Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ned Martin - insights on oil painting: Ned Martin How to / Landscape Painting in Oils- St...

Ned Martin - insights on oil painting: Ned Martin How to / Landscape Painting in Oils- St...: ned martin step1 Ned Martin Landscape Painting in Oils Step 1: This my first pass- the under painting .Every painting calls for a custom...

latest on painting in oils from ned martin

Friday, September 16, 2011

Ned Martin's Two Worlds: NYC + Rural PA

From an Artist/Painter's point of view, New York City and Rural PA offer an endless source of inspiration, intrigue, and things that make me go hhhmmmmm!

NY You can tell if someone is a real NewYorker by the way they wait for the light to change (when walking). Tourist wait on the sidewalk, NewYorkers wait in the street about 10 feet into the first lane.This is not recommended for the casual walking tourist. A bus will take you out in a NY minute and never slow down! Not kidding around.

Rural PA I went to my first tractor pull! Most of the tractors were not tractors but pickup trucks with large stove pipes coming out of the beds of their trucks with great plumes of black smoke shooting out. They pulled a big sled with lots of weight until they inevitably bogged down and could go no further. I have 2 suggestions: The sport should be renamed "trucks getting stuck in the mud" AND it would be more interesting if they allowed them to get out and punch each other like in Hockey.

NY Most tourist surround themselves with tourist while in NYC cuz they go to "tourist" destinations. See the real NY! Find a small deli on an off street, go in and order salami and provolone on a hero. BEST DAMN SANDWICH EVER! Street meat is also the tops! Best calamari in NYC? Took me forever to find it... MARSEILLE's / 630 9TH AVENUE on 44th and 9th!

Rural PA Best burger in Central PA: "Bear Burger" (not really bear meat- it's a big hunk of beef) @ Crippled Bear Inn (on the old rt.15) 2967 Lycoming Creek Road in Williamsport. Have it with a large order of fresh cut fries and a draft Yuenling.

The corn fields lay flat on frozen ground this time of year although a few scattered, truncated stalks turn skyward stubbornly refusing to cooperate. The ablility to see across a vast expanse for a mile or so is not something New Yorkers take for granted. Just standing there and listening to nothing awashed in the cold breeze gives me a sense of calm and energetic enthusiasm all at the same time. "I must paint this," I mutter. "The distant hills rolling in great ribbons of burnt sienna and sap green and paynes gray..." The crows squawk  and rush past me close enough (I swear) I could hear their wings beating against the cold air. Yes, the crows. Gotta paint the crows into this scene. So I leave this place but it stays in mind's eye and I relive it over and over during the next couple of days. I will paint it soon. 

This morning my first cup of coffee and I were greeted with more crows. First a single voice barking loudly then a duet followed by a raucous chorus. I leave the warmth of the log cabin and stand on the deck staring into the woods.

"They've found something dead to eat and are fighting over it," Renee informs me. "It's the only time they do that." I smile. I listen. They are close. Maybe a half mile, maybe even... The loud boom of a gun shot, then another makes my body jerk. 
"Who in the hell would be shooting a gun so early on a Sunday morning?" I growl.

I shuffle back inside. "I like crows- admire them for their intelligence and beauty," I say to myself. "I have often wished I could have one for a pet like in the movie A Wonderful Life." I go to feed the horses and as I walk out the front door I see a dead crow laying on the gravel driveway. It managed to fly here before falling out of the sky. I realize then I kinda got my wish- in a twisted dark way.

We are alone- the crow and the artist. I examine the corpse closely and I think... my job as an artist is to record in paint things that make others stop and look and to see and to ponder and to feel... This is my responsibility. I will keep the crow and study the thing, paint it and show others what they are missing. 

My gun is a brush.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Ned Martin How to / Landscape Painting in Oils- Step by step

ned martin step1
Ned Martin Landscape Painting in Oils Step 1: This my first pass- the under painting.Every painting calls for a customized approach. In this instance, I am drawing in the basic shapes with thin paint and establishing relative values (laying down the darks first). No hard edges. Easy Peasy.

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Ned Martin Landscape Painting in Oils Step 2: Beginning to Lay in textures and relative color.

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Ned Martin Landscape Painting in Oils Step 3: Blocked in leaves in foreground.

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Ned Martin Landscape Painting in Oils Step 4: Up to this point, I have been following a traditional / classic method of oil painting. In the first 3 steps the intent was to: 1.)  draw the objects, 2.) establish relative lights and darks and 3.) establish relative color. --Pretty straight forward stuff.
In this newest step 4 however, I begin to reveal my neurosis when painting in the new layer of the background. My technique quickly veers far from traditional methods. I find myself laying down paint only to break it apart into worm-like shapes and tiny fractals by scratching and scrapping the wet strokes. These kinds of nonsensical marks drove my instructors crazy when I was in school. Despite their grumblings I never managed to change my ways. I don’t know why I scrape and scratch. In part, it’s something about deploring “paint strokes” I’ve learned to embrace insanity long ago. Hey it’s fun to be crazy.
Next, I’ll show you a close up of a small section of the background so you’ll see (from right over my shoulder) the work of a madman.

Ned Martin Landscape Painting in Oils This is a detail shot of part of the background. These weird paint marks will eventually cover the entire surface

Ned Martin Landscape Painting in Oils Step 5: There is a certain point in a painting where I am convinced that I can "pull this off". I'm at this stage now with this painting and simultaneously... the painting begins to "take over". In other words, up to this point, I have been more concerned about technical aspects. Now, I begin sensing and seeing possibilities of where the painting is really heading (in terms of mood for instance). It takes on a life of its own. This is where the magic happens- if you let it.

There is an old argument amongst painters: should you paint what you see or what you know. I say neither. YOU SHOULD PAINT WHAT YOU FEEL. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ned Martin answers: Why grind your own oil paints?

OK, walk into your nearest art supply store and buy 1 tube of the cheapest oil paint you can find. Pick the hue COBALT BLUE. When you squeeze the paint from the tube you will find gobs of gooey stuff amongst the pigment. That my friend is a lot of (low quality) binder. Low-end paints are packed with the stuff because the raw pigment (especially a hue like COBALT) is the most expensive ingredient.

So... WHY GRIND YOUR OWN OIL PAINTS? Because you can control the quantity and quality of the binder and the paint pigment itself. You will be able to achieve richer, deeper, more saturated... effects. GRIND YOUR OWN OIL PAINTS! You're worth it.

I'll cover: how to grind oil paints and choosing binders in my next blogs.
Paint on.
Ned Martin