Thursday, 26 April 2012

Neverending rain...

Fogged up window in Krakow - the inspiration for my next painting (hopefully)
A while ago I started my first attempt at a rainy window painting on a larger scale. After having completed it once, not being happy with it and painting over it completely then still hating it and painting over it for a second time, I spent a couple of hours last night adding what I thought were the final touches to the rain running down the window, for the third time, before stepping back to look at it and deciding it still didn't look right. Cue, painting the whole canvas black again and starting all over again. Except I've had enough of trying to recreate the same scene for now so I'm going to attempt the photo above instead.  The photo didn't come out exactly as I'd envisaged it but that's where artistic licence will come in. 

Large Rainy days and Mondays - take 1


Large Rainy Days and Mondays - take 2


Large Rainy Day and Mondays - take 3

Apologies for the terrible photos - I hadn't planned to show them - they were just for me to see the work in progress (sometimes, I see things on photos I can't see by looking directly at the art work).  This is the first time I've seen all three together and I think I should've just left the first one alone - they seem to have gotten progressively worse! Anyway, too late for that as these photos are all that show any of the versions ever existed!

Funny enough, one of my absolute favourite blogging artists, Sandra, had a similar tale of woe with an amazing piece she was working on recently. Looking at the snippets she showed on her blog, I couldn't see a single thing wrong with it but now I can totally appreciate, without wanting to get all arty pretentious about it, that no matter what anyone else thinks of a piece, it has to feel right to the artist and I just wasn't feeling it with this piece.  I may try it again in the future or I may just right it off as a lesson learnt.

I really need some more rainy window photos to work from so if anyone has any they don't mind me working from, please let me know! The problem here is while we get loads of rain I need all the street lights and neon signs that the rain makes interesting and there's nowhere like that near me when I happen to have my camera!

In other news, my sister came to visit from England last weekend and  we kept it country by going to see Don Williams in concert! The man's 70 and still sounds amazing. He didn't speak much but when he did, oh boy, he had the most wonderful deep, slow Southern drawl I ever heard-it was like melted chocolate! I could've just listened to him talk all night never mind sing!

I'm linking to Paint Party Friday where I hope everyone else has had a more productive week's painting than me!

40 comments:

  1. its beautiful, I love your rainy window series, I have no rainy window photos, sorry, we have ice and snow more than rain!!!!

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  2. I couldnt envisage painting anything like this, I dont know how you do it!

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  3. Love the rainy window painting. Looks like the weather we've had a lot of here....but today the sun is shining, perhaps it will stay for an hour or two! Have a great weekend, and stay so creative, Valerie

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  4. I think these are lovely as a series but I totally get the whole has to feel and look right to you... I am sure it will all come together and we will all freak out at how extraordinary they are, because these are very cool already...have a great painting week and hope you get some rainy windows to paint...xx

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  5. I actually can't see one thing wrong. :) But as you said, it has to feel right. But I wish you left the first take. It's my fave.:)

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  6. You're funny because I love all these takes on the rainy window and like you, there's something I prefer about the first one...the mood it creates with that bit of light rain with the dark background and break in the clouds...BUT having said that, I also get that you as an artist must be pleased with your results.

    I will see if there are any rainy photos I can find you. I have a photographer friend, Jeremiah Jenner (he's also on FB) that photographs in the dark (with neon lights and such) and may have the kind of pics you're looking for. Check him out: http://www.jeremiahjenner.com/

    Happy Weekend, my friend! xo

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    1. Thank you so much Scarlet, I'll check out his work when I get more time (am at work just now at lunch!)

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  7. wow am so loving your rainy window this one has to be the very best I've seen. Happy PPF, Annette x

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  8. As a non-painter (washes out his mouth) I make the perfect audience - I'm always amazed at peoples work in the (painters) blog area I seem to gravitate towards.

    Although your pictures look great to me, I do understand what you mean: if the picture doesn't meet your mental image of what it should look like, then you are dissatisfied. With me it's a question of 'how close?' because I never get the perfect picture.

    As you do pen & ink, expertly, Nicola, how do you find putting them on the blog as reduced size photographs? The problem I find is that many of the finer shading lines(0.1 millimetre) disappear when the picture is reduced to four times smaller than the original. For example in my current one - all the stonework in one area (the 'skeleton' of the building) stands out unshaded, whereas on the original you can only just see the vague shape of the stones. (wanders off whistling, '...no business like shoe business...'

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    1. Hi John,

      I know what you mean about photos of pen and ink work. As well as a photo of the whole piece I usually just crop a section of the piece (usually a dog's eye or nose) and zoom in on that as a way of saying 'look, see it's a gazillion little inky dots that I sweated blood and tears over during the many hours it took to produce' and not a graphite pencil piece which I think a lot of people assume on first glimpse!) I think perhaps with your work being so delicate with such fine lines it might be harder to capture on photograph than my dots - could you not reduce the size of the photo or would it take too long to load your website?

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  9. Thank you so much Nicola - What a lovely thing to say!
    I think that all three of your attempts are just fantastic! Really I do! But as you and I both understand (now), if it isn't doing it for us, then how can we feel comfortable with putting it forward to a gallery? It just doesn't work that way.
    Like you, I often find that by photographing a painting and veiwing it on a computer I see things more clearly. I think it's because I detatch from it somehow. I often notice things wrong that I hadn't spotted when staring at the real thing. Maybe next time, don't paint over it - just paint on a new canvas and compare them later (says the girl who put her foot through the canvas, lol).
    Anyway - changing the subject, assuming you saw the final of 'The Next Great Artist', were you pleased with who won? I was. He was my favorite from the very start. I am glad Miles didn't win because it would have proved that as long as you can talk the talk, you really don't have to know how to walk the walk! Abdu on the other hand could put his hand to anything - sculpture, photography, but mainly painting and he was amazing at that. He also seemed to be a genuinely nice guy. What do you think? :0)

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    1. You're very welcome, Sandra! I love that you experience so many of the same things as I do - it makes me feel like I have a kindred art spirit out there!

      And yes, we had recorded Next Great Artist and watched it last night - I was so pleased Abdu won it and not Miles - it would've been a travesty. All that tonk about photographing an old man who died a couple of days later. call me cynical but it seemed like just another story to give credence to his very bland and not that artistically creative work of zooming in on pixels of a photograph. And I was also glad Peregrine didn't win.She drove S mad with the way she hardly moved her mouth when she spoke and her work was a wee bit out there for my taste. Abdu had true artistic ability and you're right he could turn his hand to any style although is actual painted pieces were out of this world. Wonder when we'll get to see season two!

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  10. I know what you mean as well, i've hated certain paintings of mine, and even when others seem to like them they still bug me every time i look at them? That said, i did really like the first one!!

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  11. Well, you are trying to paint a very difficult thing ~ rain ~ Yet, I think the painting is awesome ~ lovely ~ thanks, namaste, ^_^

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  12. A good idea, that you try to explain how you do that rain, is a task very difficult, but I think would be wearing a track. Saludos

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  13. Wow! and more wows! This is an awesome painting. What an outstanding job. I love your rainy window. That must have been very hard to paint, but look what you've accomplished! Bravisimo!! Happy PPF!

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  14. I'd say you have accomplished your goal beautifully! So well done!!!!
    Wow!
    Yes, I love it.

    HPPF!!!!

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  15. I love the photo that was the inspiration, and I love the resulting painting. They are not the same, nor they ought to be. The feeling is close though, and I think this the important notion. We, painters who attempt realism of any form, are often overly critical of our work. It comes with the territory, our perceptions are too well trained. It is helpful to step back and assess the work in a different way: put a little distance there, distance both in yards and days. HTH!

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    1. thanks Alex. i think maybe I didn't explain my post very well as the photo is actually what i intend to paint over the top of the painting. it seems the most folk reading this think maybe i did 3 versions of the same scene and i suppose i did but all on the same canvas because i wasn't happy with the result. i was going to make a 4th attempt at the same scene but got thoroughly bored with it hence the photo of the scene i'm going to paint over it with! although i do sort if wish i'd just left the first version alone now as maybe it wasn't so bad after all!

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  16. you've captured the moody, darkness of the rainy day perfectly. i'm so impressed with how real the rain looks against the window!

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  17. Well, I can't see a thing wrong with any of your versions of your rainy day windows, they look really real to me. I thought the first large canvas was a photo of a window at first! But I know what you mean about needing to like it yourself!

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  18. Awwww, I can totally relate. Sometimes paintings just don't work. And sometimes that makes us all the more determined to make them work. Funny. And, yes, I think yours look great (but it's your eye that matters, isn't it?). Maybe we need to step back, give a piece a rest and get a second opinion before getting overly hasty with the overpainting.

    Anyway, I hope your next rainy window is easier for you!!

    And I'm glad you had such a good time with your sister!

    Happy PPF!

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  19. I love your rainy window series!
    You do it so splendidly!!
    I've never seen anything like it...so original and well painted!
    ♥♥♥
    Happy PPF!!
    Mary
    Mixed-Media Map Art

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  20. OH my, that's so amazing! Love your work! I only hope to be able to paint like that one day. Happy PPF!

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  21. I think your crazy not to like them as they are all very good. We are our own worst critics on our work. Its always best to put it away for a while and come back and you have a fresh perspective of your work and like it better. Keep up the good work. Happy PPF.

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  22. Oh, I know that feeling so well. At least with watercolor, it's just paper. I only have to tape down a fresh sheet and start again, not paint over what I already had done.

    I have to agree with everyone else here, I didn't see a thing wrong with the first one, but you're right, if it doesn't work for you, then you will never be satisfied with it. Good luck with version 4! and I will have a glance through my photo archives and see if there is anything you might be able to use.

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  23. Awesome! That looks so amazing!

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  24. I love the look of all 3- so whichever direction you go I am sure it will capture the feelings and emotions of rain. Your paintings remind me of how good it feels to have a low key day with the rain just pouring down (of course only when I get the chance to stay inside and curl up with a hot tea and a good book or even my paintbrush).

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  25. Your paintings are so unique! They really give the feeling of watching a wet window!!

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  26. wow this is fantastic, so glad I stopped by!

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  27. These all look like more than works in progress to me... your work is FABULOUS!
    So original... i love the feeling i get of looking out on a rainy day. Like i'm all safe & warm inside.
    You are very creative and your work is beautiful. Even when it's still "in progress". :-) Happy weekend! xoxo

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  28. This is gorgeous! It does look like rain... although I prefer the top which is just kinda rainy to the bottom which is torrential. *wink* Happy PPF!

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  29. This is just absoulutely amazing! So glad you got to see your sister.

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  30. I think all artists, writers and musicians often feel the same. Unless we are satisfied we hate to put it out there! I applaud you for showing your process and explaining your feelings... I felt sick about Sandra putting the boot to her bear painting..wow that was hard to see especially with all the details she had.

    Your series is so beautiful from my perspective...on the last one I even see the start of a blurred figure in an old fashioned dress behind the rain.... I wonder if you too will see it if you peer long enough!! Very interesting post! I guess I'm not the only one ruining their originals. Thanks for sharing!

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  31. The third one is my favourite. :) As you say, funny how we all see different things in them.
    One rain through window picture here: http://keepitsimplemakeitgreat.blogspot.com.ar/2012/03/week-10.html I can send you the original file if you´d like.
    BTW: my daughter has been working with points and reminded me of you. :) http://keepitsimplemakeitgreat.blogspot.com.ar/2012/04/week-16.html

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  32. I think they are all stunning but know how you feel when it just won't come together. I just put them away for a while and come back to them, quite often years later when I have a clean up and find them again!
    Von :)

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  33. You are singing my song! I find sometimes I just can't get over the idea in my head. BUT I LOVE the whole concept and think that your versions - all of them - are in and of themselves so intricate and intriguing. Your work is just beautiful and I really enjoyed seeing your process. I also learned a lot about pricing from the PPF post I missed last week.
    Thank you for your sweet comments too, they really mean a lot, xoxo

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  34. Pointy Pix I LOVE these! I totally understand what you mean though when you are not quite pleased with something. But I love 'em anyway.:0) Thanks for visiting my oh so stagnant blog. I am spinning wheels. Its been a weird winter and I should probably blog about that but then I'm afraid I'll sound like too much of a downer and people will run from their computers covering their eyes. Huh. Maybe I'll just post what I wrote to you! LOL ok, I'll shut up but you've inspired me which is the point. Thanks.:o)

    Mari

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  35. I think look great, all three of them, but I agree, it's you first of all who has to like them. If it's not right, it's not right, no matter what every one else says about them. I've also painted over a lot of paintings I didn't like. There's just no point in keeping a canvas you hate. The photo looks really interesting. I'm looking forward to see your painting of it.

    I'll be staying in and around London for two weeks in summer. Hopefully, I'll get to visit the northern parts again some other time.

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  36. I love this painting-think it's wonderful how you captured the reflective qualities of all those drippy bits of water! But you are correct, that no matter what anyone else thinks of it, if you're not happy with it; you never will be! If nothing else, you've definitely mastered painting water....

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Your comments always colour me happy! Thank you for popping by.

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