Art & Design Magazine

Using Technology to Solve a Painting - and a Blog Glitch

By Ingrid Christensen

Using technology to solve a painting - and a blog glitch

Peonies Full Blown
30 x 30

**Yes: a Blogger blog again.  My explanation is at the end.

Paint on, paint off is often how my work proceeds. I make a choice, smack on the paint with great conviction, and then doubt or loathe the result.  Then I scrape it off, think for a long time, and try it again."Peonies Full Blown" involved a lot less manual labor than usual because I tried out my changes on my Ipad in Procreate.  Like an intuitive Photoshop, Procreate allows all sorts of manipulations: drawing, painting, moving elements around... it might make dinner but I'm still learning it.
A couple of weeks ago, I impulsively cut a bunch of peonies at the height of perfection, stapled some linen to a board, and dashed to get the image painted before the flowers lost their charms.  It was speed painting, and I blame that for my lack of forethought about what would surround the blooms.  
I ended up with this, and then I got stuck:

Using technology to solve a painting - and a blog glitch

But this time, instead of trying out ideas on the painting, I took a picture of it, and popped it into Procreate. Then I tried out some ideas:
Using technology to solve a painting - and a blog glitch

This harmonized with the ground shadows, and worked nicely to create recession behind the flowers. Lacked oomph.
Using technology to solve a painting - and a blog glitch
Added line and a movement of pink within the middle section took the focus off the main event: my peonies. This felt like a decor piece.
Using technology to solve a painting - and a blog glitch
Getting closer, but the blue felt too overt and chromatic. I liked the spotlighting of the flowers, though.
Using technology to solve a painting - and a blog glitch
And one step back. This was just wrong.
Using technology to solve a painting - and a blog glitch
Back to dark, but the black was too warm.
Using technology to solve a painting - and a blog glitch
Just right!
With this one, I felt I'd found the solution. It has lots of drama, and respects the fact that it's about a very specific bunch of peonies. The background enhances the flowers, but doesn't compete with them.
With the decision made, I went into the studio, loaded a house painting-sized brush with ivory black mixed with a touch of ultramarine blue, and slapped it on. It was finished in 5 minutes and harmonized with the freshness of the rest of the piece.
I was pleased and a bit surprised by how well this process worked, and I'll definitely do it again with the next problematic piece.
So why am I back to Blogger after a mere 1 post away, on my new FASO blog?  It's because the FASO blog only allows people to subscribe to my blog via RSS feed, whereas this blog allows email subscribing.  Many of you have already added yourself to my blog list but putting your email address into the box on the right side of this page, and I'd hoped it would be that simple on the new site.  It's not.  So, I'll keep this going until some wonderful programmer puts an email widget on the FASO blog.  Thanks for reading here, there, or anywhere! 

Happy painting!

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