I’ll tell something about my painting that is going to be part of this exhibition.
We were camping with a view over this beet-field. For the past few days I had constantly been peering at that wide space over those curly leaves. Now! Plein air! So many details? Yes but I love that, we shall see. A sketch in broad strokes. The leaves in the foreground, yes those have to be really detailed, in form and color. Quickly now, in two hours’ time the light has changed.
When the sunlight shines thru the leaf it turns yellow-green. Where the light falls on the leaf, the color is a cool white with a dash of green, or do I see pink there, or light blue?
In the mean time the middle and far areas and the sky are done as well. These can be more abstract, with sweeps, dots, anything. Time has run out, it is not finished.
There was enough on the panel to finish it at home. I also had photos for useful information. Furthermore there was my memory, the experience. That steers you. Together with your common sense. I strive for the illusion of ‘just like the real thing’, because that beet-field must remain.
Some time ago somebody asked me if people sometimes say: “Wow, it’s just like a photo”. Answer: “They sure do”.
“What is your response to that?”
“Well, if they say: ‘it’s just like the real thing’ and they tell me why they like it, I am happy.
If they say: ‘Why should work so hard if you can also make a photo?’, then I think to myself: you should look better. Maybe I say: It’s not so crazy if you think of a photo: a painting can look very ‘real’. But meanwhile it is all interwoven with my experience, and I hope to share that with the viewer. That’s the main thing.
I changed a lot, the horizon for example, and of course in reality there are no dots and sweeps. Those interventions should not stand out, because then the illusion of reality would be disturbed. There is a lot more to be said about it, but then my tale would be too long.”
I developed a lecture about this subject, and in the future I hope to publish parts of that in this blog. I took a dive in the history of art and to my amazement and joy I even found discussions among the ancient Greeks.
Translation NL-EN: Jeroen Strengers