Feed of

– Mariam Kirvalidze

Prior to this painting, I never actually set paint onto a canvas, even in my youth, and decided this was the perfect opportunity.  I went to an art store without really knowing what I wanted to purchase. In the paint section, I was able to choose between acrylic, watercolor, and oil paint.  I went with oil paint because learning about painting before, I knew oil painting was quite revolutionary and helpful to artists in comparison to what they used before.  Next, I purchased a canvas and a set of brushes.

I was indecisive of what to paint at first.  But I was sure I wanted to utilize a lot of colors and that I wanted to create a still life painting.  Thus, the white vase of flowers in my living room would be my inspiration, as well as a painting in an art book I tried to duplicate. I started by painting the background of my scene, to which I designated a white/pinkish color, just because I wanted something neutral that would tie all the colors together. I then drew the outline of the vase and began to paint it in with white.  I tried to vary the concentration of paint in different areas so that it looked more dimensional. I also dotted the top of the vase with blue simply because I always loved the combination of white and blue. After the vase, I moved on to painting the table surface.  I mixed a mahogany and a dark brown color to create a wooden table.  After painting the vase and table, I traced several leaves on the top of the vase.  I outlined them a dark green and shaded them in lighter but later added shades of brown, white, and brown to give them a more realistic color.  I then drew several flowers that stemmed from the leaves.  The first flower I drew was a light pink one.  I didn’t trace it well and when I drew it, it looked awkward when I placed it at a distance and looked at it.  I realized I had to do this much of the time- move back and observe what I had drawn.  Because it looked awkward, I tried to put a third petal on top.  Again, I mixed red with some white to achieve the coloring and kept some petals different because realistically, petals differ in pigmentation sometimes.  Next, I went off to the right and started to trace another flower with a different amount of petals.  This flower is dominantly purple with some white and yellow.  I always felt that purple and yellow were harmonious together and that they make a beautiful combination.  I feel like the aesthetic of colors mixing together is important in painting nature (botanics).  I kept up with this idea in painting the yellow flower with hints of rouge red, the white flower with purple, which mixed to create lavender, and the darker red flower with more purple.  Most of the flowers had hints of each other’s colors in them.  I also wanted to paint a flower actually on the table to give more movement (you can think of the flower falling in the first place) to the painting.  However, I made a mistake and tried to paint over it but the color I tried to paint over it with was darker than my original background.  I put this darker color above my mistake because my plan was to work downwards with the new color to cover the mistake but instead I created something that was worse than the mishap I started with.  The bottom half of the canvas looked a bit half in comparison to the top and I had to then match this to the other side. I learned a little late that with mistakes in oil painting, you can just wipe them off.  But because it is a painting, and like Pollock said, there are no mistakes in painting.  The darkness simply creates a more interesting contrast of the background.

I am glad I took this opportunity to paint because inartistic as I am, I never painted in my life although I wanted to.  Regardless of the fact that I would not say I can draw, I think painting can be looked at as recreational art and something I can consider doing more of in the future.  Simply accomplishing this little, simple artwork and being left with white streaks on my face and paper towels covered with paint make me proud of myself.

Even after a week of painting on the canvas, the paint was not dry and this surprised me.  I think maybe I should have used acrylic and I will utilize it in the future. Presenting my painting was a little nerve wrecking because I never presented a work of art of mine.  Also I found that spending almost two hours with the painting did not allow me to judge how well I painted or how the painting looked.  I felt simply neutral towards it.  In all, I was nervous about presenting and felt like I didn’t have much to say.

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