Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Yellow Line Exercise

"Big Night Out"
21" x 14"
Acrylic
(c) Mary Paquet

For my birthday, I requested and received from son Jeff's family a book by Betsy Dillard Stroud, "Painting from the Inside Out." In it there are "19 projects and exercises to free your creative spirit. When I asked Betsy in October which book she would recommend I buy first, this is the one she said would push me to experiment. This painting is the result of doing the Yellow Line exercise. I began the painting week before last and finished it up last night.

As instructed I set up a jumble of overlapped objects. The idea is to go for a lot of shapes. So I set up a couple vases, some flowers, a wine bottle, a scarf, a hat, some shoes, and a jewelry box. Betsy says you can incorporate architectural features and landscapes. I mixed up transparent puddles of acrylic paint and drew my still life using a round brush and yellow paint. I had to close off all the lines and show the lines of objects through other objects. The idea is to create a lot of shapes. Then I began filling in the shapes with a variety of transparent washes, changing colors and values. I evaluated and used glazes to unify the composition.

I'm pleased with the results, though I have some self-criticisms. I didn't stay transparent enough in the beginning, so I had to do more opaque painting than I would like to bring out the shapes I wanted to emphasize. I also struggled with achieving variety in a harmonious way. I'm still learning to work with acrylics.

12 comments:

Gary Keimig said...

You set for yourself quite a project. From what I can see you did a marvelous job of it. Good going.

Peggy Stermer-Cox said...

Hi Mary, This is WONDERFUL! I like the festive rhythm set up by the yellow line. The shapes and colors nicely done!

Sheila said...

This is VERY COOL Mary! If this is your first try at this, I think we're in for wonderful work if you chose to try others in this style.

Mary Paquet said...

Wow, such encouragement! Thanks, Gary, Peggy, and Sheila for your comments.

Margaret Ryall said...

I liked what you produced from this experiment Mary. It is lively because of the colour choice and movement through the shapes. I have one of Betsy's earlier books and the exercises really moved me to a new place in my art making.

Mary Paquet said...

Margaret, thanks so much. I so admire your work; interestingly, Kathy Cartwright recommended I look at your blog, but I already had because I was intrigued by your comments and the knowledge you do mixed media.

Christiane Kingsley said...

Mary, what a great experiment. I really like the results that you achieved. Can we hope to see the other 18 projects soon:-) ?

PAMO said...

I love your painting Mary! And this was your FIRST attempt? Wowsie!! Hope you'll try this technique again- sure looks like you had fun.

janice said...

This is such a fun painting, and so whimsical! I'll have to take a look at that book, and see the other exercises Betsy suggests. I've been so tied up with holidays and the SCVWS party next Saturday that I've been neglecting my painting and I miss it. I just admire how diligent you are about your work.

Mary Paquet said...

Christiane, I will be working on at least some of the 18. A few would not be new to me, so I won't repeat them.

Pam, this was my first attempt with this exercise. Thanks!

Janice, I know how hard you are working to get this major party together. Hope you find time soon to paint! The work of art sometimes gets in the way of doing the art.

Megha Chhatbar said...

A very nice and neat experiment! You are doing a fantastic job! Keep it up!

Mary Paquet said...

Megha, thanks and nice to have you back from your holiday.