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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Taking a Chance

In the artistic sense I've tended to be risk-averse in the past and the subject of this painting is therefore a departure from my usual "safe" choices. From the point of view of my willingness to trust my artistic instincts and cheerfully confront the possibility that many viewers are likely to scratch their heads and ask themselves, "what on earth was he thinking?", it marks a significant advance in my evolution as an artist - whether the painting itself is judged a success or not. Less significantly, it will be the first oil painting I've attempted in many years.


At an intuitive level, before I'd had time to ponder too much on its suitability as a painting subject, I was drawn to the possibilities offered by the photograph that serves as the painting's inspiration; I love the translucency of the egret's wing and the bird's dramatic attempt to escape the confines of the image boundaries which, although a little disconcerting in the context of this painting, would seem to be entirely in keeping with its natural inclinations. After a prolonged period of procrastination during which I was frequently inclined to discard the idea entirely, I'm finally committing to the project and placing my faith in my initial positive reaction to what was really an accidental photograph. The shot that preceded it by a few seconds was far more conventional and depicts a very well-behaved egret prior to lift off; it may well feature here as a painting at some point too - perhaps after I've fallen flat on my face with this one and have reverted to my typically reserved self!

While I've managed to remain true to the original idea, I will combine and manipulate elements from several photographs as a means of arriving at what I hope will be a pleasing overall design. I'll be very interested to hear your reactions as the work progresses; as always, I invite you all to be as brutal in your assessment as you feel is necessary!

Cheers
Pete

16 comments:

Erik van Elven said...

Good to see you back in the saddle. Looks like an interesting painting already.

Peter Brown said...

Thanks Erik, and thanks for visiting.

john said...

I share Erik's sentiment. Reminds me of the time I made a huge mess of a canvas by smearing random colors all over it. Then I made partially formed bats in the paint, as if they were being born from the miasma. A few were fully formed, and ready to take flight. The painting sold immediately. Go figure.

Peter Brown said...

John, my "adventurous" mood seems quite tame by comparison!

Roger Brown My Botswana Art said...

Look forward to following your progress on this painting.

Peter Brown said...

Thanks for checking up on me Roger!

DennyHollandStudio said...

Well this is certainly good news, my man. Good luck and remember to have fun!

Peter Brown said...

Thanks Denny - I'll try to remember!

Colette Theriault said...

Glad that you are finally back and being brave Peter at trying something you think is out of the norm. I am confident that when all is said and done, your painting will "fly". I will be watching this one with anticipation. Cheers and happy painting!

Peter Brown said...

Thanks Colette - I'll try not to disappoint!

Jeremy Pearse said...

Peter, I'm very happy that you have started work on a new painting - looks like a very interesting design to me and I do love egrets! Hopefully we won't have to wait too long for in-progress photos of the work. I'll be waiting patiently (somewhat)!

Gary Keimig said...

Go for it Peter. Will be just great seeing you getting back to your painting. I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

Peter Brown said...

Jeremy, thanks for visiting. I'm aware of your love for egrets and therefore feeling the pressure - I hope I can do this one justice!

With more room to move in our new house, I plan on being much more productive from now on. I'm setting what I think are realistic targets and hope to at least complete the underpainting on this piece over the coming week.

Peter Brown said...

Gary, thanks for visiting. I hope to post a progress report soon.

Lynda Schumacher said...

Peter, GO FOR IT. I am slllowwwlyy learning myself that risk is the way to go! I really look forward to seeing this progress.

Peter Brown said...

Nice to hear from you Lynda. I'm looking forward to seeing some risky art work on your blog!