Monday, November 13, 2006

# 211 Light and Shade

Today I saw enough beauty to keep me going for a while, the winds kicked up this morning and the sky has been like watching T.V. Hope to put some of what I saw down in paint. Oil 6.00" x 7.00" email to purchase.


Paul Butzi said...


As we approach the middle of the month, I'm interested to get a sort of advance read on whether you feel you're starting to get a grip on the 'atmospheric landscape'.

Seems to me you are; compare this one to #200. I like the brush strokes; I know next to nothing about painting but in this case the texture of the painting is conveying some of the contrast change of the haze. Nicely done!

Jon Conkey said...


Thanks for your interest, I do feel I am beginning to understand the elements of "atmosphere and haze", at least the ones that I am attracted to. Hpowever, I always run into the same issues with color and form as I paint these images. Especially in "atmospheric" style paintings, I am finding out the colors are generally faded and very subtle in their value changes...hence, the "atmospheric" look is quickly becoming a lesson in color mixing and control; it helps to know your colors well to capture the most of the scenes.

Paul Butzi said...

reduced saturation, very subtle value changes - yes, yes.

Making matters worse is that our vision is adaptive - our ability to discriminate value is dependent on the range of values presented. So when we attend to the 'hazed' region of the landscape, our vision adapts and we can actually watch as it happens and we suddenly see subtle tonalities we couldn't see before. It drives me crazy when I try to capture that in a print.

Jon Conkey said...

Hi Paul,

It is delightful to have your input, the experience behind your words makes an instant connection of understanding with me. Viewing your work, (words and photos), has certainly put some wind back into my sails. I needed a fresh motif to avoid staleness in my landscapes, now I am discovering something that will impact my work for years to come. Understanding how our eyes see color, and how atmosphere affects the tones and values of a subject, it is higher learning for the painter, one must already have a firm grip on color mixing. It is no different than exploring the "black keys" of a piano, after one has become familiar with the "white keys"

As a student of photography back in the early 80's, I could never capture those subtle gradations of color, or the intense spots of pure color amongst the dull, with my old Canon F-1 camera using (KM 25,KM 64, slide film). It was frustrating to take a shot I intended to paint, only to find out the image was completely "washed-out" of the "interest". However, it was from those photography classes in high school that I learned the most about tone, value, and composition. In many ways, photography was my formal training into the "basic" points of fine art.

Now, as a painter, I can no longer blame my camera, it is "I" who must learn to mix those subtle colors, and see them correctly next to one another. This is where the humbling factor comes in (personal abilities), practice does indeed make the difference; hence, quantity in effort will definitely lead to quality in product.