Thursday, January 20, 2011

January Shadows, 6x6 Original Acrylic Painting by Kelley MacDonald

SOLD
I don't know about you but I'm always entranced by the shadows of trees on snow.  Well, actually the shadows of anything on snow.  So after admiring other artists' work I decided to do a few studies of them myself.  I know it's not a unique subject, but seriously, what is?  Nudes? Cups & spoons?  Apples? Kids at the beach? Pets? Mountains?  Crashing waves? Flowers?  Nope.

The thing is, every artist has to explore (or should I say 'gets' to explore) all these subjects on their own terms.  So if you sit and worry that artist 'X' may get upset because you're 'taking' their subject... just get over yourself.  And his/herself, too.  If you think your art can only be valid if it is completely and utterly unique, well... good luck to you.   Well!  I'm thinking about these things because I'm reading "I'd Rather Be In The Studio" by Alison Stanfield.  I have been a hand-wringer, searching for 'my' style.  And actually, though you can copy other artists, if you paint enough, your own style will come through.  So I'm seeing now, my paintings do absolutely have my 'hand' on every one.  And that's a good feeling. :)
Pin It

27 comments:

  1. I love the shadows in this! Beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Kelley, this is beautiful. The composition is great. It's not just another pedestrian picture of trees and snow. It rises above that with a wonderful abstract quality.

    You are the second person lately who has mentioned Alison Stanfield's book. I guess I need to check it out.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Your angle is very unique, looking down at the shadow from above. I'm glad to hear you put into words what I've been struggling with. How do you look at all the other artists' work, and then NOT do something that one of them has already done? If I want to paint an apple, I worry that I'll be accused of "copying" someone who has just painted an apple. If I want to put a brown/gray background behind my still life, I'll be accused of copying this person who does lots of brown/gray backgrounds. It's so hard to be completely original. The same issue goes on in the teaching business, when one teacher does a really neat display or project, then another teacher does almost the same thing. The slogan around school is "There is no such thing as an original idea". But I think with art, it's original because of our personal style. Your style for snow shadows is different from everybody else. And your painting is beautiful! I love the colors!

    ReplyDelete
  4. "It's not what you paint, but how you paint it!" Not sure if that's from Charles Hawthorne or Charles Sovek, but it pretty much says it all! Every artist brings their own life experience to every painting so it's pretty hard to paint like someone else.Meanwhile, this is a great snow painting!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Very well said! I agree that no subject is "new" for artists. Someone, somewhere, sometime has painted it before! I like seeing what others paint and try those subjects out for myself. You can learn so much by trying different things. We don't get snow here much, but we got 6 inches a week ago and I spent 5 hours out driving around (after the roads got better) taking reference photos just like the one you just painted! I love these shadows too! I haven't painted them yet but I have them when I get the "urge!" You handled these very nicely!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hey-this is mine!- copycat!
    Just kidding-I totally agree, all art is theft ( did Picasso say that?)
    You DO have your own stamp on all you do and its great!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I will get the "I'd rather be in the studio" today, and the charles hawthrone and soveks books are the best. Thank you for sharing.
    I love the composition and colors of "your" painting.
    You made it your own, no one has ever painted this before.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Beautiful Kelley. With the brush in YOUR hand, the subject belongs to you. I relate to all of your thoughts about this!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Kelley, First off, beautiful painting. Second off, you have a beautiful hand or style and I bet most of us could pick out your work among many.
    I like what you said and Nancy Colella above said it so good. It is not what you paint but how! I am so new and all over the place and discovering my style is part of that journey.
    Ya know, the few workshops that I have done where we all paint the same thing?-amazes me how different they all still are and I love that.
    I will have to get that book and put it on my to do list!

    ReplyDelete
  10. This is wonderful, Kelley! I like the abstract feel to it and the colors are beautiful. Your commentary really hits home. I stopped painting a series because another, better and well known artist began to paint the same thing. I still paint the same subject, but don't post it. It's good practice. Anyway, I'm going to pick up the book. I've wanted to read it for quite some time and this is a good push!

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is beautiful Kelley, stamped with your unique style!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Kelley, I love this,so abstract, beautiful shadows. Your work has it's own look, and it is consistent with all of your different subject matter. Thank you for the reading suggestion,sounds good!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Cool shadows! It certainly is fun to explore new subjects... I hear ya!
    kim

    ReplyDelete
  14. I like the abstract qualities of this one. Nice!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi Kelly, Thanks for sharing this! Nice backlighting especially the sliver of light at the edge of the trees just adds to it!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh, yes your style definitely comes through in everything you do. I have to say I have not seen anyone else do snowglobes. I like you winter scene here, great strokes as usual. And...can I say I'm glad I live in the south, brrr that looks cold.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Great composition, brushwork, and colors all packed into a 6x6.
    Awesome job, Kelley.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Love the composition and gorgeous shadows.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Just lovely, Kelley! You are so right....there is nothing new under the sun - what IS new and unique is your own personal take on a subject.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Kelley: I loved reading this. I love that you have faith in your work and in the process. Carry on!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Great abstract feel to this Kelley, love the yellow tones in the highlit snow, and how light you kept the shadows.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Amen, Sistah! ...and your style is very distinctive no matter what you paint!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Those long gorgeous shadows drew me right in. It looks like a much larger painting and would certainly work well as one. The creamy areas work so well with the soft teals. Great Abstract feeling. Congrats of the sale...I can see why!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I haven't been to your blog for a while. So I'm going back a ways. I love what you say in this post. Your painting is nice and I think "original" in your style.

    ReplyDelete

Awww THANKS for leaving a comment! You KNOW I love to hear from you!

Related Posts with Thumbnails