Thursday, October 15, 2009



Angus Bull 2

Oil on board, 6" x 6"
$125 plus $6 shipping in U.S.
SOLD
Wooly bully returns yet again. It is fun sometimes to take an image and see where it will go when it is painted multiple times. Here the format changed from horizontal to square, which necessitated a different approach to design. I tried to let the painting lead me--not the other way around-- using shifting colors and values to create a different mood...or is that moood?

So much of learning to paint is about control; trying to gain command over the medium and develop fluency, so the painting will do what you want. And ironically, so much of being a good painter is about learning to relinquish that hard-earned control, so the painting in process can lead its own "life." In a curious sense, the developing painting becomes independent of you. You just try to help it along, staying out of the way as much as possible, giving up the illusion of control. If you're lucky, you become an intensely interested onlooker and can be as surprised as anyone at what results.

I'm honored to have been invited to join Daily Paintworks, an online group of a dozen very fine daily painters. Check us out at http://www.dailypaintworks.com/.

14 comments:

Katherine said...

This is a beauty Don. I love the moodiness of the dark values.

Thanks to you and Brenda for your attendance last night.

Sheila Vaughan said...

Yes, there is that element of surprise for us with some of our own paintings and it is really enjoyable and for me makes up for the "also-rans". I'm just not sure about control. I think we probably both consciously and sub-consciously "control" what happens. Everything that comes out in a painting is from ourselves, sometimes quite deep seated responses I think. Anyway, as to this painting, I really like it Don - those dark values are superb and yes - they do lead to mood and atmosphere. Love that dark blue in the background and how you have touched the animal's fur with it. In fact I love how you have treated all the backgrounds in this series. It's worked so well.

http://www.onpainting.wordpress.com said...

He does look a little jackjawed.

Don Gray said...

Thanks Katherine. We had a good time at the reception--hope you were pleased with it.

Don Gray said...

Hi Sheila--thanks for your thoughtful comments. Of course there's always some level of control going on. I guess what I meant by "relinquishing control" is that one might then access deeper levels in a more intuitive way.

Don Gray said...

I must have felt a little jackjawed while I was painting him, Bill. By the way, what is "jackjawed" anyway?

sam said...

Just had to say hi Don when I saw this. Your colours create a fantastic atmosphere, a lovely pose.

Marie-Monique said...

Superbe !!! très belle lumière....j'aime vraiment votre peinture merci à très bientôt

www.museofsouthprairie.blogspot.com said...

Don, what you said about the illusion of control, etc. is exactly the same thing for writers. Exactly.

Don Gray said...

Sam--thank you. Your work is superb.

Don Gray said...

Merci, Marie-Monique - J'apprécie avoir de vos nouvelles.

Don Gray said...

That's so interesting, Karen. I guess the nature of creative process is much the same regardless of medium, isn't it?

Robin Roberts said...

If it's "illusion of control" I say let it fly - this one's a beauty!

Don Gray said...

Hi Robin--thanks!