Thursday, January 15, 2009

Different Strokes- Jefferson Memorial Challenge

Let me quickly divert your eyes from my attempt at Neo Classic architecture, to the drama of the lights, tormenting an otherwise placid sky! (This is my latest submission for the DSFDF blog) This was a great exercise for me to test my resolve on staying with large brushes when painting difficult shapes (like the curve of the dome). I used to do a lot of noodling with smaller brushes- that always seemed to kill the simplification of forms and unnecessarily muddy the colors. 

32 comments:

Sheila said...

See now THAT is the kind of dynamic sky I wanted to render. [with hands over my head and bowing] I'm not worthy!!

I love the love of the interior bleeding into the cool air. I'm slinking back to my blog now.

Tom Pohlman said...

Sheila- you always make me laugh (thanks)! If it's not just a little bit painful- then you're not doing it right- right? ha ha

artbyakiko said...

I love the dramatic sky that is given life by your brush stokes! Also love the colors emanating from the building. Great work!

Vern Schwarz said...

Beautiful painting Tom. Your very aggressive brush strokes and colours give this painting life.

Bill Gavin said...

A lot of energy here--very nice.

dominique eichi said...

I love the fact that you portrayed life here not just a painting of a memorial.

Erika Nelson said...

Tom I love a painting with life, and you certainly gave life to this inanimate subject. And special kudos to the dome you talent! Take THAT you Neo Classic architecture you! This says "Tom was here!"

Tom Pohlman said...

Thank you very much Akiko and Vern!! I really enjoy and appreciate your feedback. You guys nailed it early-on and made it look easy!

Tom Pohlman said...

Thank you for the wonderful compliments Bill & Dominique! One of the things I have really enjoyed about the DSFDF challenges (all three that I have participated in), has been the challenge within the challenge- if that makes any sense?! It's like a license to experiment without fear of screwing up (It helps the creative process when you remove the thought of doing a painting for someone else). Another thing I have really enjoyed, is all of the immediate feedback and support from everyone. You guys rock!

Tom Pohlman said...

Erika!!! Leave my dome out of this- would ya'?! ha ha You are too kind! Its really interesting to see how artists react to a reference like this. Is it "calm/serene" or is it "cold/devoid of life"??? I look at the DSFDF gallery for this challenge and see a kind of psychological experiment/statement. Adding the person in your painting was a great idea for warming up a barren landscape. He might have looked too lonely if he wasn't talking to someone on his cell- no?! :>) Nice work!

Carol Horzempa said...

I love how you handled the whole painting with large brushes especially the dome! This is an inspiration to me to start using larger brushes.

Dee Sanchez said...

Tom,
I am a fellow New Mexican and a daily painter (for 3 years now). I live in the north valley in Albuquerque, but built my own adobe home on Sedillo Hill a few years back and Edgewood was our closest grocery store. How long have you lived here?
Dee

Anne Marie Propst said...

I just love your interpretation of this.

Tom Pohlman said...

Hi Carol! Thank you for the compliment- Be forewarned: the LARGE brush is like a double edged sword...one side- cuts large swatches of color on the canvas, and the other- can slice through your patience like butter (particularly @ 2am) :>) Ok- maybe it's not that dramatic, but there has been a bit of a learning curve involved for me.

Dee! I have only been here since June- I live just down the road from your home on Sedillo Hill (off Frost Rd). Don't be a stranger the next time your in the neighborhood- (I've discovered that it's pretty lonesome out here)!

Thank you soo much Anne Marie!

Small Paintings by Catherine Gillespie said...

Hi Tim,

I just 'discovered' you on the DSFDF blog, and I love your style. So loose and such juicy colours.
I love the South West and you capture the quality of light so beautifully.
Wish I was there right now, especially given the deep freeze we are currently in here in Toronto!(-30C with the wind chill)

Small Paintings by Catherine Gillespie said...

Sorry Tom!
I was so distracted by your beautiful art that I got your name wrong!

Capt Elaine Magliacane said...

Wow Dramatic moving painting... I'm in awe of such talent.

adebanji said...

Exciting strokes to enliven up the night scene!

Tom Pohlman said...

Catherine- I feel fortunate to have escaped another winter in Ohio (they are getting hit right now). I can barely bring myself to think about a windchill of -30° (crosses arms & shivers). But that's a small price to pay for an opportunity to live at the center of the hockey universe! If my Blue Jackets stay in Columbus long enough, they may give your Maple Leaf fans a run for their money for "long-suffering". :>)

Thanks for the kind words Cap' n & Adebanji!

Marian Fortunati said...

Your interpretation of this subject is just wonderful!! The light effects make this painting reach out to the viewer and bring them in!
Fabulous!

Theresa Rankin said...

Excited sky...excellent work!!! Wonderful brushwork!! Thank you for reminding me to stay with big brushes...:)

Tom Pohlman said...

Thank you very much Marian! I think that the creative problem Different Strokes serves up every other week is irresistible! Now that I think about it- finding solutions to a creative problem is one of the most stimulating/rewarding exercises for our brains. Using the creative eye to extend/accentuate what is happening in the reference requires a very intuitive and open minded thought process. Geez Marian- you really sparked a moment of clarity for me! Thanks! (and thanks for listening to me ramble) :>)

Tom Pohlman said...

Thank YOU Theresa! I think you have a great blog/and an incredible collection of beautiful work!

Beth said...

Just so well done...wow!! I agree about the "If its not just a little bit painful..." comment you made to Sheila...my very dear friend said that to me when I was PULLING MY HAIR OUT creating my website!! Beautiful painting, as usual.

Douglas Hoover said...

The brushstroke-master strikes again! Full of feeling and movement. This is a good one, Tom. Very calming feeling to this one.

Tom Pohlman said...

Beth- Glad to see you have crossed the pain barrier and are none-the-worse :>) You did a great job as well!

Thank Mr. Hoover! I think it's about time you joined the party! :>)

r garriott said...

A beautiful job, Tom, of course! I knew it would be. I'm still struggling with my memorial rendering and may or may not post it-- is it okay to fail publicly, miserably at DSFDF, or is better to suffer in silence?

Dana Cooper Fine Art said...

Tom, this painting has so much energy! Beautiful bold brushstrokes...bravo!!

Tom Pohlman said...

Mornin' R- (Tom mounts soapbox) First of all, I seriously doubt that your painting is anything short of spectacular...Second, it is only a "failure" if you quit...Third, In my mind- the challenges are designed to supercharge your creative juices, not torture you with angst. Relax, have fun with it- and if it doesn't turn out how you want, or expect, you still learn something from the experience. Whether or not you care to share that particular experience...well, that is still up to you!
(I know, I know- that is a BIG help) ha ha

Thank you Dana! I love the pink accents from the ambient light & the very convincing interior glow in your painting. Bravo to YOU!

Connie said...

When yours first went up, I fell in love with it. I've let a number of days lapse since then and decided to check out the entries to see if I was still in love. To make it even harder, I decided to scroll really fast through them and *still* yours is the one that caught my eye and made me swoon.
I love the big brush strokes, but what really gets me is that touch of turquoise in the street lamp. Absolutely delicious!

Dewberry Fine Art said...

Tom this is wonderfully expressive. What fabulous brush work and texture.

Tom Pohlman said...

Hey Connie- you're going to make me blush! ha ha Thank you for the huge compliment and for making my day :>)

Thank you Dori! I have to say that I've really enjoyed going to everyone's blog-sites and seeing what they like to do beyond the realm of Different Strokes. Your plein air paintings are refreshing (I need to find an ocean)!