Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Painting Process 10: The Finale

Red Cabbage, 2006, oil on canvas, 12 x 16 inches


I must say there were times I doubted myself and this painting, and came very close to leaving it unfinished. But I decided to keep working on it and not let it beat me. Finally, after posting so many stages of the process I can say "this painting is done." A year and a half ago I had painted the very same image in a smaller scale. I was pleased with the result but not happy. At that moment I accepted the painting as it was since I had just started painting representationally for the first time after three years of abstraction. I felt it turned out cramped and decided to repaint it in a larger scale and give it more air. What I didn't realize, or admit to myself, was that the composition was not good. Everything was huddled up together and having a potato in back of the cabbage did not do anything flattering to the painting. I needed the viewer to read the painting from left to right and the size and placement of the potato was more of a block. In the end I painted over the potato thus eliminating it from the composition forever.


After making the decision to paint out the potato I was left with the dilemma of placing something else in its place. This is when things got scary and work stopped for a while. I'm not one to sketch out compositions before hand, I usually work out the problems as I paint. But this time I needed all the help I could get. Two days ago on my way to work I decided to use the free time in my train ride to do a few sketches in my Moleskine and try to work out the problem. I thought I had come to the answer by adding a table cloth diagonally and placing a halved tomato in front left of the cabbage. Plans changed when I sat down to paint. Instead, I went with my original idea of painting a head of garlic. When I embarked on this "Painting Process" series I did not imagine that it would take ten postings. But with painting you never know what's going to happen. Some pieces are completed quickly, they flow out naturally; and some others, like this one, take their time and sweat. I hope I didn't bore any of you with this series. If I did you will be happy to know, as I am, that this is finished.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your pencil sketches look Cezannesque...

Luis Colan said...

thanks, those are some tough shoes to fill, but never the less it feels nice to hear such a compliment.
Thank you!

Luis

Coco said...

Luis,

Thanks taking us through your painting process. When I first suggested it, I expected 3-4 posts, but you gave us 10 ! the finished painting is very very fine indeed, I took a close look and am impressed with the reflection of onions on the teapot, how you created different shade of white of garlic. I perticularly like the garlic in the painting, by the way. Anyway, congraturations !

C x

Luis Colan said...

Thank you! I thought as well that it might be 3-4 posts but it evolved into something much greater than me. I'm happy with the painting as well as it being done. The good thing is that now I can move on to other work.

mick mcginty said...

Luis,
Thanks for the nice compliment on my limes. I actually try to make sure my work looks painterly but I'm still stuck in my old illustrator ways. I'm trying to loosen up but I'm wired in such a way that I'm compellled to render...but only if I start the painting that way. It's a crazy process, and I'm still trying to figure it out. Check out my Where's the Mustard painting...It's closer to what I want to paint like, and it started out with that brushwork, and I was able to maintain it for some reason without going back in and cleaning up the shapes and strokes.
keep painting,
Mick MCGinty

mick mcginty said...

Forgot to tell you what I thought of your work...The orange is amazing! you really made a breakthrough not only with time, but in application. If I could get to the that level of thick paint, and the realism, I would be a happy camper...the color is perfect too.

Mick

Luis Colan said...

thanks Mick, good to hear from you. I think your work is great, keep doing what you like to do and what comes natural as well. The "orange" was a very lucky night for me, I'm still surprised at the outcome.

Luis

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Karen said...

Luis, I am not an artist, and I don't know enough about art to say anything more significant than that your painting transports me to another time/season and place. The colors are so subtle, but rich. I feel that I'm in an old kitchen late in autumn. Life is good and much simpler. Maybe all of this is because I'm 65, and nearly everything has some association with everything stored in my mind over the years. Anyhow, I love the warmth and quiet beauty here. Thank you.

ksklein said...

it may have taken you a long time to complete the piece, but who cares? the result is phantastic!

Luis Colan said...

Hello Karen it's very nice to hear from you. I'm also very happy find out that you feel the paintings put you into a frame of mind where "life is good and much simpler." That's all that I look for when I paint. I love simplicity, the way Chardin and Velazquez used to portray it. Please stop by again and say hello.

ksklein I agree with you 100%. I'm one of those people who don't care about how long it takes to make a piece of art, all that matters is that it's good.