Friday, August 5, 2011

65 - What's Your Hurry

I love painting. Specifically, I love painting with oils. Don't get me wrong. I like painting with watercolor, and acrylic has some great attributes. But I love painting with oils. I love the way they feel as I move my brush. Love the way each layer very subtlety changes the next layer. I even love the way they smell.
Some people find it a problem with how long oils take to dry. Spouting off about it slowing them down and make it difficult to complete paintings.... I enjoy the whole process. Though I don't have much actual working time on this painting, it sounds like an enormous amount of time when I tell people how long it took to complete from start to finish.

You see this painting, as well thought out as it looks is, well, not exactly. When I was beginning painting I tried the Bob Ross method. The only problem was I didn't like the paintings when they were done. I believed I was doing something wrong. It took me forever to figure out the paintings look much better from afar. That when I really looked at a Bob Ross painting I didn't like them so it wasn't I had failed. I was doing the style correctly, it was the style of painting I disliked. The background for this painting was to be yet another try at the bob Ross style of painting. It was another "fail". It would not be a masterpiece, but what I did have, when I really looked at it, was a great under the sea background. A background I loved and with much luck one I wouldn't have to do much to for the painting to work.

I looked and looked and was unable to find a subject for the painting. I moved on to other paintings and sort of forgot about it. Some time passed. One day while looking for something else (isn't that how it usually works?), I saw this turtle photo and new it would be good for the under the sea painting. I did a quick and very rough sketch of the turtle and then started painting. I love to paint and am always in such a hurry to get started that I don't do a very accurate sketch. I would probably get done with finished painting sooner if I didn't have to make so many corrections, but I don't care.

I paint in many very thin layers. Each layer reacts softly with the next. Each layer takes about a week to dry. So although I only spend about an hour or less painting each layer the total time of completing sounds longer. People now a days are so often trying to rush through life that they frequently miss the small joys along the way. The process for them seams to be something they feel they must put up with to get the end result. I know a lot of people who feel that working with oils is too slow and just love acrylics because it dries so quickly they can go on to the end result (finished painting) quicker. I personally am sad when my paintings are done. So I paint lots and lots of layers. Building up to get just the look I am looking for. With the required drying time, this means it takes a while to complete a painting.

From start to finish, from first brush stroke to the signing of the name, this painting took about a year to complete. So when I tell anyone how long the painting took they understandably think wow that is so much work. When in reality, there was no work, just love.

By the way, this painting also has the significant distinction of being the first painting signed with my new name. It is the first HANLEY.

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