Wednesday, 3 April 2013

No Laughing Matter

A Serious Moment
Painting size 15"x 11"
It's no laughing matter when you paint for hours and it does not flow and come together as you would like. Lucky for me after being inspired this morning by lots of new bird images by one of my favourite photographers Caroline Williams on facebook I had a fabulous day painting Kookaburras. I see them occasionally down here in my river town of Goolwa but never as frequently as when we lived in the foothills of Adelaide with its abundance of gum trees. It is hearing their unique laugh that makes me jump up to find where they have landed as they are such an adorable bird.  I painted the first this morning in portrait format and after completing the bird to my satisfaction I dreaded adding a background and spoiling the feeling that the painting was giving me. I never not have a background either so as a compromise I just added some flicks of paint and stopped. Over lunch I decided that I really liked this simple look as is and signed my name, something I do which stops me from doing anymore.(well 99% of the time).
This afternoon though I was intrigued to see what it would be like with a background so painted another Kookaburra this time in landscape format and added colour behind the bird. I am pleased with both and glad I experimented with the different backgrounds.Hopefully this will give me confidence when facing this situation again. Perhaps next time my Kookaburras could be laughing!

I Can Be Serious
Painting size 11" x 15"

18 comments:

  1. Wow Lorraine the last burrow is a Stunning piece. Id love see one in the wild.

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    1. Thanks Paul, seeing and hearing them too is fantastic

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  2. Lorraine, wow, both are terrific. That's so neat you did a second piece to see how the background would go. We just never know these things without trying. I would love to see a Kookaburra in my neighborhood!

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    1. I think doing the second one was not just to do a background but because I was on a real high after completing the first.

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  3. These little chaps are fabulous. Would love to see one in the flesh but your paintings show the character of them beautifully enough to let me imagine what they are like.

    Thanks for sharing these.

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    1. Thanks Vandy - they are really cute birds

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  4. I can't decide which one I like more, Lorraine. Love your titles, and both are delightful. I would love to hear them laugh. One thing that has worked sometimes for me with backgrounds is to start laying it in when my subject is only about 1/3 done. I do it in layers (wet on dry), but sometimes it helps to give cues as to what to add next and where to go.

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    1. Thanks Terry, when I started the first I had in mind not to do a bg as I see many paintings successfully done without and when I finished the bird I really did like him left with the simple splashes. Normally I know what bg I would like before I start

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  5. These birds are both lovely in fact the same only different!! Think I like the blue to give a suggestion of the sky. I have a piece of acetate and lay it over the area I want to try something and then draw on the idea with an oil bar - it may be eg a person in a landscape, or changing the colour of a roof. It may save me spoiling something. Just an idea!

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    1. Thanks for the tip Polly, forgot about trying something like that. Still I'm glad I now have two different paintings and really enjoyed producing both

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  6. Polly - Both of these are lovely! I like the portrait composition better and love how you handled the simple background. The splashes look great. Polly's idea of the acetate is good. It will give you an idea of how it will look.

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  7. Thanks Joan, I have just popped these into frames and they both look good so am quite pleased getting 2 good results in one day.

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  8. Lorraine - both are so beautiful. I couldn't choose which one is my favorite. I think you have done such a fine job. Take care and have a great week.

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  9. Debbie I am pleased they both look OK as it is such a bonus to get two paintings in the one day that please me

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  10. lorrain looks like you enjoyed painting these ... they are delightful ... sounds like you are working hard for your show.

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    1. Thanks Jane, I think it shows when you have really enjoyed a subject

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  11. Hello Lorraine:) Wow! They are so beautiful. I prefer the second, but just a little bit more then the first. It was a difficult decision:) I love the titles as well. The blue is wonderful with the brown and red/orange. I think you did a terrific job here! xx

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  12. Glad you like them both Renate, I rarely do the same subject twice in this way but really did enjoy painting both versions

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