A Painting Recipe-Ann Rea

[caption id="attachment_61" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Ann Rea's pallette"]annreaspallette[/caption] Collectors often ask how I even start to create an original oil painting. “What is your creative process?"  This really depends on the piece.  Let’s say for example that I’m commissioned to complete a large-scale canvas of a particular vineyard.  I also paint private gardens. The first step is to arrange a tour with the winemaker, or the ranch manager, someone who really knows and loves the land.  They have an emotional connection and so they can take me to the special places in the landscape. With a field map in hand, the winemaker and I drive around while I take several photographs. A field map delineates each block of fruit in a vineyard.  I’ll map the spots that excite me so that I can find my way back to each place within what is often hundreds of acres of unmarked vines. Then it’s back to my Pacific beach studio where I’ll review each photograph.  If it still interests me, then I’ll sketch the basic elements of the image in charcoal on canvas board.  Canvas board is particleboard wrapped in prepared canvas.  I don’t use stretched canvas for field studies because I’m outside and when the wind kicks up, and it does, it acts like a sail and it can blow right off the easel. When I travel back to the vineyard I return to each spot at the same time of day and I paint in oil over the charcoal sketch. I’m often asked, “How long does it take you to paint?”  I want to answer as Picasso did, “all my life.” But I understand the question. I only have two or three hours to complete a field study because as the light changes, the colors shift and the shadows take on new shapes.  Like writing a rough draft, I complete several field studies and only keep some. “What do I do with the others?” They’re destroyed. Again, my creative process is just like a writing rough draft. Finally I’ll select the field study that I’m most excited by, still curious about, and in my Pacific beach studio I’ll complete a larger rendition of it on the canvas size my patron selects.  I’ll further explore the image artistically, refining the colors and the composition. This is of course is just part of painting’s physical recipe.  The creative process requires several more posts!
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