Monday, June 14, 2010

Imaginative Reality

Rose Pencil 9x12"
Yesterday as I was working on the Rose, I heard a discussion on NPR about "Scientists Pinpoint Monet's London Balcony." According to the reporter, artist 'Claude Monet spent the winters of 1899, 1900 and 1901 freezing on the balcony of London's Savoy Hotel, painting a famous series of images of Waterloo Bridge and Charing Cross Bridge. Now, the scientists at Birmingham University have used solar geometry and historical weather data to figure out exactly which balcony Monet was standing on and what time of the day he was likely working.' I chuckled to myself as I followed the conclusions. I am sure if anyone tries to figure things out from my art work they would be in for a surprise because I do take a lot 'artistic license' when I sketch, draw and paint. I change or eliminate things often to match my technical abilities(or rather lack of) and to change the composition to suit my taste. And I started wondering how many artists really faithfully follow the original subject (other than for illustration purposes) and how many viewers think an artist is true to the subject's every detail :contour, shadow, value, color etc. ? Should we come to major conclusions about historical facts from an artist's creation or are these just fun exercises - not major theses. Along the same lines, earlier there was this piece on "High Art: Were Boticelli's Venus and Mars Stoned? " The object of discussion here was the identity and effects of a fruit that was in the hand of one of the little satyr in the painting. Click on the highlighted words in the blog and you can hear/read the scoop.

Rose is done using 2, 4 and 6B pencils and some Prismacolor cool greys here and there in the background leaves. It was an exercise in values I came up with. I had taken color digital picture of the rose from our garden. Then using the photo-software changed the color to black & white and played with the settings for light and shadows. I then printed it out for sketching using grids. The final piece is an composite of all that and my imagination as I simplified the background.

11 comments:

Crystal Cook said...

Meera, I love your posts. SO fun and interesting. But this rose, is just stunning~! I love your creative license, it makes it 'yours'. Beautiful work :)

meera said...

Thanks Crystal! --you are indeed generous --I love you :)

padmaja said...

Peaceful tonal values, well done Meera! I have never been able to produce a replica so far:-) The lack of that ability is quite helpful in making my rusted brain work!

Prabal said...

This is a very nice pencil work. Even I wonder how many artists actually paint what they see. If they paint what they see they would not be called artists. Right? I guess an artist paints how he sees rather than what he sees.

meera said...

Thank you Padmaja and Prabhal. I guess thats the distinction between replica and realistic reproduction as an artist paints how he sees it in his own style!

Kathy Staicer said...

Absolutely beautiful rose. And it is yours from beginning to end, from the photo to the changes that you've made. Most of my paintings are not duplicate copies from an original. Right now I'm painting a bison and taking info from three different photos. (Unfortunately I did not take the photos myself.) Keep up the good work!

meera said...

Thanks Kathy! I was just really amused how the discussions about Monet and Boticelli were so centered around coming to conclusions based on the paintings -- and was wondering how many artists do indeed faithfully paint what they see! Good luck with the Bisons.

Teresa said...

This is something I need to do a lot more of ... value studies. Well done on this one!

meera said...

Thanks Teresa. I think I need to do it a whole lot more often too :(

Arnav Desai said...

Wowww..A wonderful and awesome pencil work, You wrote the blogs very well and also very interesting to read. Well said “how many artists really faithfully follow the original subject” . Thanks for the post, visit Osianama to get more interesting paintings.

Meera Rao said...

Thank you, Arnav Desai!

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