Friday, April 13, 2007

Give me your opinion. Please.

I want your first impression. Let me explain.... I do paint on black - and the majority of the time I work the whole area at the same time. Except when I have a lot of figures in the picture. So for some reason, I'm more comfortable working on each person at a time. Frankly, it's more fun that way.

As I'm at this point, about halfway done - I start to see some really interesting possibilities - like surrounding all the people with just black. Or white. As if they're suspended. Almost like you want to guess where all these people are.

I threw this same subject out a while back, with the painting of a line of people waiting to get into Starbucks. I really benefited from the comments - and if it weren't a commissioned piece, I would have had the guts to carry thru with my idea. What I want is your first reaction. Does it grab you - more so then if there was a realistic surrounding. Thank you.

PS - I'm talking about the idea of just the figures, not including the painting on the wall.

27 comments:

GK said...

Definitely like the suspended look. It makes you look and think more at the painting.

Heather Meadows said...

I saw the title and the painting first, and I just assumed it was done, so I looked at the painting before reading any more.

And I liked the effect. The lack of background draws your eye along the line of people, gives them more importance.

I think black is best for this, as it provides the most contrast.

(I don't really know anything about art. I just like to look at neat things.)

Kimberly said...

I think you need to keep the painting in the picture but could leave it a bit more unfinished or unframed because the figures in the painting look like they are walking out of the painting. That really grabbed me. All the figures staring at the painting coming to life.

I think if you leave the figures suspended you need to still have some context of the space they are in or it is too unfinished as a story.But I think paintings should have some small story.

It is a neat change to see your work unfinished. I'm a fan.

Debbie Miller said...

I dont know, I thought right away "ooh a work in progress" (cool to see btw) and I miss seeing the surroundings but I do like the contrast with the black. love the lady in the foreground. fyi, Boston MFA is having an Edward Hopper show starting may 6 and running through august.

Sandy said...

Forgive this comment, but I teach in an inner city school and the way the people are looking at something/nothing reminds me of my kids, before we have a fight in the lunchroom, they all know something is going to happen, and they sit in the two smaller lunchroom that I supervise watching...I've gotten very good at reading the body language, and have a 95% accuracy rating at predicting fights.

For me this is the feeling this painting creates, a question...what are these peopkle waiting for...what is going to happen

Beaux said...

I was intrigued at first glance. Still am. I would not hesitate to offer a few pieces with such an effect.

Jo Castillo said...

Karen, I, too, like it just as it is. The people in the painting may be leaving the area. :) The watchers wondering what the heck???
Love it and the black.

Jo

Todd Baxter Dawson said...

I'd vote for something in between. I love the black, but feel it needs *some* definition, but really only a brief sketch, to clarify the context. The trick, of course, is to do that and not overwork it... which we all know is no small feat! But I also love seeing your work "in progress".

Bob said...

The important thing is, what do you think of it Karin? If you want realism, then buy a camera and publish photos. Your work is wonderful. Whichever way it goes. On black background, its stunning, but sometimes the real background puts the whole scene into perspective.
Just get the balance of what suits you right.
You can't go wrong whichever way you go. It's just called developement.
It could look like an exercise without a background.
Regards
Bob

n. rhodes harper said...

Karin, If you leave the painting in, to me it looks looks like something strange may be happening in the framed painting. As if the characters were actually walking out of it into the real world. The observers are amazed. If you take the framed painting out it looks as if they are looking at something that just happened, a crisis maybe? The girl with the crossed arms makes me think it is something bad. the man in the far background looks as if he is rushing to see what has just happened. I like the idea of taking the painting away and let the viewer create their own scenerio of what the people are looking at.

Maggie Stiefvater said...

I have to confess I love the last comment, having the characters walk from the painting. The lack of bg makes it look possible -- put a man with an umbrella that it as real as real as the observers walking away from the painting and you'd have this amazing, surreal/ fantasy painting. It would be so cool . . .

Anonymous said...

very cool, and I agree with kimberly and todd, and to add another perspective, to me it looks like the observers are drawn to the setting and are about to step into the painting, going back in time, to that elegant era. (which is what I would like to do.)interesting eh? the different emotional responses to the same painting, ie;Sandy.

Anonymous said...

My first feeling was a sense of timelessness, like an audience for the painting through the ages...

Anonymous said...

okay. love your work. i've been a silent fan for a while, but thought i'd chime in. i'd like the concept. might prefer white bkgd to black. also consider enlaging the figures so a portion of a figure or two jutt off the top and/or bottom of the piece. i think it really becomes an issue of positive and negative space being used. i'll look forward to anything you do. thanks for sharing your giftedness with us.

Chris said...

I like it.

The negative space (and I mean that in a positive way) helps define the figures and, more importantly in my opinion, the range of colors, tones and volume you always produce. In your "completed" work, the space surrounding the subjects is always so painterly and lose and that creates a unified look, but this highlights the subject and figures.

Against the black they are striking and well defined, but as others have mentioned, other elements, like quick sketches, would help define the subject in their space. Your quick-sketch work (warm up pieces) have this quality. A simple line could define a horizon or vanishing point.

Also, have you considered other colors, not just black or white? Just a thought, but maybe a mid-key neutral tone would also make the figures highlights and shadows stand out and we'd get to see parts of your work in different ways.

HOW EXCITING!!!

Shirley said...

It's quite wonderful as it is. Are the observers debating stepping into the painting as the painting's figures appear to be striding out to join them? Sort of a time portal in an art museum setting.
Take away the painting and I think you produce a different sort of edginess. Maybe one that is just as interesting.
I love your work by the way.

Karin Jurick said...

Let me chime in as well - I didn't even consider the figure in the painting looking as if he's stepping into this possible 'time portal'. Very interesting observation. As is all the mentioned thoughts.

This painting is being done for an exhibition - a collection of selected works from a dozen or so galleries - and I don't know if it's the right place to experiment with this idea. I haven't decided, which is why I wanted the feedback.

And please, don't stop commenting. I learn a lot from this.

Deb Kirkeeide said...

Yes, it grabs! And I like the mystery of not including the painting leaving the viewer to make up his or her own story. I myself like simple backgrounds that leave the focus on the subject. I say go for it, experiment and try several to see how they are received. Either way they will be strong pieces.

Mike Callahan said...

Karin, I love this, like all your paintings! The figures definitely stand out surrounded by black, but they do look a little suspended. My suggestion is to paint a little realistic background, but paint it a lot darker than it would be naturally and perhaps kind of vignette it out to near black on the edges. I'm sure it will be great whatever you do!

johanns Diaz said...

Well it would for me look really good if you add a thin white line and maybe drag some small part of that white downward with a knife just to show where the back - ground is like in still-life then leave the rest alone just grey

David said...

I agree that it is attention grabbing. It emphasizes the people and their body language. What is everyone looking at?

But the cut out people look cold and alone, like one of those Gap ads against a solid background. I am drawn to the warmth that comes from the background and foreground in your paintings, particularly the shifting light and shadows on the walls and floors. These create a context for your figures, ultimately making them more interesting.

So I guess I'd say that I find this an interesting experiment, but mostly because I like your other paintings so much that it is neat to see one in progress.

Bob said...

Of course now you open up a whole new concept of characters walking forwards and backwards into and out of your background frame. "Spooky"!
I don't see any phsycological inferences there, but I do see a whole new series of artistic adventures.

Anonymous said...

very nice use of space like the way it is not finished gives you something to think about

Sheila Vaughan said...

Karin I think your work is wonderful. I am constantly checking it out and enjoying it. I know that you know you have to make your own mind up about this but for me it feels unfinished. The reason is I think that you have so much "painterly" information about these people in the way you describe their body language, their clothes, indeed their identities that there is a tendency for them to look like "cut out figures" as someone already mentioned. So for me I wish it was "finished" in the usual way. I think if the figures had been less defined, less detailed, more abstract or greyed out then I could buy the "no background" context.

spg said...

Karen,
I think you should leave it with the black background for only one reason... I think you want to. As an artist, you are the "decider", as our illustrious leader would say. Also, I think it helps to focus on the process of creating art, where each piece leads to another, rather than worry about whether its completely finished or not. Leaving it as is opens a whole new avenue of exploration for you as an artist, adding the background shuts down that possibility.
As always, great work.

Pat Aube Gray said...

As an artist, I hate to admit this and could excuse myself by saying I only looked quickly at the painting, but I didn't even NOTICE that the people were suspended! If they were not each connected, if there were any negative space between the people and/or the background painting and/or the edges of your painting, I think that would be more jarring, more surreal. If you complete the right side of the painting only as it is drawn in, again with no negative spaces, I think it can fly. Your perspective, both aerial and linear, fills in the "floor" without your painting it. Bravo.

Renee Brown said...

Karin, First of all I am a fan of yours!

Here's a link to an old painting I did of my cat, Mr. Wooley, where he is floating in space. I loved it so much I framed and kept it. He now resides in my home.

http://reneebrown.blogspot.com/

Happy painting, plus I love the finish of that painting. Just gorgeous.

Renee Brown