|"Gas Fired Iron" 11"x14", Copyright Steven J Parrish, Oil on Panel|
From a composition perspective my studio has hundreds of objects, my garage hundreds more, my wife's studio hundreds more, and every antique shop thousands more. Anything I can get into my studio is a potential subject. I control everything about the light, including it's location, temperature, intensity, and direction. Shadows, oh the shadows! I can select objects in any color harmony or dis-harmony I want. Size, shape, surface, fabric, simple, complex, high key, low key, infinite possibilities.
I sometimes spend more time on my compositions than on the actual painting. On the simplest level I can solve many of my painting problems by fixing them in the setup. I start with either an object I am dying to paint (The gas fired iron above) or a concept I want to explore. Once I have an object or concept I start playing with supporting objects. This is the fun part for me, I don't care what the object is as long as it moves the concept forward of supports the main object. I am looking for reflections, cast shadows, reflected light. I love reflected light and color! Scale, shape, surface texture, warm, cool, bright, dark, complimentary color, whatever the setup needs to make me want to paint it.
First and foremost I paint for me. I hope people appreciate my work, but I have to want to paint it. I will work with objects until the setup either makes me smile, or a title pops into my head. Once either of those two things happens I know I'm close to starting the painting. At that point I start to make decisions on what I am going to accentuate and what gets pushed back from a "How I'll paint it" perspective.
The concept of the painting below was; What would happen if the little turquoise cup just threw it's color everywhere? The setup then gave it the title, "Coffee, Tea, or Something Stronger".
|"Coffee, Tea, or Something Stronger", 11"x14", Copyright Steven J Parrish, Oil on Panel|