8 x 8 Oil Painting
by Pat Fiorello
Since I've been back from the workshop with Ovanes Berberian, I've been trying out new approaches with each new painting. After being with someone who is such a master and creates such beautiful art, it's easy to be awestruck and want to paint just like that person. After a couple of frustrating attempts going down that path during the workshop, I've taken a new view. Rather than try to paint like someone else does (which ultimately is pretty fruitless and inauthentic), how can I take what I observed and include elements of it in how I paint to enhance that? I'm sure someone said this more eloquently, but the attitude is along the lines of " Don't try to be any one else, just be the best YOU you can be".
Right now there are several things I am experimenting with. One is including linseed oil in my paints to give them more fluidity and glossiness. Also, paying even more attention to temperature and making more frequent and deliberate color temperature shifts to add more beauty and interest and also to create more of an illusion of light in the impressionist spirit. Third to include a silver grey on my palette (white plus a touch of Mars Black) to include in mixes to make beautiful neutrals.
When making any changes in ingrained habits, like taking on a new health regimen, you can't make too many changes at once. There are only so many new behaviors you can tackle at once. So I've decided to start with exploring integrating these 3 things to see if/how they impact my work.
In this painting, I experimented with color. I actually painted it from only a black and white cropped version of a photo of an orange tree I took in California recently. Painting from just the values in my reference material allowed me to have some freedom choosing colors (even though I still stuck to realistic colors here). My aim for this painting was to focus on capturing a sense of light and shadow, which I feel I accomplished. The other thing I was pleased with that up close this painting is pretty abstract- just pieces of different colors, values and shapes (as shown in a detailed close up below) but when you step back it looks pretty realistic.