We artists have so many options open to us as we design a new piece of art. This one is less real and more abstract or is it more abstract than real. Let me explain. I love working with the landscape–New England, Caribbean and beyond– and that does not always mean working directly in front of it–plein air–as it is commonly known. I enjoy the process of interpreting the things that have inspired me and reworking into artworks that speak the language of the landscape but also let my personal interpretations in as well. Let me know your thoughts on this new piece entered in the Modernist Exhibition at the Copley Society of Art in Boston. Let see if it makes the cut. It was inspired by Amadeo de Souza Cardoso, Portuguese, 1877-1918, “The Leap of the Rabbit.” Pieces entered are required to be inspired by a work or artist own at famous The Armory Show in NYC in 1913.
How an inspiration turns into an artwork is not always a straight line. Nor does it come straight from a photo. In this case, a quick shot included enough information to work out a sketch full of character rather than fully-rendered details.
Here’s a wonderful example of an analogous color scheme and a great example of camouflage in nature. Analogous colors are those that are found right next to each other on a color wheel, or are very similar in color and tonality such as the leaves and Thomas’ fur. The warm tones of the oak and maple leaves match his burnt sienna-colored fur very well. His darker fur and nose direct your eye toward these areas because they are different tones and color than the rest of the photo–and his face is the real area of interest–as most portraits are. The soft greens at the left side help to bring some variation in the overall color palette yet does not detract from the main area of focus.
There are plenty of examples in nature–and hunters experience this natural camouflage on every outing making it pretty tough to get their prey in the rich textures and colors of the woods. (As an animal lover, I’d rather hunt with a camera.) But I appreciate the challenge of hunting and the skills it takes to be successful. Fishing has the same camouflage effect–every try to find a fish in a stream? The sunlight and shadows as well as ripples all contribute to the complexities of light and form–making it a close to perfect camouflage.
And Thomas, he’s an excellent dog, well-behaved and a very patient model.