Monday, January 23, 2006

Today, I've embarked on a rather involved piece. My good friend and fellow artist, Paula Waterman ('Paula's Art' in the link column to the right), completed a rather beautiful oil this past weekend, posted on her blog, entitled 'Frosty Afternoon'. A few weeks back, we were headed home from a reference jaunt and passed these great drafts, horses that we both see frenquently when passing by their pasture, standing in late afternoon sun, all dressed out in winter finery and just begging to be photographed. I knew I would make use of the reference at some point, but when I saw how nicely Paula had handled her painting, it inspired me to dig around and find my shots of these animals and see what I might come up with. Now, this is certainly not an exercise in 'one-upsmanship' or anything like that. I thought, in addition to making a nice piece of art work, this could be an interesting example of how two artists, seeing the same reference material, pick and choose how they wish to make use of it, how it will play out if you will, in composition and structure. After all, the Impressionists spent many hours standing side by side out in the open air, painting the same basic scene, perhaps from slightly differing angles and with different points of focus. But, when you can stand in front of several canvases in a musuem exhibition, paintings done by two or three of the Impressionists, all done on the same day at the same time, with the same basic reference material in their view, it can be a fascinating way of seeing just how each of those artists sees the world and what appeals, inspires and moves them to capture that moment and place. And so, I hope you will see, ultimately, how the two of us, Paula and I, have taken the same reference material and made our finished works - ours; unique and singular in purpose and focusing on what has inspired us individually.

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