I have ordered a digital pen

October 19, 2008 § Leave a comment

which I can ill afford. I have also ordered speech recognition software. Both of these technologies have been purchased to enable my production of coherent thought as represented in text, for manuscript, grant, and dissertation writing. I have so many thousands of words to sort through and organize. I have trouble with this process, although I think I have found another process to help me along the way. I have a painting upstairs, I started it yesterday. I think it is ready for the final layers of local color. It is a small painting of a flower scene. There are three flowers represented in various states of perspective – the bloom, the stem, the connection between the bloom and the stem. Painting the flowers has helped me as I have alternated between sorting out what terms I want to explore in my research questions. The painting is reminding me to keep my writing to a few central elements. To not clutter the process unduly. In the painting I used a digital technology to help get the piece off the ground. I used a digital camera to take pictures of the flowers on a walk last summer. I have a very nice collection of images from that walk to work with now. So the digital technology brought data of the memory forward for me to draw on as I work through the painting. I used photo-editing software to analyse the image, to figure out the specific tonal relationships between the different shapes and surfaces in the image. I used the photograph and a digital projector to trace the image onto the painting surface. This process helped me analyse what I was seeing, how the different elements of the image were connected as a three dimentional object from the garden. I used three crayons to carry out that analysis – yellow, red and blue. With each layer of crayon I gathered more informtion, more than I could glean from one pass over. After I was satisfied with the crayon sketch, I mixed three colors of ink, yellow ochre, scarlett, and rowney blue, with undiluted clear acrylic medium and painted multiple layers of analysis – edges, tones, shapes. Each layers suggested the color mix of the next layer, Each series of passes suggested the next brush size to apply. I was surprised to find myself starting with a medium small brush and passing over the entire surface through all three colors. Next I switched to a larger brush and applied additional layers of red and blue mixes. Finally, last night, I ended using my largest brush with blue mixes. Now the painting sits there waiting for my next decision. I ask myself, “Is this clear? Are all the surfaces and edges articulated enough in relation to themselves and each other? Do I need to push anything back? Or bring anything forward? Am I ready to apply the local color?” I’ve never painted this way before. Always before I gave myself very strict guidelines and rules on mixing, brush sizes and brush orders. This method, yesterday, showed a slight loosening of the reins, while at the same time, simplifying the procedure. I was limited to these three colors, in crayon form and ink form. The image itself was simple, not too difficult to analyze and reproduce. There are flowers that are very difficult to paint because they have so many petals. I have one from the garden on my kitchen table right now. I would love to paint it because I love the asymmetry of the flower blossom juxtaposed with an unopened bud, in a small vase. But I fear the resulting painting would be dull in comparison to the image I see sitting on my kitchen table. Unfortunately I have left my camera at school, so I cannot take pictures of this particular piece. I have a second flower arrangement made up of the complicated orange blossoms and leaves from the Japanese maple. I love the combination of colors and assymetrical arrangement, but I doubt I can come close to bringing it to life as a drawing or painting. Which doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try, which also points to methodology and theory, if the original object is complex, beautiful and rich, then it might be an inverse approach to representing it in paint or drawing. Perhaps the more complex the object is, the more simplified the approach must be, to ensure the representation doesn’t become cluttered in it’s attempt to be faithful to the original. For example, I might simply render the blossoms and leaves as an investigation of color, and perhaps, gesture, and forgo any accurate depiction of actual blossom edges or leaf shapes. Or, I might approach with a close up view, to see the inter-relationship between the blossoms and the leaves within a very limited field of vision, so that I might understand those relationships from another perspective. I really wish I had my camera at home today! I don’t know why I took it to school. But I did, so I have to deal with that.

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