Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Cyclone


I painted this gouache piece in July at the Saturday paint-out location in Alhambra, CA.  It's an old industrial area which is being demolished.  We painted here once before and I posted that painting in Industrial Decay.  We painters in the group seem to love this type of subject.  This device, the Cyclone, collects sawdust from the air at a cabinet factory.  It's an old, out of date one, not current with clean air regulations.  It's rusty and I thought it looked great in the early light.   

As it happened, in the online watercolor workshop given by Vinita Pappas, Create 38, the August Challenge is titled Pretty Ugly.  We are to paint something that at first might appear ugly or unsightly, finding the hidden beauty in it for our painting.  My gouache of the cyclone was perfect for the challenge!  Another plein air piece that would qualify is my The Power Plant watercolor.  I'm attracted to these subjects it seems.

5 x 7"


This is in the same block as the photo above.  Next time!
Of course it can also happen that the painting itself doesn't go as we had hoped and might turn out to be unattractive, maybe "ugly".  I attended a demo yesterday given by Kathleen Conover at the National Watercolor Society headquarters.  Kathleen has a use for unsuccessful paintings.  She paints over them and turns them into her amazing, personal pieces.  When I saw one of her paintings in person I had no idea how she achieved her beautifully textured surfaces.  I signed up for her demo and I'm so happy I did.  Kathleen showed us how she works, painting over other paintings in several steps.  The process Kathleen developed has many possibilities and it was terrific to be able to see how she paints.  My favorite series of hers is titled Industrial Evolution.  In the photo below Kathleen is showing the finished second stage, a painted-over painting with calligraphic marks.  Next she paints her composition over this while letting the background show through in areas.

9 comments:

  1. Would never have dreamed of painting this subject, you really have made it painterly

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    1. Thank you Polly! Maybe plein air painters sometimes get tired of trees.

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  2. Maybe when you paint something that is "ugly" there is no pressure to make it "pretty." It frees you artistically. It definitely shows in this painting, Sherry.

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    1. Thanks Terry! I like your interesting theory.

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  3. Yes no ugly here Sherry you always make good with your chosen scenes. I took a look at Kathleens work - I can see why you like it

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    1. Thank you Lorraine! Kathleen's work is very interesting in person when you see all that is going on, full sheets.

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  4. Great colour palette Sherry. You have made something that most of us would not give a second glance to look so appealing. The aquas and blues make an ugly scene so accessible and likeable. Lovely expressive brushstrokes and great strong shapes too.

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    1. Thanks so much Laura! I always appreciate your comments. This was a fun piece to paint.

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  5. great capture sherry ...wonderful composition ....good to have found you too... admiring some of your plein air work

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