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08/07/2009

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A wonderful series, Tim! I am enthralled with the progress and your illuminating comments!

It's amazing how the colds (blue on the vase and the gray blue of foreground table) anchor it all.

Could you say a bit about how you go about doing the pattern on the vase? Is the pattern totally "made-up" and worked out beforehand, and do you sink it on wet glaze, or paint it straight on the white of the vase, and how in the world do you adjust the pattern to coincide with the curving form of the vase?

Paul -

The cool colors do help tie things together... if you can compare this stage with the last, you'll see where there are now cool blue-ish highlights on the leaves and on the peaches (the "fuzz") that help to tie the areas of local color together through a common light source. I may need to work in a bit more of that in spots.

The pattern on the vase is pretty well made up, but the stylistic components are loosely based on a piece of china I have in the studio.

I more or less worked it out in a pencil sketch (which you can see a little of to the left), but I also improvised once I got going.

It's painted directly on the pigment of the last layer, using the edge of a flat sable brush. I tried to keep it fairly loose and fresh (which you might be able to see by zooming in) so that it wouldn't command all the attention in the arrangement... a real possibility if it had been painted with sharp, hard edges with, say, a round brush. This was somewhat successful, though I would like it to be looser, still.

Patterns were something I did quite a bit in my last full-time paying art job, and I guess I have a knack for it. I could come up with an original Jacquard pattern or a plant form pattern without too much trouble, and this was handy for the art director, who used them for package design.

As far as adapting it to the vase shape...? I just do it the way I think it would look. That's something I might just have a knack for, as well. I remember taking a battery of tests for the military when I was in high school, and I scored very high in the section where you fold and unfold three-dimensional shapes... what they call spatial reasoning. I had a recruiter that called me about once a month for a couple of years after that.

Thanks Tim! How irreducible art is to technique alone...

Yes, I can definitely see the unifying light. And I can see the pattern on the vase is almost "calligraphic" in looseness but still retaining the right formal quality.

Something else that I've been learning (from your work and others) is how essential it is to keep one's colors separate and un-muddied; which I find gives the artist a kind of overall provision as the work progresses, so that the artist can keep approaching the work freshly - which means he can then go deeper and attain to his vision. I'm often not retaining that necessary lightness, which may account for the short life-span of my brushes.

I won't do a lot, and will keep the brushwork very simple and direct, but I would like to show just a suggestion of the draped fabric.

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