Well, as I am off my mark of one painting a week already, I figured I'd let someone else who is far more worthy have this tiny piece of artistic spotlight have it this week. The above images are the work of Joseph Raffael, whose work graced the cover of Artist's Magazine this month. I almost fainted dead away when I saw the cover. This is realism, but the actual works are ENORMOUS! I wish I could post a scale bit so the abstract quality of the work is visible. This is also WATERCOLOR! Once again, stunning, stunning, amazing-but the color!!!! I love it, I love it. This is what I'm trying to get. It is still realism, more beautifully done than so much out there-it is worthy to note that Mr. Raffael has spent a lifetime painting. He had has first show in 1963. So much for age being any sort of detriment. These works make mine look amateurish and yet how wonderful it is to say, "THIS is what I'm shooting for! This is what I'm hoping to accomplish." And here, someone has done it. Now I said the works are enormous-up to 80 inches, which therefore means a very small reproduction looks absolutely amazing. But these are even better in person I'm sure.
It is extremely difficult to manage clean, beautiful and natural looking color that is not local, or is heightened. There has to be something that ties it all together, but I am so sick of seeing the deaden palette on some works out there. I've seen enough toys hanging on strings, dark chiaroscuro-it has its place, but I realize over and over it isn't me. How does one develop this sort of spectacular color sense? Years of practice, obviously. But it is something to use the rest of my life to aim for.