Monday, December 18, 2006

Another Project Finished

And it's not knitting!

A few months ago, my parents bought a painting from JC Penny's catalog to hang in their living room. They bought it primarily because they absolutely loved the frame: mildy Rococco, distressed gold leaf, in an unusual shape. The "artwork" inside the frame, well, left a lot to be desired. It's one of those "paintings" that is mass produced somewhere overseas. Some poor dude in a sweatshop somewhere probably knocks out 50 of these a day. That says a lot about the "art" inside the frame. Anyway, the painting was supposed to be a depiction of Tuscany. Well, about the only thing about the picture that even remotely suggested Tuscany was the presence of three of those tall, skinny cypress trees that are common to Tuscan lanscapes. That's it.

Here's the painting. Now, from a distance, everything seems acceptable. But as you look at it, and if you click on it and get a bigger image, you will start to notice some odd stuff. Maybe you don't even know how to explain it, but you just know it's not right somehow.

The rather dull horizon notwithstanding, the first thing that I noticed was the odd, little, red "building" back there. What the crap is it? And why is it floating in the trees, which also happen to look like underripe broccoli florets? Is it Cloud City? Does Lando Calrissian live there? No? Then the structure has to have a base ON THE GROUND. This bugged me the most. I was also annoyed by the vague position of the sun. It's casting shadows in all kinds of directions, none of which are consistent. Pick a light source, people.

My mom was most annoyed by the colors, or rather, lack of colors. She said, "Yeah, the house, sure, but also, why is everything yellow and olive green?" She has a real point there. I've never been to Tuscany but my in-laws have and my dear, dear late friend Kathleen went there a couple of years ago and I saw plenty 'o pictures between the three of them. Tuscany does not look like it's in the throes of a nuclear winter. It's breathtaking.

My dad was practically crawling out of his skin over the picket fence. "There are no picket fences like that in Italy!" Well, I don't know about none in all of Italy, but there certainly are no fences in any of the landscapes of Tuscany that I've seen. Also, and rightly so, my dad was annoyed that the fence had no real change in size, even though it was obviously meant to move back in perspective from the foreground to the horizon line.

Sigh, what to do? So my parents asked me if I could "doctor it up." You know, just get rid of the fence, fix the house, give it a little more color, etc. Um...ok. This is impossible. My only
recourse was this:

Do over. So over the course of the last two or three weeks, I worked on a completely new painting a little at a time. My dad went out and bought a set of acrylic paints for me to use. They were pretty nice to use. Oils are a pain in the butt. I was worried about doing this because I am out of practice, artistically. The last time I undertook a major art piece I was in college, so we're talking like 1992.

Well, I finished it tonight. Now, I am sure it has plenty of errors in it. Look, I 'aint Bierstadt, ok? But I do think that it looks a lot better than the yellowy-green ode to the mutant broccoli that emerged after the nuclear holocaust on Cloud City. Personally, I like the poppies. I think those turned out great. Here is my painting:

I'm sure my dad will find some sort of problem with it. He always does that. He'll be like " about you put in another tree over there?" My mom will flip her lid. I think she'll be very happy. My mom is like that. If one of her children does anything, makes something, cooks something etc., and no matter how dreadful it is, she loves it.

So I am off the rest of the week until Friday! WOO! I will bring this painting over to them tomorrow morning after I drop Todd off at work.


Marsha said...

What--you've got something against mutant broccoli? :)

The new painting looks amazing! Definitely an improvement (even though I don't share your anti-broccoli sentiments--heh).

So what's your next project going to be?

Katie J said...

That's great Gina. I don't think that's something I would be comfortable attempting.