Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Oil on Linen

I haven't posted anything for a week and a half. That's because I've been working on four paintings at once and I'm still not done with the other three (but I'm close). As I've said many times before, the tonalist process takes time because of the many layers that need drying before another is applied. But that's okay. Because it's like a meditation for me.

My husband made an observation about my painting last night. He saw an artist on TV who painted a big painting in under an hour. He wasn't trying to be critical, but couldn't understand why I sit and stare and paint for hours on end. What the outside observer doesn't understand is that's when I'm in the zone. With the music cranked up in my own little world, I'm completely happy.

Art is contemplation. It is the pleasure of the mind which searches into nature and which there divines the spirit of which nature herself is animated.

- Auguste Rodin

Ha, now there's a guy who gets it.


d'Morais said...

Your painting is very beautiful. I like the bright yellow in contrast with the dark brown. I also like the mild blend of the two colors. It is very expressive. Congratulations. I became your follower.

Karen said...

What a beautiful quote! I sit around staring a lot too...
I just have to remind myself that this is (can be) a productive part of the process (as long as it's focused staring).

The time it takes to make your shows in them.

loriann said...

Words to live by. So much of actual painting is done without paint just brains and heart. Keep doing exactly what you are doing. Beautiful.

Caroline said...

I do the same simply staring for ages, though it could be I am very unsure as to my next move. I also work building up layers of thin glazes and it takes ages. Have you tried placing a frame around a work in progress? it really gives it a different look and sitting back and staring really takes on another dimension with the frame.
Very beautiful painting with a lovely title.

Betsy said...

It's all in the process, right? It's beautiful!

Can't believe you have 4 going at once! I always enjoy seeing your paintings...they are so restful!

Jill Berry said...

Yep~ I can relate.
"Think more & paint less". I've heard instructed.
When we're engrossed in "thinking it through" we appear not to be working. Nice work, btw.

Art with Liz said...

A beautiful painting - so utterly peaceful.

Catherine Jeffrey said...

Absolutely beautiful light in this piece Janelle. Have you changed the palette in this one? Are you still using the pink brown? Staring and looking are a normal part of painting, I think. How can one know if everything is working together on the canvas. Even though I paint wet into wet, looking and contemplating is a part of the process. I think I have to change my music. What do you normally listen to?

Judith Reidy said...

Now I have been watching you paint for sometime. I really enjoy the tonalist, Inness is one of my favorites. My studio paintings, as apposed to my Plein Air Paintings tend toward a tonalist motif when it comes to light. I think the art world is crazy and I am near giving up trying to make sense of it.

Tonalist Paintings, becasue of the time they take to make must demand a higher price, so some dealers prefer the plein air paintings that don't demand that price.

neetzy said...

Your paintings take me to a good place! I can so relate. Not that I am a "tonalist". The last series of paintings were layering events. Layers upon layers upon layers. I don't have a name for my technique. It is a cross between frenetic palette knife with impressionistic influence maybe? It is not "dotty" like some of the impressionists. I so understand the meditative nature of painting. The zone is a wonderful place to be. Right now I'm getting so frustrated with the showing side of it. Stop by my blog to get details! The quote is perfect!

Janelle Goodwin said...

Hi d'Morais, Thanks so much and welcome to my blog. Now I need to go visit you!

Hi Karen, Seems the closer I get to the end of the painting, the more I stare at it. Don't want to mess up at that point :) I've been so enjoying your paintings from out West!!!

Hi Loriann, Isn't that the truth, about the actual painting done with brains and heart? I love that and have to remember it!

Hi Caroline, I'm glad to be back in contact with you after our online class together. Sometimes I do put a frame around the painting to see if I'm "done", but I haven't done it lately. Maybe I should. Thanks!

Hi Betsy, Yes, I think the process thing applies to just about everything. But I'm not a patient person (like you) :) Thanks!

Hi Jill, I would imagine you paint pretty quickly, being a plein air painter. But being an artist yourself, I know you understand the "staring stage". Thanks!

Hi Liz, Thanks for stopping by, and now I need to see what you're up to!

Hi Catherine, Yes, there's pink brown in this one, but the underlayers are light blue and naples yellow with white. Many glazes in the sky. Music? That's an interesting question. I think I need to write a post on that one!

Hi Judith, I agree with you that tonalist paintings take much more time. We should, of course, get paid buckets of money for these paintings!!!

Hi Neetzy, I'm not sure what to call your technique either, and that's why I love it! I agree that showing isn't always much fun, especially when some people don't understand the amount of work that goes into it. That's why we paint for the love of the process.
Good luck with your show. I'm sure that a lot of people will love your work!

Celeste Bergin said...

Janelle, it's so funny--because I am one of those people who paints one painting in one sitting---and I get people who think I should paint for hours and hours/days and days! (They don't "get" my methods either). Everyone's a critic! haha
I love your new painting--magically luminous. Looking forward to seeing the others as well. :)

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Julie Hill said...

Janelle, this is a painting that i could just sit and take in for a real long I want a bigger version over the fireplace. Great job in the tonals...and the depth. wishing you continued happy painting to you