Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ramblin' Art - As Usual

OK. Back to pastels for a moment.

("Yeah, right," you think. "He's always got something more to say than just art!")


You know, I never really ever had an opinion about anything. Now I can write about all kinds of things. My opinion on this subject of not having opinions is this:

If you're never asked for your opinion, you don't learn how to form them. Now that I'm a teacher, I have to make all sorts of decisions throught the course of a day. I remember that during my first year of teaching, the one factor that really caught me off guard about teaching was all the decisions I was having to make. I knew there would be lots of grading, and lesson plans, and committee work, and blah blah blah. What I didn't expect was, "Where should I put this?" "If I turn this in tormorrow, what will my grade be?" And then there are the questions that I could never answer: "What's my grade?" "If I get a 100 on this test, what will my grade be?" And the worst question ever: "Did we do anything important yesterday?"

Anyway. Where was I? Right. Pastels.

The painting shown here was actually painted last year. It was taken from a photo shot from a moving car. The reason I dug around and found it was because the picture was taken on our way to our first camping experience with the kids. Fortunately, they loved it, and so this last weekend we had our first 2-night camping experience with the kids. We have the best family! We have so much fun doing not much of anything... Every time we pass this portion of the interstate, I have to point that particular farm out to anyone who's listening (they're getting pretty adept at feigning complete absorption in other activities by now!).

A little story about this painting.

The farm went pretty well. The buildings and trees went in without too much trouble. The sky was just plain blue and the field was green (it was just soybeans, after all). After sitting on the mantle piece for a while, I decided the field needed some visual weight to balance the busy farm. So I started adding that red color, and it really made it work for me. That led to the yellowish highlights, and pretty soon, I had this amazing foreground.

Then the sky. (I have to admit, there was a little alcohol involved with this one).

The sky really irritated me. The clouds were too fluffy, so I started adding purple. After a couple days of this, I finally poured myself a couple fingers' worth of whiskey and started really adding texture and color. I had to adopt that who-cares-I'm-so-flippin'-tired-of-this-stupid-painting-anyway attitude. Presto change-o. Dramatic clouds with a dramatic foreground suddenly made the busy farm seem somewhat, well, pastoral.

This was one of those times when it was the journey that really made a difference, and not the product. I learned several lessons from this one that I have carried over into subsequent works.

Keep Doin' What You Love!

Pastel Guy
www.studio206.etsy.com - yes, I do jewelry, too.
www.matthewweld.com - the official pastel website.

1 comment:

magicmyst said...

Hi Matthew, very Seinfield. I think you should have written for the show. Love the painting. I agree, I think the journey is definately more important than the finished work but when you get both a great result and an interesting journey, fantastic. I think alcohol infused ideas can really work sometimes. Not tomention lots of fun. I love the red in the foreground, it definately punches the piece up against the contrasting greens and adds balance to the red you have used in the background. It was great to see another pastel of yours.