I have been focused on the American River painting these past 3 weeks. I really have kept a clear vision of what I wanted the painting to be. For the most part I think I have met that vision. Of course, part of the excitement of painting is not really knowing where your brush will take you when you start. I had a mental map that I was following but I was faced with some challenges and decisions based on what my hands could actually render. At any rate, I am nearly finished with the painting. I’m crusing along and after 11 painting sessions, I am now 85% done with this work. If you would like to see the progression photos of the painting, then please go to my Facebook page: The Art of Ryan G. Williams If you’re interested in seeing me paint, I recorded a painting session of the deer rendering. The entire session took about 75 minutes but I have sped up that session so you can see the result in about 15 minutes. This gives you an idea of how I paint and approach a subject. The deer is taken from sketch to block-in and finally to form shadows. The deer itself is not 100% complete, but the only adjustment left will be some eye highlights and further refinement of the fur. See what you think here: Painting the deer.
The most exciting time of painting is not when the painting is about to be completed, well, not for me anyways. No, the most exciting time is starting a new painting and taking in all that might be possible and letting loose on the canvas. Creation is such a rush and the real challenge is filtering out the lesser ideas to grasp at the best idea. I also find it difficult at times to not let future project ideas cloud my vision for my current work. In this case I am really thinking about how to develop the Joker Holiday painting. I really must quell those thoughts until this river painting is complete. I know, a few Mountain Dews and Peanut Butter Twix bars will settle the mind. Hmmm,….peanut butter twix…..ahhhhh.
Ok, now that I have dried my mouth off, I have some video suggestions for you. Has anyone ever heard of Simon Schama? A few years ago he ran a mini-series (6 episodes) of a program called The Power of Art. Each episode focused on an artist that Schama was intrigued by. Each episode was a docudrama on the life of the artist. There are reenactments of the artist’s most defining moments on and off the canvas. The acting is great and the stories are rich. After watching the episodes, I came away with multiple feelings about these artists. Some I appreciated more than before, some I raised an eyebrow to out of confusion to their actions, and others I simple felt disgusted at. My favorite episodes were about Rembrandt, Caravaggio, and Van Gogh. Interestingly enough, the character playing Van Gogh was Andy Serkis. Who is he? Well did you see Lord of the Rings? Yep, he was Gollum. So if you have some free time then I highly encourage you to check out these episodes because they’re interesting even to the non-art lover. Genius and madness hold hands and disaster is often their offspring – this makes for great entertainment. You can find the episodes on YouTube. Here is one on Rembrandt to get you started: Rembrandt.