Thursday, October 21, 2010

Practice with Oil Painting: my 2nd Year

After finishing a few portraits of my immediate family, I took a break and began to experiment with landscape.  An obvious choice for a themed series is to paint the four seasons which builds on easy observations and yet provides rich enough space for imaginations and practice.

What do we think of the four seasons?  What emotions do they invoke?  Spring:  beginning, growth, nurturing, anticipation;   Summer: full of life, vibrant, energy, enjoyment, celebration; Fall: maturity, over the hill, decline, retrospective, regret, separation; Winter: cold, hidden, hibernation, cleansing, hope.   Below are my first attempts of the four seasons through somewhat abstracted landscape.  No need to describe it in more words.  Just stare at the photos below for a little while and then tell me what you see and feel.

 Recently, we visited the Whitney Museum of American Art for a special exhibit of Heat Waves in a Swamp: The Paintings of Charles Burchfield.   Charles Burchfield (1893-1967) is an American master who is best known for his water color work of landscapes.  Unlike many of his more popular and well-known contemporaries who flocked to Paris, sparked and bounced off each other the modernism movements, Burchfield derived his paintings quietly from his inner feelings alone of the nature he saw and felt.  From his work, you can tell that he had never left his roots of Salem, Ohio where he was born and grew up, and rural upper New York near Buffalo where he lived till he passed away.  Within the dark, gloomy, and mystic landscape of his paintings that are interspersed with symbols from time to time, we can always find a glimpse of brightness and hope.   Below is his wonderful 1917 work at age 24, titled The Four Season – all in just one painting.  What a talent!

Talk to you soon!

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