Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Feature of the Day #30: Splodgepodge

Tiger Painting- animal print of watercolor painting - 5 by 7
Tiger Painting
Today's feature goes to Splodgepodge, AKA, Louise De Masi, and her gorgeous paintings.
De Masi has been drawing and painting most of her life, and now is a teacher, spreading her expertise to others for the past 14 years. To De Masi, there is nothing more satisfying than creating the illusion of three dimensions on a two dimensional surface. She enjoys painting all subjects, but adores animals so they are the main focus of many of her works. Through her paintings, she aims to, "share my love of animals and nature."
When not teaching, De Masi enjoys spending time working in her studio, beside her faithful companion, Chelsea, her dalmatian.
Acrylics have been her medium of choice for many years, but De Masi has recently moved into watercolors. She has been enthralled with the difference between the two. This is what De Masi says about water colors:
I love the translucency, looseness and portability of watercolor. I also love its uncontrollable nature. I never know how a painting will turn out because watercolor has a mind of its own and I have had many happy surprises.
When starting a painting, De Masi first looks at the light and how it contrasts against the shadows. She says, "it is the light that can make or break a painting." This is true for almost any 2D medium from painting to photography. Without proper lighting and contrast, an image is stagnant and dull. There is no life, and the viewer becomes quickly bored whether they understand why or not. However, De Masi has a firm grasp on this all-important concept and uses it to makes images come to life, dazzle the eye and contrast beautifully. 
Bird Watercolor  - Archival Print of watercolor painting
Bird Watercolor
For example, her painting Bird Watercolor (shown left) is a simple painting by nature; small bird, without a discernible background. But De Masi uses just the hint of purple in the shadows on the bird's chest and in the background and it makes the painting pop. Yellow and purple, while not the best colors to wear together, are a wonderful contrast in paintings. Instinctively, the eye separates the two and vibrates them off of each other, unable to filter them out. What remains is a simple, but dynamic image that the eye is drawn to, even if the viewer doesn't know why. 
This technique is also a great way to break away from using the colors one is trained to use. Most children are taught to use black as a shadow, and this idea sticks. Yet there is no true black in nature, there isn't even true white. I challenge you to look at a snowy field sometime and tell your eyes it's blue and suddenly you can see all the colors in the "white". You can even take a moment to simply look at your hand, and marvel at all the colors that will reveal themselves. This technique of using the unexpected color can be found in countless famous paintings and mastered by such artists as Matisse. De Masi captures the unseen colors, and brings them to light in her gorgeous paintings. Truly, she is someone who actually sees.
For over 200+ more examples of De Masi's beautiful paintings, make sure to stop by her Etsy store! www.etsy.com/shop/SplodgePodge 
Schnauzer Dog Painting - print of acrylic painting
Schnauzer Dog Painting
You can also find more of her paintings, and the stories behind them, on her blog: LouiseDeMasi.blogspot.com
Like her art on Facebook here: Facebook

Be Creative today!
~Squirrel Creek Creations
Our Etsy store: www.squirrelcrkcreations.etsy.com
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Bluebird Painting -B029-  Archival Print of bird watercolor painting 5 by 7
Bluebird Painting

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