Friday, March 20, 2009

Beautiful Storms

Storm Clouds, 3x4.5" on Somerset Black Velvet paper

I'm enjoying these explorations with gouache so much. I have some very blurry images on my computer from a (now defunct, sadly) web camera in the area of my home. The view was of Sandia, showing the progression of weather over the mountain throughout the day in hyper-speed. I loved being able to see the cloud formations come and go. I used one of those images as inspiration for this one.

As it notes in the title of my blog, this is a record of the clearing skies of my life, but we all have to endure storms. I'm so thankful that the Lord uses the trials and troubles of life to remind me to snuggle up to Him a little closer, which is the only real comfort there is for me! As Jesus said, "In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." So the rain will fall but I look it as merely scenic when I remember to run into His arms and not be afraid of the future.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Black and White of It

Yesterday I taught a class on the Japanese concept of notan (NO-tahn) , meaning 'black/white'. I find this means of analyzing the underlying distilled abstraction of a composition to be quite valuable. It gets me back to basics, where I can make decisions that aren't muddied up with lots of useless details or frivolous color. Just simple black and white.

The idea is to
  • use no line
  • keep spaces between shapes unequal
  • establish a primary value (50% or more), a secondary value, and an accent value

If you create a good underlying value structure and stick with it to the end, you'll have a strong painting when you're finished. It's the same in life. The word of God is the value structure you need to stick with... as the old hymn says:

On Christ the solid Rock I stand.
All other ground is sinking sand.

Here are a few of my studies, done about the size of a business card using an 8b pencil.






And another composition: