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Thursday, August 15, 2013

WHITE. yes, a challenge (MB July 2013)

People ask me frequently why I feel compelled to stay active in this Moses Botkin Challenge. Beyond the "determined to do it" phase because Diana invited me to the first month, the "what in the world am I going to for this one" phase comes into play occasionally. Sometimes they are easy...

WHITE? Suzanne, 'lil Suz was obviously responsible for this topic!

I jokingly told Diana and Suzanne yesterday when we shared our paintings with each other that I considered sending a blank white square for mine. Diana DID just get a white square from me because I accidentally sent a .tif file instead of a .jpg.

As most artists are aware, a "white object" is anything BUT white. Once you start seeing with an artist's eye, you find purple, pink, rich greys...and whatever else color might be reflecting onto your white item. Look at clouds...beyond grey. You'll see peach, pink, purple...sometimes greenish casts and very little white. One of my mentors, the late Ann Templeton, told me that white with a bit of yellow in it reads whiter than straight white in a painting. Joaquin Sorolla was a master of painting white.

And a master of making it look obvious and easy :)

"White Study"
16" x 12" Pastel

Eggs 2
48x36" oil on heavyweight canvas
©Suzanne Berry
"Basic White"
Oil, 8"x6"
©2013 Diana Moses Botkin


Unknown said...

These are all great. I'd like to explore the issue of how to render white objects more. I just finished a white church and I used blues, which is what I usually use for my whites; blues, violets, and grays. But I'd like to try some different shades.

VickiRossArt said...

Thanks, Katherine! Take a good look at the Sorolla link. next time you need to paint the 'light' start with your white pigment, and add a touch of cad lemon or hanse yellow (both are light with greenish cast). Use a dollop of this (I like palette knife).

then you can take a clean brush and cut back into it. You'll be surprised how clean and 'white' it looks.

Also, a very light purple (gamblin radiant violet) is a good white color, especially where the form turns.

suzanneberry said...

Sorry dude, it was a bit of a pain in the butt, however your painting doesn't reflect that! Beautifully done!

Diana Moses Botkin said...

The creamy whites you captured in your "white" piece are luscious, Vicki.

I often wonder (especially as the deadline approaches each month) whether I should keep doing the Challenges. I'm always glad I did, for almost every one has nudged me toward something new that I likely would not otherwise think to do.

VickiRossArt said...

Yes, Suzanne. A pain(t) in the butt, zachary (exactly).

However, a challenge is just that...

VickiRossArt said...

thanks, Diana! this challenge reminds me of the time an art tutor told me to paint a roll of paper towels. It, too, was difficult until I learned to 'see' the whites.

We've all thought about the 'wisdom' of the challenges from time to time...but my month seems to revolve around them. I'd miss doing them...and you are right, it usually evidences itself in other work we do.