Sunday, March 6, 2011

picture story: sublime limelight

"sublime limelight"
salt on watercolor


I did this painting about 3 years ago. Being a "non-day planner" type of girl, there was a period of time in which I made things and didn't bother to date them. It happens quite often. It's kind of funny, because in the context of Art History - if you ever take an Art History class - part of one of your exams will be to memorize the artist, title, and date of a painting. We're all very familiar with "circa," aren't we?

So, this painting is c. 2008.

This painting amuses me. It amuses me, because, technically, it's upside down... and yet it isn't. This painting is from what is quite possibly my second installment of salt on watercolor paintings. The first installment was literally a series of experiments that I did during one of those semesters of Aqueous Media back in college (so, the first installment is c. 2000).

Anyway, the second installment of salt on watercolor paintings came to be as the result of happenstance. My grandmother always buys me some sort of art supplies for Christmas, usually they're kind of cheap, but it's better than getting socks or a sweater (because while I have a ridiculous amount of socks, I do not wear sweaters). So, the paint was just there, and apparently I just happened to have a pad of watercolor paper, and I had just opened an etsy shop, and I was starry-eyed at the concept of selling my stuff and supposed that I should probably try to sell some "original" artwork instead of just prints.

Anyway, the salt on watercolor thing occurred to me as an idea. I mean, I wouldn't become too attached to them, and I could just sell them (ha! I have a a pile of favorites). So, I sat down at the paper cutter and proceeded. They started out as being studies in color like this. But by the time I had gone through the entire pad, they ended up looking more like what I think of as an implicit landscape. Arbitrarily — if it's green on the bottom 20% to 40% of the painting, then it's a landscape. So, that first installment was 50/50 between just being color studies and implicit landscapes. And the piece that I ended up titling "sublime limelight" was kind of a transition point between the color studies and the implicit landscapes.

When I named the paintings, this was one I had to move to the back of the pile, because I had to determine which end was the top - the green or the lavender. Because I had no recollection of which was which from when I painted it, as often there is a lag between the creation of the paintings and me getting around to naming them. It is entirely possible that I have it upside down. Which, again, amuses me.

If it was an implicit landscape, then, yeah, it's upside down. But, I don't think it is. Still, it makes me smile. That and there are technically 3 colors of paint in this painting that aren't so much three colors of paint. The green color might have been almost straight from the tube unaltered color, but the lavender is an amalgam purple color, which was probably derived from some actual purple paint, a bit of any red that happened to be on the palette, and a smidge of cerulean as well as a helping of good old titanium white. This was one of my first unadulterated flings with adding white to my pigments and making them more opaque. You have to look really closely to find the periwinkle color, which occurs primarily because I used salt scraped from other paintings on this one.

And, yes, it is right side up, even if someday 100 years from now some Art Historian tries to insist that it isn't.

Plus, the title is derived from "Limelight" by Rush, which is one of my favorite bands; even if the lyrics of the song really have nothing to do with the content of the painting. Hey, Geddy Lee was my first rockstar crush. Never mind the fact that he's older than both my parents...

Have a lovely week, and remember to find amusement in something.

22 comments:

Nancy@A Rural Journal said...

I enjoy reading about how you create and also how you feel about your paintings after they are completed.

Hope you are having a wonderful Sunday, Sarah. :)

Out on the prairie said...

I pick up that purple tint i a lot of in late in the day landscapes

S. Etole said...

I like the downward flow of color in this.

texwisgirl said...

It's really beautiful and captivating. :)

Betsy said...

this is beautiful! I love the effect and the color!

Zuzana said...

It is a very evocative painting, does not bring landscape to mind at all, more like an enchanted sky.;)
Thank you for stopping by my place.;)
xoxo

Linda R. said...

Well I have to admit I really don't know to much about this type of ART.. But what I do know is that it is beautiful to look at. And I really do love the colors you used here.. And I guess that is what Art is all about.. See the beauty..Hope you are enjoying your weekend..

Hugs, Linda

Bob Bushell said...

You make it easy, but the picture will tell itself.

Alicia (The Red Deer) said...

Gorgeous colours - really beautiful work.

yeevon said...

I love how two of the colors blended together and I guess the fact that it is upside down doesn't really matter now because the way we are looking at it how you would like us to see it :) :)

p/s: I could never memorize the date of the painting! XD

Happy Little Trees Studio said...

Interesting to hear how you work. Thanks for sharing!

Frannie said...

Very lovely Sarah. I love hearing about your process, the why and how.

Tabor said...

It seems lovely either way. Lime is so spring-like.

Sunny said...

this is very beautiful, and dreamy~! I can stare at this painting for a long long time~:)

Claire said...

Your art is absolutely beautiful. I need a little more time to stare at it, but my first impression is that you're very talented, indeed. I found you through my friend Lupen's page- Garden by the sea. Go figure such a talented artist would have links to other talented artists!

Take Care,
Claire

Dave said...

As a beginner-artist I am interested to read your blog and hopefully learn from you - Dave

Kelly said...

...without thinking of landscape or anything else, I'd naturally put it with the green up as you have it. The green floats up...the yellow in it is light and pulls it up too... It's so beautiful I could spend a lot of time just looking at it and feeling spring. That shade of green is one of my favorites!!

Hilary said...

I like the way that you pack so much of your heart into your work. I can see this making an intriguing texture for the right photograph sometime. The colour is so refreshing.

DancingMooney ♥ said...

I can see how you might feel that it's upside down, or right side up... it's very balanced, and to me it makes me think of the earth and the sky... maybe a sunset with a view?

;)

Kathy said...

I love your techniques and I think you should design textures for photo processing!

Yenta Mary said...

The painting is just beautiful, and a reminder that Spring is, indeed, coming. I love learning more about artist's artistic endeavors and processes, too ....

Rachel Q. said...

Well, you inspired me, and I followed through! :) I started using paper instead of the plates for a palette. I believe I will try a larger canvas next. Thanks