Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Its all in the details

Recently, I took my deCordova watercolor class to the Museum of Fine Arts study room to view some original 20th century watercolors from their collection. We saw the work of John Singer Sargent, Winslow Homer, JMW Turner, and Edward Hopper. We got to view the work up close, not even under glass. I thought I knew these paintings well  by studying them in books and online. Seeing them in person was an ah ha experience! When I look at these same paintings  on line and in books, I sometimes forget that they are only reproductions, not the real thing.. There is no substitute for the real thing.  Seeing the original works, you experience the texture of the paint, the seamless ordering of layers, the energetic brushwork,  the depth of image, true colors, and the soul of the artist. I don't see these things when I look at paintings online. I guess this is true of most things too: Seeing a picture of a lake is very different from swimming in it.

Recently I was applying for some grants and I repeatedly found the phrase:
"Please submit 10-20 jpg images completed in the past 3 years". Since each highly detailed watercolor that I make takes between 5-10 months to complete, I never have the requisite 10 images. Also, how can an 8"x10" image convey the energy of the painting? I'm surprised it never occurred to me to submit additional detail images. When I printed out details of my most recent large scale watercolor, "Forest, Full Spectrum", I could see that they revealed so much more about the what the painting is about and how it is painted  and that it was actually painted. I'll use this recent watercolor, to illustrate what I mean. To really see the full effect, please click on the images to enlarge them. AND, when I have my upcoming exhibition schedule set, I'll post it here, so you too, can see the real thing!

"Forest, Full Spectrum,"2011, Watercolor , 60"x40", Marjorie Glick

Detail, (8"x10") from the 40"x60"watercolor, "Forest, Full Spectrum"

Detail, bottom 1/4th of watercolor, "Forest, Full Spectrum" 

Detail, "Forest, Full Spectrum", detail of 8"x10" area of 60"x40" watercolor