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  • James Gummerson

This Artistic Process: Day 4 - The Void Within The Volume

James Gummerson Painting City Nights 1

Finished! A two hour stint at 5 in the morning was all it took to complete. I'ts amazing what time you can wake up at when you aren't in the throws of another episode of your latest Netflix binge. But I digress, this time of the morning is one of the best ways to get inspired and get productive.

As you can see I've added a few things after the last post. One important thing I did is to add a few more flowers. The reason was to round out the composition. Carefully placed I balanced the intense colors with the more colder subdued colors. The painting is mostly cool so adding those intense warmer colors in the right spot help to sort of excite the mind. The brain loves differences, variation, so the intense warm against the cool is a no brainer. Another thing to note is that I only had three yellow flowers in the far right in our last post but I felt adding another slightly subdued flower in shadow not only added variation but made an even number of flowers instead of odd. This may seem trivial but I assure you it is not. In day three I had a long rant about tension. Well I'm about to add to it. It may be obvious to most of us but three is an odd number. (If you achieved more than 14% in grade 11 math than you should get this. I had to find out in summer school.) If you have an odd number of things in a painting it can add to tension. This has been scientifically proven. An even number relieves the tension. In this case I didn't want this kind of tension in the piece. Next time your wondering why your painting doesn't feel right... it could be you have an odd number of like objects.

I also made a conscious effort not fill the piece with flowers and colors. One important thing for me was to make sure the intense bright colors didn't overtake the painting. I didn't want it to look like a cover of "Home & Garden" Magazine. I always want my pieces to have a natural feeling. Like you are seeing something typically ordinary but have just realized how striking it is. I like tension,(but you already knew that), subdued colors, spontaneity, the contrast of shocking against ordinary. The void within the volume.

I've been asked many times how I know when a painting is done. All I can say is... you just know. And when it's not, you know that too. I'ts a sort of sinking feeling that kind of bothers you from the back of your subconscious. I've gone back to a painting a few times because I knew it wasn't quite right. When it finally was were I wanted it, I knew I was done. You can also go the other way as well were you over think it and next thing you know your ruining a couple of days worth of work because "it just wasn't right". My fellow artists will know what I mean on this. If your really honest with yourself, its either not complete or it's just shit, and you need to put it aside and face the music... you have to create a little bad art to get some good stuff. It's a balancing act, and an exercise in humility. Time to eat some humble pie and get back to work.

Hope you enjoyed the read and don't forget to give me a share or like or whatever the kids are doing these day!

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