Monday, October 14, 2019

Painting a Supermarket Entrance

I have painted around this supermarket many times, and I keep discovering new views of it. On a rainy day, I notice how the warm inside lights contrast with the cool light outdoors.

I have to push the painting through the “ugly stage” by having faith in the process. 

The palette of colors is very simple: White gouacheYellow ochre (watercolor), Transparent red oxide (watercolor), and Ultramarine blue (gouache)

In the choice of subjects, I am inspired by French philosopher Emile Zola, who encouraged artists to paint commonplace subjects from our own era. 

He said: “The past was but the cemetery of our illusions: one simply stubbed one's toes on the gravestones.” (Le passé n'était que le cimetière de nos illusions, on s'y brisait les pieds contre des tombes.)

Zola also said: "A work of art is a corner of creation seen through a temperament” (Une oeuvre d'art est un coin de la création vu à travers un tempérament).

Somehow, by interpreting a subject that isn't often painted, it opens the doors to appreciating our world anew.


Rich said...

Amazing - what can be done with such a limited palette.

Comme c'est joli, cette création vue à travers le tempérament de Monsieur Gurney;-)

N C Freeman said...

O thou sculptor, painter, poet!
Take this lesson to thy heart:
That is best which lieth nearest;
Shape from that thy work in art.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

juiletpeter said...
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James Gurney said...

NC Freeman, thank you for that Longfellow quote. It something I will indeed take to heart.

Pierre Fontaine said...

I'd love to know more about how you inserted yourself into the painting. That was an awesome and seamless special effect! Of course, the painting and walkthrough of the process are wonderful as usual. Thank you!

James Gurney said...

Pierre it's a really simple effect. I just shot a vertical video of me walking through the door. I tried to get the perspective the same, then composited that video into the finished painting as a "picture in picture" in iMovie.

Bevan said...

The image you painted with your words about getting past the ugly phase and trusting the process like a pilot trusting his instruments through the clouds was especially poignant. Often I hit the ugly stage and want to give up. Seeing how you trust through the process has enabled me to save many paintings that before I would have chucked in the bin. Thank you for such a beautiful analogy teaching such a useful principle.

TreyCDellinger said...

Love your blog. Why did you use watercolors for the yellow ochre and red as opposed to gouache for all the colors?

James Gurney said...

Trey, tubed watercolor is very similar to tubed gouache. Here's a whole blog post on the subject:

olivier said...

Oui un beau tempérament et toujours un plaisir de vous regarder peindre monsieur Gurney :)