I continue this week’s tasks: copying Emily Carr, imitating Emily Carr, doing a June version of Emily Carr, and repainting or recycling earlier works that have nothing to do with Emily Carr.
Actually, the recycling comes first. Sanding and over-painting with white gives me lots of new supports to paint on. And it gets rid of paintings that irritate me, or that I now see are mediocre or worse. In order to learn as quickly as possible (I don’t have any time to waste) I have to paint a lot. But painting a lot results in a pile of bad stuff. It feels good to cull it. I sort out my paintings, overpainting the obviously bad ones, leaving some alone for a couple of months until I decide on them, down-sizing series after I suss out how the whole lot fits together, and sometime not over-painting ones I think could be reworked, at least not until I try reworking them. So it’s not an impulsive pitching out, but rather a ridding my storage space of paintings that are clearly inadequate and irredeemable.
I reworked the Emily Carr painting I did from “memory” by looking at the reproduction of the Carr painting and painting over what I had done. It was definitely better than the simulcrum of Carr, although, as usual, not as good as the original (duh):
I worked on shapes this time, trying to figure out how she simplifies without making cardboard cutouts of her shapes. I’m getting the hang of it.
Then I wiped that canvas clear of the imagery:
(Not bad, eh?)
And copied another Carr, somewhat more successfully this time:
Copy of Emily Carr, The Little Pine, post 1930.
I never got the shapes in the background on the left to look like trees, but I had too much paint on the canvas to really clear up the problem. I’m getting better at finding and reproducing her shapes. I understand something of the way she mixes color on the canvas and what I think is her brush manipulation, but I’m not up to achieving that yet. I do like the effect of wind blowing the center tree branches and hope I can remember this effect. I got tired before I tried to do one without looking — that will come next. Then we’ll see whether I’ve learned anything.
I didn’t wipe this one off yet; I want to keep it for reference. I’ve included a copy of the image of Carr’s painting below the signature, so you can check it out for yourself. –June
Carr’s is much more dramatic and powerful. Sigh. Once again, I’m working on a differently proportioned canvas. But the center tree on my copy could have been bigger, with more dramatic colors. And the background (on mine) needs to be darker. Value is something I had to work on with the paintings from Mt. Tabor also — I’ve already reworked a couple of those, darkening the darks and lightening the lights. Even with the Carr image in front of me, I didn’t spread the values. Ah, so much to learn. And remember.