Sunday, May 25, 2014

30 Sunrises in 30 Days

In Search of Essence:

My experience this week with my sunrise paintings has been quite joy filled and enlightening. It is a strange feeling when you are doing something, yet you are so thankful to be doing it that you are really not aware that you are doing it.  "Say what?"  Kelli you need to stop inhaling so many paint fumes! 

 I'll leave the expression of this idea to Nietzsche, 
"The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude." 

This is where it should begin my friends. Believe me when I tell you that the whole world will open up to you, you will see everything as if for the first time, you will paint as if you have never painted before. Whatever complacency I was feeling, whatever I was taking for granted over the last few months is gone. It has reinvigorated my whole life and everything has become new again. This feels soooo good that I don't even care what the painting looks like when it's complete.  I don't care who likes it, who buys it, what it gets me. The reward is in the experience for me.  FREEDOM!!!  (I know I will become unbearable to be around now- ha ha)

Having gone to art school, I too, have had the fundamentals hammered home: judging values, color mixing, color theory, composition, etc.  And of course we have to understand the tools in which we need to communicate visually and I am grateful for the skill set I have been able to develop over the last 6 years.  However, I feel that sometimes the ART can get lost if this is all you are focusing on.  The Magic can get lost somewhere in the least it has happened to me time and time again.  So I believe #1 priority even if your just doing a sketch is Essence. 

Essence:  the attribute or set of attributes that make an entity or substance what it fundamentally is, and which it has by necessity, and without which it loses its identity. Or the is-ness of something.

I noticed this week when I would go out to paint these sunsets, knowing that I had very little time before things would change that I would just observe- soak up the scene- for a few minutes, ignoring the anxious feeling of time passing and the possibility for it to change and never come back.  I realized that I was just being open and trying to feel what I was seeing. Rather than just busting out the paints and going for it in a mad dash, I needed to get the feeling and have it clear what it was that I wanted to capture.  Is it slow, calm and peaceful? Is it fleeting, swooshing, and bold?  Is it heavenly illumination?  Now how do I communicate that with the color, values, brushstrokes?  Below are my attempts at capturing the essence from this week. 

Thank you so much for reading, looking, encouraging and supporting me.

Have a great-essence filled- week!
Kelli Folsom

Sunrise #7

Sunrise #8
Sunrise #9

Sunrise #10

Photo of the glorious scene!

My Sienna Pochade :) I love it! 

Sunrise #11

Sunrise #12
Sunrise #13
*** On the technical side of things, I have learned a lot about grays this week and how they can help the saturated colors look much more brilliant.  My favorite gray mixes are burnt umber/ultramarine/magenta/white.  If you want the yellow to stand out more, make it a de-saturated violet gray. Orange is your bright, a blue-gray will work nicely.

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