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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Just Waiting On A Friend


One evening, as I was sitting down to dinner, this little chickadee came to the feeder outside the window and perched. He ate only a few bites, and then just sat on the perch, looking around for well over twenty minutes. It reminded me of the Rolling Stones song ... "I'm not waiting on a lady.... I'm just waiting on a friend..."

Anyway, I'm trying to see if this one is finished. Getting the foreground yellow flowers to stand out has been tricky -- too much "fiddling" and they blend into the background. What do you guys think? What and where would it benefit from a dab more work?

My original idea for this, by the way, was to have a very solid gradiated wash background. Yep, solid -- I wanted to empty space to emphasize the feeling of waiting. And I planned on a very neutral and light space, too! Unfortunately, I messed up the wash (experimenting with a pour -- sigh) and then created some SHAPES in the background when I tried to fix it. I was going to abandon the whole thing, but my WC instructor convinced me to carry on along this new direction. (Truthfully, I think she PREFERS this direction to the one I was planning! :-D

OTHER exciting news of the day ...

I got to spend the morning helping to judge and elementary & middle school art show. Our very own Diahn was the Art Fair Chair Person (hereafter known as the AFCP) and she did a fantastic job of organizing and pulling off what had to be a really really tough job. I got to help judge the older grades, so I wasn't forced to avoid bias for Derek's and Josh's work, which was great -- be sure to go see it!

I LEARNED so much from helping with this show! I'm entering my own first juried show in a couple of weeks, and now I know a little tiny bit about what judges look for. I know that it is tiring work. I know that it can be hard. I know that you have to do something that really stands out in the end! Hmmmm... means I need to really think about what I'm entering, doesn't it!

("Just Waiting on a Friend" approx 11" x 21", watercolor on 300# Arches hot press)

36 comments:

Brenda Y said...

I like this! I think the background turned out very well and can't imagine it how you originally planned. I love the colors, very soft. I am ABSOLUTELY NO EXPERT, but there's two "dabs" I'd add. . . I don't see the little bird's eye and maybe bring one of the flowers directly under the feeder into focus (ie. bring it forward to match the ones on the right side).

Linda said...

ROFL! Brenda! You're right! I forgot to scrub out a little eye! It was one of the last things on my list and I was so preoccupied with flowers...
:-D Thank-you very much!

Jenny said...

Very nice! Save further tweaks until tomorrow and fresh eyes, and you might not find anything to tweak.

Also, study your image on your computer screen. I know it's not the same, but sometimes things stand out that you do not notice in the original.

Otherwise, go along with Brenda then leave the rest alone.

Very funny about the eye.

ellen2art said...

It looks real good to me! I also like a lot of your other paintings. I am happy to have discovered your site and will add it to my favorites.

jill said...

i really like the picture, but i have a hard time seeing what to focus on in the picture. the front left is in focus, but the bird is looking off to the right. if i look to the right, the front right is in focus but the flower stems are pointing back to the left -- but there is this void of unfocused material between these two points. i just seem to keep bouncing back and forth between the front left and the front right.

i don't know as that helps you any, but to know what the picture is doing to the eye of the viewer might help you "see" where changes might need to be.

platitudinal said...

This is a lovely painting! I have to show this to my son (tomorrow, he’s asleep now). He’s doing a “research” on the bird feeder visitors, so he would love to see this too. I’ve spent some time looking at your blog, it was pure joy. Thank you for sharing your gift and art with us! :)

Robin Neudorfer said...

Very sweet painting Linda. You did a great job. Good luck on the show.

caseytoussaint said...

I think it's beautiful, Linda. I see what Jill is saying - but somehow that didn't bother me when gazing at the painting as both focus points are in 'sweet spots'. The colors you've chosen are lovely and subtle. I would caution against overworking this- it's so nice right now.

Sarah said...

To me this looks complete. The foreground flowers do stand out, I like the background (and suspect I would prefer this to your original plan to be honest - more spontanaeity). like others have said, I'd put this aside for a day, even a week or so, so you can rediscover it.

Lovely painting!

Pequete said...

I think it is more than complete. I can't think of anything to add that wouldn't spoil the beautiful piece you already achieved! Personally, I'm an adept of the "less is more"

Christeen said...

This is the best happy accident ever- I love the way the background is handled here. If you were going for a really graphic approach, a flat background would have been ok- but this is so much better. Lovely painting!

SCquiltaddict said...

Oh my goodness this is totally fabulous...great job!

Diahn said...

For once, I think I agree with your WC teacher :-). I think the background here is fabulous...wow, Linda!! A Background!!! Much applause to you!!!! I think once that birdie has a little eyeball, this one will be complete. Your yellows are absolutely lovely, too!

Thanks for your time yesterday - you were great, and the kids were so excited to see who'd won! I know it wasn't easy...Sincerely, AFCP...

:-D

Lin said...

GORGEOUS, LINDA -- TRULY GORGEOUS!!!! One thing to pass along from an art friend ... she said, if it feels like it may not be finished, you're probably needing a bit of dark/darks somewhere .... Personally, I like the softness of it, especially teh bird's reflection in the feeder, but the suggestion was hammered into me and I found it had merit in my own work ...

It's beautifully done, though, Linda -- and I'm so glad you and Diahn had fun together! Isn't great to be with friends of like minds??!!

Knitting Painter Woman said...

I completely agree that paintings are "just" big journal pages. Or maybe "just" loose journal sheets. This one is amazing. (I'm an EDM lurker!)

kam said...

I would not bring the flowers in the foreground out anymore...let the bird be the star of the painting.

suzanne said...

It is so interesting going through and reading everyone's comments to you. This is why I love being a EDM member. You really can seek out help when you need it.

I think Lynn's friend gave her good advice when it comes to looking for areas that could use a little darkness. Are you wanting the bird to be the focus? If so, than perhaps you should add some darker areas around it so it pops off into the foreground.

Anonymous said...

Linda-sweeeet!
I think there is an oval shape of background the the right of the bird that is too hazy--in such a close shot (if I am reading the image right) there would not be a big "fade" in atmospheric perspective.

I like what Jenny said about looking at the image on computer. I'd add, look at it upside down. Or in a mirror.

FWIW-YMMV-Ari-Asha from EDM

andrea joseph's sketchblog said...

Wow those colours are just great - especially close up. The colours in the background are so good. I also love the way you've painted the feeder and, of course, the star of the show. It's a really nice piece. How long did this take?

Carole said...

Beautiful painting. The flowers in the foreground come forward nicely, and I love the bird's reflection. I have no advice to add!

Linda said...

Wow -- thanks for all the suggestions and encouragement! I'll work tomorrow on bringing out his little eye, and deepening any values that seem a little weak, making sure to keep/bring the left and right sides of the painting smoothly together, and emphasizing our wee friend! I'm so GLAD that no one said to do a lot more on those flowers on the right ... whew.
:-D

aPugsLife-laserone said...

Oh, this REALLY is so wonderful! Charming! I'm in love w/ the bird! :) I think this is fantastic.

mrana said...

Linda what a beautiful painting! It's gorgeous and I love the way the bird and foreground flowers stand out so clearly against the faded background.

phthaloblu said...

This is such a beautiful painting! Absolutely gorgeous! Wonderful work! Good luck on your juried show! Don't take it personally tho. A wise, wonderful artist once told me that shows are a "crap shoot". It all comes down to personal likes of the judge, which makes sense. I hope you win all the same!

Jana Bouc said...

This is beautiful. I love it just as it is and I'm so glad you posted it. I used to enjoy feeding the birds and have the same feeder. Unfortunately the seeds attracted mice and the mice had babies and well...let's just say I had to stop feeding the birds. But your painting brought back happy memories and is just terrific!

Laureline said...

I think you saved the background nicely after your mishap there! I prefer your usual bright palette, I think, but this painting is well done. Perhaps areas of stronger value contrast would give it some punch?

Toni said...

Linda I think everyone has said it.you have a lot of good suggestions.
I do agree that the bird should be the focal point so once you add the eye perhaps more detail in the bird to bring him out more.
I would say the painting is nearly done. It is beautiful!

mARTa said...

absoulutly beautiful!!! I just love it!

Anna said...

Nice work, as usual. I thought I'd respond to your questions on my blog here, since I don't know how to email you...
1. I am using Permanent Rose instead of Rose Madder Genuine, due to the lightfastness issue, and am learning to use it. However, I still like RMG...
2. I, too, bought Potter's Pink as it seemed to be so close to RMG! But, have yet to use it in a painting...
3. Transparent yellow has an 18% drying shift (according to handprint.com), so that's the reason for the color change as it dries. Check out this post for a bit more about this:
http://seebedraw.blogspot.com/2007/01/drying-shifts.html
A yellow with PY97 would be brighter, but also a bit more opaque. I found that American Journey's colors have almost no drying shift, but if you use thin or diluted layers, they tend to look gray (due to fillers?)
Thanks for stopping by!

Arty Velarde said...

I haven't been to your blog in a while, I LOVE the colors in the pastel and the freshness of "waiting..."
Thanks for your comment on my blog, an answer: Yup, Linda, I tipped the tin man just for his E for effort. Hee hee.

Teri C said...

Please let me join the rest in the applause for this wonderful and beautiful chickadee!! I love it!

Claudia said...

A wonderful painting!-
...And thank you very much for your nice comment on my blog!

Africantapestry said...

This is stunning Linda...and I do love the background! I think it can be called...well done...
Ronell

Felicity said...

Wow, I think this is fabulous as it is!

The Wittering Rainbow said...

Wow, this is amazing. Very beautiful and I wouldn't do anything to it.

Robin said...

Hi,
A suggestion. I would love to see the background at the top, much darker, it would make the flowers and the birds in foreground POP so much more. Try holding a painted piece there to see. Nice work
Robin