Getting Away from Literal

After painting for many years, one day in a open studio session I realized something, something big. I didn’t have to paint what I was looking at. I had options.  I could leave something out, add something, make something smaller or bigger, change the colors. In short, get away from a literal representation of the subject.

Why would someone want to do that?

  • Very few subjects live or in a photo have all the qualities of a good painting. After all life, a photograph and a painting are three totally different things.
  • I have something personal to express about the subject, different from what you have, because you and I and the next person have a totally different set of experiences. This is when it really gets fun!

ang1

Here is the original subject, in an open studio session. It was a nice scene but at this point I wasn’t sure what I felt about it.

start2

So at this point I liked some of the color relationships that were happening. I went on to spend about five hours on this pose, than I finally realized who she was . . .or rather who I wanted her to be.

lemon-tealr

Pushing and pulling different areas brought out what I wanted to say about her. Getting away from literal is one of the greatest freedoms of painting.

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5 thoughts on “Getting Away from Literal”

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