Welcome to the Carl Stoveland Photography Blog.  Here I will post articles of interest to clients and photographers alike.  Until October 2016 this was the Artistic Balance Blog.

 

 

One scene four interpretations

December 07, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

The same barn on Rt 5&20 in Lima, NY rendered four ways.

Hello Art Friends!

As promised, here is the yellow barn I shot on my Thanksgiving trip to NY, done as a photo, a digital painting, a watercolor and an acrylic.  What an interesting exercise and one I recommend to everyone who works in multiple mediums.  I think I am most pleased with the acrylic as I just started working in that medium a few months ago and I see real progress here.  That said there are things I like about each of them.  It is funny that I attack each medium differently.  I have been painting watercolor for a while now and my style is somewhat illustrative and always has been.  That does not carry over to the digital or acrylic there I am more painterly.  I like the choice in the acrylic to be less fussy with the ground and instead for the blends and the warm glazes to bring out the glow.  The acrylic is the last of the four I did and I think I learned what I wanted it to like like with each iteration.  for the watercolor I measured everything and used a grid to get the shapes.  When it came time for the acrylic I simply drew the shapes in with a small brush.  I think this leads to more feeling and less trying to recreate an image but instead capture a feeling.  In the end I am happy with all of them and glad I challenged myself.  How do you challenge yourself as an artist?

Keep Makin' Art!

Carl


Of lemons and lemonade

December 05, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Couple admiring Hopper's August in the City at the Norton

Digital Painting

Woman in Yellow Dress at the Norton

Digital Painting

Hello Art Friends,

So today was a good news bad news day.  Bad news first.  I was notified today my pieces were not selected for Art Synergy at Art Palm Beach.  I'm a bit bummed, but have been on a lucky streak so can't take the news too badly.  I will attend the show and look at what was accepted and see what I can learn for next time.  Part of being an artist and participating in juried shows is rejection.  You can let it stop you or you can use it as a learning experience and grow from it.  Every artist I know has a pile of rejections from shows.  It is part of the life.  On to the good news.  One of my digital paintings has been purchased by the the Lake Worth CRA to be used in their program of wrapping art around traffic control boxes.  I'm honored to be chosen and will share it as soon as it is installed.  The subject is a digital painting of one of the cottages of Lake Worth.

I decided to go to the Norton Museum today to visit my favorite Hopper painting called August in the city.  I love all of Edward Hopper's work but he captured summer light in the city perfectly.  The color and light in this painting are perfect I can spend hours looking at this painting and there is something wonderful about seeing great art up close and in person.  The Cherry on the my Sundae at the Norton was I was able to add these two digital paintings to my ' at the Norton' series.  Tomorrow I will tackle the yellow barn acrylic I deftly avoided starting today.  I was just not ready, but think I have a plan for attacking it now.

Keep Making' Art!

Carl


Three down one to go.

December 05, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Yellow Barn - Lima NY

Watercolor on Arches 300lb cold press paper

14x7"

$250. unframed

As a quick recap I spent time photographing old barns while I was in upstate New York for Thanksgiving.  I decided to do a small project where I would do the same subject as a photo, a digital painting, a watercolor and an acrylic.  I chose a very cool series of yellow barns I found in Lima, New York.  The unexpected color looked great on this particular overcast fall morning and it is the one I chose for this project.  I am three quarters of the way done.  Just the acrylic waits to be started.  I will work on it today as the first course in my project management class starts tomorrow.  I had every intention of showing this painting as I completed each stage, but from when I started washing in the background to two hours later when it was done I never stopped painting.  So you get the finished product.  I kept a pretty limited palette for this piece.  It is done with various mixes of four colors.  One of the things I have learned along the way as a painter especially for landscape and nature scenes is working with a limited palette and not using too many colors out of the tube will help your painting feel unified and give it color harmony.  Careful selections of these colors like tending to use all warm or all cool versions of each color  and using transparent colors when possible will keep you from getting muddy colors.  I like fast loose paintings, but I also like architectural renderings.  So you will often find elements of both in my paintings.  I suppose that is why I like barns and lighthouses so much, they give me the opportunity to do both.  I made one design choice that helped the painting and now I wish I had done some work in progress photos.  In the original photo and in traditional painting things in the distance get lighter and cooler.  It helps a painter explain the space and tell the story based on how we naturally see the world around us.  In the early version of this painting the hill to the right was much lighter, but that posed a problem.  The value (lightness/darkness) of the barns was close to the value of the hill and the barns just kind of washed out to the right.  This caused the barns even with their warm yellow color to recede into the painting and gave your eye no place to stop and rest.  Since the barns are left of center in the painting I was able to darken the hill on the right and force the barns front and center.  It is a much more pleasing painting because of that break in the 'rules' made on the fly.  So, here is the lesson of the this particular post.  Watercolor is won or lost in the time it takes for a wash to dry.  That is pretty quick.  So when something does not feel right take a minute and decide what it is and make the course correction.  A word of warning though.  That very advice I give you now has led to dozens of rejects in my studio.  Sometimes everything is just right and does not need to be changed.  Inexperience and lack of confidence in yourself as a painter will sometimes cause you to make a bad decision.  Ok.  This is lesson two of this post.  It is quite OK to crash and burn a painting.  What have you wasted some paint and paper and what you have gained is knowledge of one more way not to attack a painting.  Watercolor is a devilishly tricky mistress.  You will make tons of mistakes.  Learn from your mistakes and take another whack at it.  If you are like me and have heard the siren song of watercolor calling to you then you can't help painting and hang on it can be a bumpy ride.  

Keep Making' Art!

Carl

 


Looking for inspiration.

December 04, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

At the Food Truck Invasion.... Choices Choices

Digital Painting

In my last post I spoke of the fleeting nature of inspiration.  Today I'm thinking about those times when the big white canvas (or computer screen) is staring at you.  I don't know about you but when that moment hits that you have no idea what to paint or photograph or write etc etc.  It can stretch out and set up shop in your studio.  Once the block sets in it can be tough to shake.  What do I do when this happens?  Honestly whatever it takes to find the spark.  Some of the things I have been known to do are.

  1. return to an old work you never finished and try attacking it with fresh eyes.  
  2. By a book or watch a youtube video on a subject or technique you want to learn.
  3. Do something else creative... Cook, play an instrument etc.
  4. Take a class.  Sometimes hanging out with other artists you can catch their creativity.
  5. Play music you like.  I have been know to play Taylor Swift's Shake it off at high volume and dance around the studio. (Don't judge me!)
  6. one thing I like to do is shoot fun colorful scenes like the food truck invasion or carnivals.  Looking for compositions in the chaotic light and color usually helps me find my creativity if it's gone out for a walk and didn't tell me.

What are some of the things you do to jump start your creativity and be able to reconnect with your muse?

Keep Making' Art!

Carl


Keeping an eye on the art

December 02, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Guard at the Norton Museum

Hello Art Friends!

 

Today's offering is another painting from the Norton Museum.  I really liked the pose and posture of the guard and found he made for a great subject.  I shot the images in the museum with my Canon 5D and a 50mm f1.4 lens so I could shoot hand held and grab quick shots.  I did find the 50mm a bit tight in some of the galleries and may try the 40mm next time, but will carry the 50 also since I'm not sure I want to give up the two stop speed difference between the lenses.

I won't post any art work again until Monday or Tuesday so I can work on my barn paintings in watercolor and acrylic.  Have a great weekend everyone.

Keep Making' Art!

Carl