A Fetching Breeze
A Fetching Breeze, oil on canvas, 24" x 36"
The technique is a little different in that I have no concept of what I'm going to paint when I start. I haven't had access to models for quite some time, so I wasn't working with one when I painted this piece. I first decide on which pigments that I'm going to use, then I put a few strokes on the canvas. I stand at a distance and observe what I've done. If nothing comes to mind, I turn the canvas clockwise to see if anything comes to mind. If nothing does, I turn it again, and so on. I add a few more strokes and the first image that I get an impression of is the image that I then begin painting with conviction. It may sound a little strange, but that's part of my process. I have no bias when it comes to skin color, so it makes no difference to me when a figurative piece comes out looking for differently to the viewer than how they might expect to observe a person in reality.
Once I saw this figure beginning to materialize, she gave me the impression of a person standing in solitude, able to appreciate the enveloping wisps of a light spring breeze, or perhaps the delicate blusters that one encounters when standing beneath the sweet spot of a paddle fan.
Important as well, is the fact that partially clothed figures can often come across as more appealing to the viewer than fully nude ones. In this case, a synergy of color, drapery, and mane of tresses help to both mask and bring dimension to the piece.
While painting without a clue is not my only method, I have found it to be relaxing and inspirational. I often use this technique for abstract and surreal imagery. For much of my digital imagery I have developed a technique which I call Tertiary Compositing.
Artist: Harry T. Burleigh