Saturday, April 4, 2009

April 2009 Thought and Technique

Cochise Last Stand
I take a black and white of my finished painting to check the value pattern. If you cannot do this with your camera, you can do it in photoshop after you put it on your computer.

Cochise Last Stand
mixed water media
22 x 30 inches
Cathy Hegman

Below is the painting turned to check for design. A good design can usually be turned and still maintain its integrity. This is a handy tool for checking your design on your paintings.

Painting turned to the right

Painting turned upside down

Painting turned right again, I actually like this one as well as the first one, but I stayed with the horizontal format to give it a more peaceful feeling.

The Process from Thought to technique:

I read once where you should learn something new every day to keep your mind active and expand your world, I believe this to be true.The internet has made our ability to learn so much more accessible, we have no excuse to not teach ourselves. My greatest anxiety now is there is so little time.
I was listening to a Joni Mitchell (my all time favorite song writer) song, "This Place", on the Shine CD and in the lyric she mentioned Cochise. That is all it took for me to begin the process of planning my expression of his journey on this earth. To read about Cochise you can google him or here is link you can copy and paste ( He was an Apache Indian and his life is very interesting.
The song is about how we all have a right to be here, and it seemed to hit a chord with me.
I have always had a deep respect and tremendous love of the Indians that once inhabited this land before our intrusion.
I decided to paint a painting that would reference the life of Cochise without being literal, this is my goal and first step in beginning this painting. This piece is created using abstract shapes and values, this is keeping my goal of veering away from being too literal. My aim was to create the mystery and feel that I always think of when I think of Indians of the old west and way they lived.
The hues I have used to paint this piece give the air of tanned hides and desert lands with hidden lapis and touquoise. I have become rather complicated in my layering of paint and the reduction of layers by working the paint at differing stages of dryness. This layering in turn gives me a more complicated texture on my paint surface and richer colors in the paint layers. I painted in many shape symbols of Indian life, in the painting with no regard other than the pure design of the surface. I chose to disregard the realism of scale or detail in this piece as well, to reinforce the idea that this painting not a description of Cochise or his life, but rather a two dimensional symbol of how I feel about Cochise and his life. I always try to put a form of power in my paintings, it is the enigma that sparks the viewer to think and delve into themselves to react to the piece. In this piece the power element is the weaving of the lines that seemingly stitch the piece together much like an Indian would stitch together hides to make a tent or clothing or create an environment. Some of the stitch lines are loose and some lines are tight visually and emotionally making the connection between painting and viewer.

Thank you for reading my blog and I hope you have a great month!

Cathy Hegman NWS, MSWS, MoWs, SW, SAA

All artwork and text included in this blog is copyright protected by Cathy Hegman and should not be reproduced in any form or fashion or used without the written permission of Cathy Hegman. All text and artwork included in this blog are solely the thoughts and original art of the artist, Cathy Hegman, unless otherwise noted, and are meant only to be guidelines and thoughts for others to read.


CMC said...

Love it, Cathy........and the description of the process. Before the days of taking B & W or photo editing software, I used to use a piece of red cellophane to keep from seeing the colors. Still comes in handy in a pinch.

Nancy Standlee said...

Thanks for visiting my blog and love your painting for April and the ladies from the previous post. I appreciate your kind comments.

Cathy Hegman said...

Thanks Cheryl and Nancy! I appreciate the kind words. Cheryl, I know what you are talking about with the plastic I used to keep a piece of blue plastic in my box to check my values, although it is much easier with the camera. We are so spoiled with technology these days. I will dig mine out again and carry it with me in case my batteries fail on my camera! :) Take care!

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What a great art , and thanks for the artist........

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