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A possible alternative?

Studio Logs

Hanjo Schmidt
A possible alternative?

Well March is far away so I should use the time to think about an alternative


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Studio Logs

2006-11-23

Last weekend I whitewashed (actually yellowwashed) my studio for I’ll have an exhibition in January 2007. That will be better for the paintings. Okay, but that’s not what I wanted to tell. I’m working on a new diptych with my model Silja.

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2006-11-23

it’s for to have an alternative for the Trapani show. The painting is still in a very early stage trying to mark the light and plasticity of the body.


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2006-11-23

This is the right side of the diptych just in the same stage for I work at both of them at the same time. Looks a bit like Lady Macbeth trying to free her hands from the blood. But it is not of course.

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2006-11-23

The difficulty is to find the colour for the skin. The main parts are not those in the light but those in the shadow. There it is where it can become very multicoloured and sensitive. So I paint the strong colours first like the red for the knuckles. Later the red will just be an underlying colour and shining through the covering of other colours.

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2006-11-24

This is the stage of the third day. Of course the expression of the faces is the most important thing. And even as the formate of the single painting is 90 to 150 cm the faces are not that big what makes it difficult to be as exact as possible while trying to match the brush style of the body.



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2006-11-24

The figure in the painting is approaching you forcefully. It’s no classical nude painting no doubt about that. All the women I paint in the nude are strong, selfconfident, self-evident and dignified. So the nakedness is at no means an erotic signal but just the absence of clothes. They are in the best meaning of the word unveiled.

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2006-11-24

While painting sometimes an unfinished part becomes very prominent. So it’s hard to continue for not destroying what you have got so far. Of course I cannot or will not leave as it is ... unfinished ... but I try to accept the signal and let the fingers as dark as possible and maybe even as red as possible. So maybe this answers the question of Patricia.
I contemplated on this yesterday and ... well, why not give her a touch of a Lady Macbeth. I mean Silja is an actress and I think she would be proud of having that role.

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2006-11-24

Painting in a relaxed and open way means not to become to smooth in some parts. The breast is a very difficult part for one automatically tries to make it look as smooth as it is and to avoid those edges you have when putting two different colours together. The difficulty is not to make it smooth like in an airbrush style but to leave the edges in a tolerable way so that it fits into the manner of the rest of the body.

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2006-11-27

Not painting for me is like wasting time. I needed so much time to find my way and of course to earn money to bring up my children that there isn’t so much left. So I have to work hard to get my things done. I’m still not that good as I want to be. There is still lying so much ahead. But ... sometimes ordinary work has to be done like building a shelf for my new store room. This was what I did on weekend.

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2006-11-27

Well, back to painting. As said I work from dark to light, even the background. Starting with a light background lets me fear to be to dark with the body. But I want to have the body darker as the background. The lighter a body is the more naked it looks. The women of former centuries knew exactly how to look tempting by bleaching their skin with not letting any sun touch it. And for I dont want the female body look tempting I have to avoid pale skin. So now I paint the background over making it lighter.

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2006-11-27

The darker layer of the background I use to show the light strands surrounding the hair. I am a painter so I do not draw lines. If there is a necessity for lines they will always be the rest of the darker layer. Drawing fine lines on a painting nearly always looks ridiculous. So I do it this way. If you compare the image with the darker background with this one you can clearly see how much power the body gains by having the background lighter.

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2006-11-27

So now there is the right light for to start with the hands.
This I will do tomorrow and I am a bit nervous about this. The hands will be the main focus of this painting so I do not want to make a mistake ... okay I can paint it over as often as I need to. But nevertheless the first cut is the deepest ... um ... I mean the first brushstroke is the best. Seldom comes out something good if one works for hours on one and the same part of a painting.

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2006-11-27

Looking at this pair I meanwhile get the feeling that perhaps the right one should be the left one and vice versa. I’m not sure but ... we will see. But before I decide this there is much much work left with the final work over of the bodies for they are still in a sketchy stage. For example there is to much green in them and the parts in the light have to become much much lighter. So this log isn’t done now.

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2006-11-28

Sorry, no fingers for today. I had to work on the face ... and then on the body ... well and then there was no time left for working on the fingers. So now the painting is nearly complete ... for now! Having the face as a model for the lightness I had to paint the body over making it lighter as well. And in doing this trying to complete it.

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2006-11-28

working on the face I also finished the hair respectively the strands. For the face is much more detailed as the body and for any detail in the face is much more important than on the body there is a lot of work to do. If you’ll take the time to compare it with older stages you’ll find out.

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2006-11-28

Okay, let’s zoom in on the face. The difficulty is to find what I call a brushstroke metaphor for anything. So on one hand you have the photograph showing every detail the way a photo does and on the other hand you have a painting where everything is told the way a brush does. It’s like doing a translation into another language.


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2006-11-28

This is nearly the original size. One can clearly see layer upon layer. On some days it’s more difficult to find the right hue than on other days. I don’t know why that is so. For a painting I normally use only 10 to 15 different colours and all the rest is mixing. Of course one gets familiar with finding the right mixture but as said, on some days it simply doesn’t work. Then you better stop painting and go for a walk

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2006-11-29

No fingers today either. But changing the colors. First I tried it with the unfinished one. I wanted to eliminate the rose and replace it with a hue more related to the darker parts of the body. This of course is difficult for you can easily ruin a lot of what you have done so far. But no risk no win.

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2006-11-29

And the same task with the other one. My, that looks much better doesn’t it? Here I was a bit more careful so that some of the rose still shines through the new layer. That means that again I have to add a little bit of pale rose to the first one. So it goes from one to the other and back again.

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2006-11-29

So, I think this is it now. For the time being I am satisfied so far. Now I can concentrate on number two and hopefully start with the fingers tomorrow.

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2006-11-29

I already put some light to the fingers. But first I have to work on the face. Here again we have the same phenomenon that in a sketchy stage the face can have a stronger expression than when being more detailed. So the challenge is to leave as much from the sketchy stage while adding as much detail as necessary.

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2006-11-29

This is the stage of the first face now. But already I have the feeling that there should be some changes with the eyes. On the photograph the light in the iris looks bluish. But what is a photo. So tomorrow I will try a different colour. Actually Silja has deeply brown eyes and I think it should go in that direction.

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2006-11-29

Well, this is the second face now. I think I leave it just the way it is exept changing the colour in the iris as well. I like the expression of this face very much. This is very special and I think I found just the right way to paint it. So I am much more satisfied with this than with the first face. So there will be the need for a closer look

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2006-11-30

While doing all this busy painting I have forgotten a very important thing ... the Italian feeling! So as a compensation a simple cappuccino isn’t enough. It has to be some of the delicious Italian food instead!

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2006-11-30

Well, Italy ... Sicily ... Trapani ... whow! Imagine all of us meeting there and having this wonderful food, the sun, summer, the sea a beautiful baroque atmosphere and lots of well done artworks from around the world ... what a great idea!

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2006-11-30

Okay, back to work. Today finally the fingers. I really want them to stay as sketchy as possible. Just the light so that they seem to be threedimensional and binding in the red of the knuckles.

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2006-11-30

As said I only use a wider brush even for small details. That helps a lot in not to becoming to accurate. What I really do not like is what I call the „one-hair-brush-style“ So let thick paint have it’s feast on the canvas.

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2006-11-30

So here we have the whole thing ready for the moment. And I’ve changed the order. Right became left and left became right. There is a story building up in my mind that led me to this decision and maybe this story needs another measure ...

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2006-11-30

... which is to introduce a centerpiece. So the alternative is going to become stronger and stronger. But that’s quite another story. For today it’s late, I am tired ...

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2006-11-30

... everything has been eaten ... and it’s time to go home and contemplate on a possible title.

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2006-11-30

Okay, lights off, key turned and here we go!

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2006-12-05

Well, finally this is what came out from introducing a centerpiece. I think that now the developement that began with having these red knuckles came to an end that makes sense. Or as I said has „Hand and foot“. Of course there is a lot of thinking underlying the process of the painting itself that is to difficult or maybe to philosophical for documentation the way one can document the brushwork. But with doing the centerpiece it became clearer and clearer that this triptych could be seen as a statement against hypocrisy as well.

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Studio Logs