Sunday, 19 February 2012

Thinking of Summer

This dandelion close-up was one I painted last year, and I've only just realized that I hadn't posted it!

As I worked at it, it became an interesting study in backgrounds, as much of the canvas is blurred and in shadow. It is something of a fascination to me to examine how the great painters treated the things they don't want you to notice-- some, like Rembrandt or Bouguereau, creating heavy, near-black expanses for backdrops; others, like Norman Rockwell, bleaching out the still in-focus side items.

With this particular background, I tried to imitate what a person sees with the normal eye. Just look at your own hand while it's about six inches from your face. While looking at the details of your hand, notice what is happening beyond your hand. If your sight is like mine, you'll see general shapes and colours, in sort of a foggy blur.

It was that sense of immediacy I wanted to create with this background-- that feeling that you are looking at the dandelion, but all around you is the grass and evening sunshine; a feeling that this kind of beauty is happening all around you, begging to be noticed.

20 x 24" acrylic on canvas