June 13th, 2011
Raamy & Steve: What I love about the picture which maybe I can articulate better is the broad brush strokes that make a delicate image. It has a big impact on me.
Gert's reply to Raamy & Steve:
What a wonderful thing to say. I have succeeded then! I am glad you are moved by my painting. I never thought of it as Gestalt, and I like that descriptor, but I often think of them as gestures or gestural (a relation to gestalt?). Gesture Painting is a calisthenic exercise in drawing the figure, meant to capture the essence in a few quick strokes. I have done a lot of it painting on site or ala prima as they call it. Of course, Red Dress is more involved or not so quick. But it is very important to me to keep that original essence. I find, painting blind, so to speak, without a plan, gives the work a life, that seems to have a powerful effect on some people. I am always saddened when trying to polish the painting, I lose this quality. Its one I think is missing in most portraiture.
Red Dress 2
So at this stage, I see I am losing the gesture, but the face needs work in the placement of the features.
I also think I will "haze" out the background and integrate that with the figure more. This is the tightrope I walk, trying to balance these elements. My work goes back and forth between contrasts, much as I hope the figure will go back and forth between light and shadow, definition and ambiguity.
Painting in oil allows me this kind of engagement, whereas acrylic is so fast drying.
One choice is to paint studies, thereby preserving the raw material. But I find it hard to replace this energy in more finished work, and lose interest.