Saturday, September 06, 2008

"We 3 Glow" --- SOLD & the should be wipers

Several people left comments asking to see the should be wipers (would have been if I'da had any turp with me!), so here they are (below). The first is the view from my husband's parent's pasture. You can see a tiny bit of their house peeking out from the trees. The sun was very bright and for some reason I couldn't see the darks properly so they all kind of melded into one. It was a gorgeous view, and I didn't do it justice.

This next view is of lake Schluchsee, in the town we were nearest to. What's funny about this is I was set up to paint along the far side of the lake, near a restaurant where an Elvis impersonator was singing Elvis songs, in English. So there I was listening to Elvis, probably the only one who could hear it AND understand the words. : ) I was trying very hard to get the values correct, but in the end it just wasn't interesting. Ok, now I've aired my dirty laundry. Happy?

Also, one thing I'm very used to with turp is being able to wipe my brushes clean between colors. Using just walnut oil I couldn't do that and so my colors ended up getting fairly muddy.


Sharon said...

I knew they would be beautiful, and they are. They have their own charm as only plein air paintings can. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing these, they make your work that much more accessible to your huge fan base. I continue to be in awe.

tracywall said...

I think I'm gonna disagree with you a bit here, Carol. The darks on the first "wiper" doesn't really bother me. I like the composition very much. I can see what you mean on the second one. Thank you for putting them up! (Oh and your oranges, of course, are a little slice of heaven!)

Cheryl said...

Thanks for sharing these! Nice views! These paintings are lovely - you're just used to painting in a certain way and it felt funny, I suppose. I can see how the colors getting muddied up would mess with your pure-color approach... these oranges are yummy!
I still think you would have enjoyed the views from my house - maybe next year, eh? The offer stands...

FCP said...

I think you were just out of your comfort zone with landscapes, jet lag, and walnut oil - your gorgeous brushwork makes up for all of that.
so glad it was a good trip for all of you. By the way, as I checked into a hotel in Frankfort, Germany a few years ago, I was stunned to hear country music (jukebox with American music) coming from the bar as I walked past. I peeked in and it was decorated in a south of the border motif with shawls and sombreros! I didn't sleep on the plane over, so I was especially taken aback. I think an Elvis impersonator would have done me in.
thanks for sharing the so called "wipers."

Deb Schmit said...

Really Carol, these are very nice!

As far as mud goes, its seems you've handled it quite well. The lake scene looks moody and overcast. (Some of us struggle to make something look like that!!)
I tell students to make friends with their mud. It seems to be a good advice for aspiring artists who are struggling to learn control over their palette. Color charts, as tedious as they are, teach the limits of blue and white and how compliments gray things down. Mud? Learning the subtleties of those grays can really make a beautiful painting. Things important to know, before an artist can try painting with more color saturation. (Such as yourself.)

You know all this so blah blah... : )

Cheers to you for getting brave and posting these!

Jennifer Young said...

Carol- We don't really know what it is you were painting, so from this perspective I'd say you are being waaaay too hard on yourself. As others have said, these pieces have quite a bit going for them in terms of value range and brushwork. Maybe not your usual color palette, but still there is quite a bit there to appreciate.

But I know what you mean on several accounts. First, it's hard to be in a stunningly beautiful place and then feel frustrated that you can't seem to capture what you want from it in paint. From my own experience with travel, yours was a pretty whirlwind trip. It could be that you just needed more time. I think with a little more time there you would probably have gotten more comfortable not only with your materials but with your surroundings and felt more "on your game". It can take me a day or two on each end of an overseas trip to get beyond the jetlag, so knowing this I try to be a little gentler on myself if I'm only traveling for a week.

Secondly, I "feel your pain" in regards to the walnut oil handicap. I've tried the stuff once and had the exact same experience with mud and never feeling the brushes got clean! I will try it again because it's nice to have an alternative for travel (Other solutions too - water soluble oils or the new Golden Open acrylics). But I agree, go with what you know if you don't have much time. With a little research in advance, it's easy enough to find turps in the European towns.

Judy said...

Ah, Carol, you are so hard on yourself! I like both of these paintings, and I don't think they are "wipers" at all! Kudos to you for posting them so we can see what YOU consider to be a clunker. Personally, I think they are lovely, showing your signature brushstrokes.

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

These are quite good all things considered.
Next time you can go meet Edward and get the turps.
I'm SO envious!

Years ago my husband and I took a 10 day trip to England to visit some friends who were living there for a year because of his job. They had a fabulous house and a Jaguar (on Motorola of course)and took us everywhere. I was on sensory overload from the incredible landscape and the weather was mostly cloudy so my numerous photos have very little contrast in them.
I hope to go back as a painter someday.
You rock, Carol.

E. Floyd said...


I am in agreement with all the other comments. The paintings are lovely, maybe not what you expected, and they record your trip to Germany.

Allison J Smith said...

The oranges are really nice!

Mark Bridges said...

I like them. It's cooler to see travel paintings than just photos. So many people here never know what it's like to be a foreigner.

Durinda Cheek said...

Carol, too late to give advice, but I have always found mineral spirits in the European villages at the hardware stores, even the groceries. Even without the turp, your paintings are still worth merit for capturing the essence of the countryside. Glad you enjoyed your pochade box. I applaud you for painting on a family trip!

Frank Gardner said...

I dont see the mud Carol. I think maybe just the subject matter being different is what has you second guessing these. I think they are great!
Glad you had a good trip.

Stacey Peterson said...

Oh Carol - these aren't wipers!! I can't see what you were painting obviously, but I think the way you massed the darks in the first one is an effective way to simplify what could have been a complex composition with some competing areas of interest. The second is a nice painting, but it just isn't very "you"!

I used walnut oil to clean my brushes when I was pregnant with my daughter, and I hated it SOOO much! I had the exact same issue as you with it not cutting the paint enough to clean well... I thought I would be all into purging my studio of chemicals and stick with it, but I struggled so much that I bought a few gallons of Gamsol as soon as I had her.

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Carol - that first one is gorgeous. OK - you can make it better if you want! ;)

Edward Burton said...

As with your other paintings, your landscapes of Germany are wonderful. I'm very glad that you didn't end up wiping off these two paintings - they're great!

Sharon said...

Carol: What I want to know is 'Did you have any problems with getting your paints on the plane?' I realize that turps are a no-no obviously. But as far as paint is concerned, I called Air Canada (our local carrier) and they said they would only allow acrylics, and only 5 tubes at that! I am terrified to try to travel with my paints in case they get confiscated. Any suggestions or advice -from you or any of your art friends on flying these days with oil paints???

Frank Gardner said...

Hi Sharon, I wanted to chime in on the "paint" on planes topic.
NEVER refer to them as "Paint" always say artist's colors. In fact on my Winsor Newton oils that is ALL it says, it does not say paint anywhere. The word paint is what sends up the red flags.
I guess it is different with each airline, but I have never had trouble with Continental, checking "Artist's Colors" in my luggage. Any amount. I always wrap them and write artists colors all over the pack.

The vehicle in them is either linseed or safflower oil and not flammable at all.

Kelley Carey MacDonald said...

Carol, I agree that you were simply out of your comfort zone, but you did a beautiful job - just not what you're used to! and Sharon I have a Canadian painter friend who carts oils on those planes all the time - with a letter explaining that she's a professional artist and these 'colors' all are non flamable (I think she might carry the downloadable printout from the paint manufacturer). And obviously, puts her equipment in a separate, checked piece of luggage (which now may cost you $$).

David Lobenberg said...

Maybe "muddy" for you but not for me!!

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

I forgot to say how much I like the glow you get in the orange slices by using the grayed colors next to it. It's so punchy. It's hard to teach people to gray colors to achieve the 'pop'. You do it every time.

Sara Winters said...

They sure do glow! I love it! Funny how your wipers would make me proud. Beautiful.

Ron Wilson Fine Art said...

This comment is aimed at the painting described as a view of your husband's parent's pasture! Nice. very nice. Artists aren't supposed to have their work described as 'nice' - convention calls for more sober and proper artistic terms such as good tonal variety, feeling, harmony, composition et al but girl you have it ALL in this one. You should present more of your plein air work on your blog. Excellent. Thanks too for putting up pics of your plein air gear.
Ron in Canada