Thursday, April 22, 2010

An Experiment in Painting Loose

An artist friend (who would probably prefer to remain anonymous in this instance!) shared with me her secret of painting loose: wine.  She said drinking wine while she painted loosened her up.  “How much do I have to drink?” I asked (never let it be said that I’m not willing to make sacrifices for my art!).  I was intrigued by the idea and thought I’d make an experiment of it sometime.  
A couple of days ago I poured myself a glass of wine before dinner.  I hadn’t had a drink in so long, I was feeling quite tipsy.  Then I remembered the experiment, and thought it would be a perfect time to try it.  I quickly pulled up a picture from my files and started painting.  I took some pics along the way to document the experiment.

I started with a loose sketch.

Yep, one glass of wine and I can't even tell the picture isn't in focus.  What a lightweight.

Fleshing him out a bit, unfortunately still out of focus.

Apparently I was starting to sober up because he's back in focus.

Getting too sober, starting to lose my looseness.

Soft Pastel on Suede Matboard

I wouldn’t exactly call it a masterpiece, but it’s not particularly horrible either.  I think this experiment deserves further exploration.  Maybe I'll try it again when the weather warms up and I’m in the mood for margaritas.


Aimee D said...

What an interesting experiment! Very nice work as always. I love seeing how the painting evolved with your sobriety!

Sandy Byers said...

You didn't mention, it but my experimentation experience leads me to believe it must have been a cab that led to this lovely painting. Nicely done!
Cheers, Sandy.

Kari Tirrell said...

Thanks, Aimee!

Thank you, Sandy! Actually, it was a very dry white Italian wine. ;)

Vern Schwarz said...

Kari, I love the progression of this piece. Turned out wonderfully, but, (sorry about the but...ha), have another glass of wine at stage three next time and keep some of that gorgeous colour. You are a master with pastels.

Pattie Wall said...

Hi Kari - I think this one is wonderful - and I can easily imagine your feeling as you went along. The suede matboard/and liquid courage keeps it looking soft and non-edgy I think. Very nice! Thanks for sharing the process.

Kari Tirrell said...

Thanks, Pattie! It was definitely an interesting experiment. One of these days I'll have to try it again. :)

Kari Tirrell said...

Thank you, Ryan, that's very nice of you to say. I'm glad you like the painting!

Caroline Bray Art said...

What a great experiement! A looser style is something I often aim for and fail to achieve so I think I'll try your friend's tip as well. Your attempt worked well, I think. The softness makes it more intimate and expressive.

I've also very fond of your recent dog pieces - they're very accomplished and sophisticated.

Kari Tirrell said...

Thank you, Caroline! I hope you post the results of your experiment when you do it. I'd be interested to see what you come up with. And thanks for the compliment on my dogs. :)

teresa stieben said...

Rather than drugs or alcohol for its loose-ening effect maybe another experiment could be to exercise or dance to move the body and spirt, or even Yoga or meditation for reaching inward. I had a teacher years ago that at the beginning of class taped my conte stick to a 3 foot long stick and told me to draw, it frustrated me at first yet it did loosen up my drawing arm for the class work.

Kari Tirrell said...

Thanks, Teresa, but I think you missed the fact that mine was more of a lighthearted experiment and not at all meant to be serious. I don't actually care enough about painting loose to be serious about it.