. I wish I could be less fearful and just see the thing boldly. I hope with practice to do that better. In the meantime, there are observant and intelligent friends to help point out the lumps under the rug...

MLight - And I know you hesitate... but you don't need to. Your advice either applies, or it doesn't. I can tell the difference.

Genie Sea - Thanks! They posed themselves.

Alex said...

I think the way you brought the foxes' coloring through the entire picture integrates them into the forest in a way that was lacking before. (Of course, I didn't notice the lack until you put up the second picture.)

You also softened the edges of the foxes, making them less intruding.

Leah said...

Yes, you can definitely see the difference. Although, I kinda like the darker foxes. Either way though, the piece is gorgeous!

Lisa said...

I love the painting as it is, especially as you've put the foxes into the forest.

In reading this post, I was tickled by how you would write "I knew that...."

Sometimes having someone verbalize what we feel or think is the quickest way to acknowledging it ourselves.

One of these days - when there is disposable income at Golden Hovel, we are going to become the proud owners of at least one Steve Emery painting. Choosing will be the hard part.

You do part with them for money, don't you?

The Cunning Runt said...

Steve, I didn't see the genesis of this piece, but clearly see its metamorphosis in this post.

And I love the latest incarnation, with its depth and balance and blend of hardness and softness.

That's not to suggest that you ought not to go farther with it, as it seems to be moving in a good direction...

Regina said...

It was worth the effort and getting over the preciousness. What a beautiful result.

Steve Emery said...

Alex - yup, that was it exactly.

Leah - Thanks!

Lisa - Thanks for the comment about others verbalizing - that makes it a little less frustrating that I don't just admit these things to myself without the other person having to help. And yes I do indeed part with them for money, and I would love to think of one of them hanging at the Golden residence. I'll keep trying to make the choice even harder by adding more and more to the gallery...

Cunning Runt - I think this is mostly done - I don't want to lose the fresh, open feeling - my favorite kind of woods - but I suspect I'll tinker with it some this weekend.

Regina - Thanks! I have never been sorry AFTER painting over preciousness. I don't know why I still resist BEFOREHAND.

June Saville said...

In art and in writing we 'must kill our darlings' if we are to find the way forward.

June in Oz

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

WOW! I love this!

I was one of those whose not as experienced and perceptive, I had to go back and forth between the two a number of times.

I had a spiritual experience one time when I was doing some native American spiritual exercises and I sat alone in the middle of a swamp seeking an answer to a personal spiritual question and a fox walked right up to me in the middle of the swamp.

I had a series of fox encounters and this reminds me of that and the light is amazing.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

You do light really well!

Steve Emery said...

June - Oh yes, it's true. If I could get to it sooner, I'd be better off.

Mary Stebbins Taitt - Thanks! And that spirit experience with the fox sounds like magic. Just the sort of fox event I felt with this painting.