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.