Monday, December 12, 2011

"Front Office"

16 x 16"
oil on masonite
sold

I had mentioned a few weeks ago I was painting a larger piece - most wouldn't consider 16" large, but in my world, it's double the width of my usual. A little daunting for me, as silly as that sounds. Add to that, the painting is a commissioned piece of sorts, for the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts in Alabama - for an upcoming event in February. Another painting of mine had caught the eye of the organizers of the event - it featured one of the museum's prized possessions, Edward Hopper's 'New York Office' - one of my personal favorites in their collection. What an honor for me. When I know more about the dates of the museum's event, I'll be sure to fill you in.

What I learned about painting larger....

It took a lot of time to be happy with the composition, in fact, I changed it six times. The fifth time, I sketched it out on the panel and immediately hated it. The larger it is, the more it matters. It seems to come easier for me on a smaller format or maybe I was stuck over-thinking the whole thing.

When I started putting the paint down, I found myself working slow and tight. Then Brett came into the room and took the small brush out of my hand and replaced it with a big one and told me to loosen up. After that subtle reminder, it flowed. Took me four days, but there was no wiping areas off, no corrections to the composition, and I really enjoyed those four days of work.

Painting smaller pieces is my thing - no doubt. The main reason, I don't have that kind of time. I want to wake up in the morning, figure out what I want to paint that day and get it done before I go to bed. I don't like thinking about what I should do or should change the next morning - I like the feeling of accomplishment at the end of a day. Makes for a good night's sleep.

Please click here for a larger view.

As for now - this is the first Christmas & New Year's Holiday, in 32 years, that I am no longer in retail. It is w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l. I loved my job as a picture framer, but holidays really were tough. Be nice to those folks behind the counter, a kind word or two goes a long way.

Cheers and Wishes for a Happy Holiday time ~




26 comments:

Anne Marie Propst said...

Gorgeous piece Karin! I agree with you totally. The bigger the piece, the bigger the challenge. I decided to paint a Santa for one friend this year and ended up painting about fifteen. So interesting to see the difference in Santa #1 and Santa #15. I guess we are always learning! Happy Holidays to you and to Brett and the new puppies. Glad you are enjoying your freedom this year. Hope to see you again soon.

Maria Bennett Hock said...

It's beautiful! I always love the values you put into a piece and all the finishing you do. I really learned a lot watching you bring your paintings to life with the finishing touches. Have a great, relaxing holiday season!

Linda Popple said...

The museum could not have chosen a better artist for their event! Congratulations!!

This is certainly a beautiful piece with its composition and colors. Glad to hear that once going it was smooth sailing for the 4 days. Who knows, maybe it will be the beginning of more larger pieces of work.

Happy holidays to you, Brett, Zack, and Joey!

Cathy Engberg said...

thank goodness for Brett! You make a good team. Love this new painting.

Happy Holidays to you both.

Kathy Cousart said...

Amazingly gorgeous and fresh. You did an amazing job on this and your perseverance is to be admired...stretching yourself and teaching us what you learned is awesome! Thanks for Brett too! Love painting alla prima also and getting it all done in one sitting and moving on to something new...that can be a good thing! Love Front Office- :):)

Regula Scheifele said...

Yeah - great piece, Karin! Beautiful colors, almost minimalistic and so peaceful. Well worth the effort and time and struggle.
Glad to see it finished!

carol morgan carmichael said...

I love the play on all the golds and yellows in the floor and the broad's hair. Wonderful work. Tell us more details about the show when they become available. My neck of the woods.
Merry christmas Karin.

jyothisethu said...

the picture inside the picture is wonderful. nice idea and a wonderful painting...

martinealison said...

Toutes mes félicitation pour cette superbe belle peinture...
Des couleurs superbes...
Toux mes voeux en cette période de l'année à vous et tous ceux que vous aimez.

Shelby Dillon said...

Good luck painting larger, big brushes make a world of difference! Love this piece and congrats on it going to a museum. Have a wonderful holiday season!

Kathy Weber said...

I know what you mean- painting small stuff is so comfortable, anything over an 8x10 seems huge! Nice job.

Sandy Graeser Haynes said...

Great painting, It feels like you are standing in the gallery with these guys ! I love your work ! You never cease to amaze me !

Belinda Del Pesco said...

What a gorgeous painting! Hearty congratulations on the Museum event inclusion, and bravo (with confetti) on your beautiful result. The intent of the couple's gaze - even from behind - pulls you right into the Hopper. Wonderful painting, as always. (And yayy for small art.) :)

Sharon Rose Smith said...

I love that Hopper piece and your beautiful painting in its honor. You did him proud. Merry Christmas.

Pam Holnback said...

Congratulations. I'm sure this will be enjoyed..in their front office? Maybe you'll occasionally do more large pieces.

Sherrie said...

Excited to see it! Painting bigger...I felt your pain concidering that I paint portraits that are mainly 30x36 and 30x40's. That's why I took your workshop. Small paintings will allow me to get it done in one day and like you said, it gives you "a feeling of accomplishment." Thanks again for teaching.

Barbara Pask said...

This big painting is just as fabulous as your smaller pieces. It's a perfect "Karin Jurick"

Barbara said...

Karin-I'm in Montgomery and that's one of my favorites in the collection, too (that and the Sargent and the Cassatt!)! I'll be there in February and hope you'll be here, too. Would love to meet you!

Marian Fortunati said...

Congratulations Karin on your well-deserved honor.

Your work is always remarkable!!

Shirley Fachilla said...

You finished with a lovely composition and a lovely painting.
One of my favorite people is the owner of my local frame shop. The holidays are hard for her, but a little nice goes a long way to make it easier.

Jennifer Koach said...

Hard to believe you had trouble with this. It looks spontaneous and fresh. Her hair is great and the folds in her coat!
Stick with Brett! He knows you.
Happy holidays.

Paul's Blog said...

This painting is terrific, it tells a story, as well as catches one's attention. Really excellent work, I am sure you will see more commissions as a result of this terrific piece. I understand what you mean working larger, it definitely is more daunting.

Amy Hillenbrand said...

Karin, What an honor and so deserved. This painting is fantastic. It really was quite interesting to hear your progress through working in a larger format. Even you, Miss Painter extraordinaire, has her small struggles every now and then. In a weird way this was inspiring to me especially to see the incredible end result. Thank you for sharing.

Paula K. Cravens said...

I too was a picture framer. Christmas was our busiest season. I always got stuck closing the store on Christmas eve when I desperately wanted to be home with my kids. We worked many hours of demanding overtime leading up to Christmas but I still remember the joy of seeing someone tear up at a beautiful frame job of a loved one. So yes please, be kind to the people behind the counter.

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

Beautiful.
I'm striking out into larger paintings after working small for many years. Thanks for the tutorial.

A.Decker said...

Great piece, and what an honor! Congrats!