Thursday, January 20, 2011

Rural Landscape Painting Original Small Canvas Art by Artist K. Joann Russell

"Beyond the Dikes"
5 x 4 x 3/4" acrylic on canvas, gallery wrap

"Small is beautiful", some say. Small paintings can be colorful jewels. For me, they are a big challenge.

Painting small format art brings out my detailed drawing skills. As I paint in dimensions less than 9 x 12" I find it hard to stay with the large color shapes that I'm accustomed to using in larger paintings. It becomes challenging to stay with large brush strokes rather than fussy detail. Details can't substitute for structure of a composition.

I grew up drawing very detailed drawings. My dad majored in architecture and gave me lots of drawing materials and books and critiques. To this day I sometimes draw realistic, detailed sketches just for the fun of it. It is rather therapeutic for me, I guess, because I get lost in line associations. But, often I'll just want to cut loose with some free wheeling action drawing "outside the lines".

I've worked hard at loosening up my painting by painting on larger surfaces and with a variety of media. Maybe my struggles with this painting are similar to what I experience doing ACEOs. They are so small.

This painting comes from my time spent in southern Oregon. This is the 6th in a series of paintings, mostly oils, of the Swan Lake ranching area. This rural landscape painting, entitled "Beyond the Dikes", shows the acres and acres of farmland which uses the waters of Swan Lake at the base of the mountains by the same name for irrigation. Dikes with paths and roads separate parts of the area. I omitted the fence posts and wire to give a more spacious feel to this vast region.

You may purchase the painting in my Etsy shop or contact me by e-mail.

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