|Ten Years in Business, pastel, 11 x 14|
I've discovered over the years that boring subject matter can often make good paintings. It forces me to dip into my artistic bag of tricks to create artwork rather than merely copy my subject matter. By "bag of tricks" I mean things like manipulating hard/soft edges, becoming more interpretive with color, increasing the depth with color temperature, creating a more striking composition, simplifying the shapes to form a more abstract painting, etc. These are just a few of the "tricks."
With this painting, I tried to focus on exaggerating the difference between the hard and soft edges. I also got a little interpretive with the color. Regarding edges, I carefully chose where I would sharpen edges and define detail, and where I would soften edges and simplify things or, in some areas, completely ignore detail. With the brick siding of the building, I wanted to define only just enough for it to read as brick, but without actually rendering bricks.
I started this piece (done on La Carte paper) on location and finished it in the studio. Just delivered it today.
Coincidentally, when I recently asked some of my students what type of subject matter they'd like to tackle next, "buildings" was requested. Sooooo, I guess I'll be painting more buildings!