A new painting

John Watt

Active member
It's not good, expecting a camera to see like a human, with two eyes,
but I got excited about this painting, and the optical effect it creates.

I did everything to create a sense of perspective,
without using fences, people, hydro poles, or animals.
The horizon curves like a reverse fish-eye lens, nothing natural.
The only white is where the sun has gone down,
and it's against the black, the boldest colour contrast.
The brightest yellow is against this black and white.

If you look to the left, across the water to the tip of the peninsula,
you see some perspective and water reflections for that.
If you look to the right, the same contours are reflected in the shore,
both sides being soft colours, and for me, the same balance of colour.
The only sharp lines, and points, are in the bullrushes right up front.

You can't see that, not here, not this small either.
Please, look at the black of the peninsula, straight out of the bottle.
Look at the black of the base of the bullrushes, and the side lines,
all the same black straight out of the bottle, but it doesn't look like that,
even in reality here. Others have to compare a sample to see it.

The blue reflection at the bottom left hand corner, is too much of an area,
being more little lines and finger-wiped brush strokes, just what the camera does.

My cost? A found mahogany panel, from a roadside piece of furniture,
when even the great artists from the past didn't have any plywood,
and less than $2 of Dollarama acrylic paint, that they also didn't have.

Uh, I suggest leaning back to look at this,
like you're pushing your bike along the rocky shore,
watching where you're going,
and as the sun sets,
you're looking up to see where you want to go.
Let your eyes relax, just looking at the white center,
and it might close in on you, becoming a little claustrophobic,
like a tunnel vision towards the white light, with darkness closing in.
It was "dark organ" and "dark piano" heard here, that inspired this dark painting.

Sony Sunset.jpg

John Watt

Active member
I'm looking at this after I woke up, and want to comment about something.
I don't want to seem vainglorious at all.
My comment about the great artists of the past not having plywood,
is true, but for me, it's more of a rationalization about not having professional supplies.
When I say they didn't have acrylic paint, oh yeah, they probably wouldn't want any,
plastic and chemical colours, not mixing like the tones of the earth.
They say the deepest black is a mix of a blue and yellow, to illustrate that.

Dollarama has over forty colours, but no deep blue, a basic primary colour.
The company makes deep blue, but it's not part of the commercial rack.
This paint dries almost instantly, being something you really can't work with,
no, not like oil paints.

Here, living beside the United States, all oil is described as being petroleum.
That makes it a security hazard of international consideration,
more than a HAZMAT warning, meaning some paints and clear coats can't be exported.
Those are the oils of nature in oil paints, but that distinction is getting lost.
Ontario was right there from the start, banning oil paint for commercial and residential use.

I'd like to remind you, before acrylic, they called it latex. layTex, oh yeah,
don't just burn it for fuel, lay it on as a paint and cover the world with it.
When tampons were first made out of latex, a woman could die right away,
from what they called "latex shock". That's still a part of it.
A Mexican who heard about this new paint when it was invented,
came to New York to have a look, calling it "plastic paint".
He wanted to paint political murals on huge canvases,
that could be taken out and hung up overnight, starting their revolution.

I'm still thinking about a title for this, knowing it's a high tide, knowing the land,
and water. The gap between the trees on the immediate right,
is probably where I'd be going, leaving a rocky and swampy shore,
to find a trail, and eventually, a paved public path, part of a peninsula-wide system.

This is the land of the beaver, becoming Mohawk land.

John Watt

Active member
I mention the Mexican,
because that's whose formulas for some of the modern acrylics we are using,
after he went back to make his own.
Tuolene, what some call artificial lacquer, a very nasty chemical, is a big part of it.
Benzene can be a substitute. It certainly makes it dry fast, using lighter fluid.

John Watt

Active member
Thank you Krummhorn. I really wasn't expecting any comments, uh, compliments.

This domain works so nice, and looks so good,
I just wanted to put it up so I could look at it myself when I'm here.
That includes adding more as I finish them. I've been an irresponsible artist.
The weather has been so nice, I'm looking outside and then taking off on a bike-hike.
It really was only cold and icy four days in a row, all this winter.

For a Lake Erie scene, it's my smallest one, 28" by 16".
I painted it for a few days, and kept looking at it, thinking it looks too smooth.
I found a photo from seeing it, and printed it out, painting on it for two more days.
That added a lot of details, just losing straight lines along the shore and sand dune.

Oh yeah, that big black shape is a sand dune.
If you could see it, there would be places of shrubs, trees fallen on the side,
trees on top. That's what those three, big square nubbies are along the black top,
trees between roads that haven't been chopped down.
Again, this view would be in your face like you're standing there,
making the view along the beach a lot longer than it is in real life.

That's what people picked apart, especially some Metis and Mohawk,
saying it's a fantasy view, and bullrushes don't grow along Lake Erie.
I say it's not finished, this invasive view.
I used some black construction paper to make hydro turbine blades,
a big one up front, with others spread out behind like geese flying in a V,
and I stick that on with tape behind it and everyone says take that off.

Yeah, just like the real ones, they aren't spinning.

Thanks again Krummhorn.

John Watt

Active member
Now I can explain reactions to this painting that make sense.
This is the scene I was remembering, when I began my painting.
I printed the photo out as reference, after I first finished.
Why not, I have everything to do that, and I had my idea.

You can see how I created my own beach, making it wide and long,
with a rocky shore and bullrushes, looking out at Point Abino.
Locals know this scene, coming from Crystal Beach, a popular place.
This should be down enough from my painting up top,
so it won't make it look so bad.
Actually, that's what I like about playing guitar and painting,
and seeing what happens, compared to the original or seeing the reality.
It's like having a thermometer in me, that shows me how I'm doing.
Unless my amplifier just starts telling me off by itself.

254.jpgSony Sunset.jpg

I'm seeing that I'm still thinking blue for water, when it really was orange.
My blue sky reflections are stronger than the photo,
even if the blue skies in the photo are far stronger than mine.
You really can't blame me for straying far from that.
I purposely didn't do the deeper blue and open skies above me,
no, such a strong contrast not seeming real, before I printed the photo out.
Viewers also say I should paint the waves in more, and sure enough,
there are black waves in the photo.
I'm not going to change the water, no, that was hard enough,
and I'm only using bad acrylic paint. Sure, it's waterproof, almost right away,
because it's made out of industrial chemicals, nothing natural.
But when you paint over dried areas, the paint softens everything under it,
and you can pull a big section off, what I call a paint pit.
That could be over ten layers of one colour just to get a deeper tone,
or layers of overpainted areas and objects, that you just can't touch up.
Just like me, this painting is a survivor.

oh no, I'm looking at the darker blue, wanting to do that too.
I'll be back, and so will the painting.

Sorry! Forgive me, please, I'm forgetting myself online here.
If you would like to see your name erected in bold, dramatic font,
using the same design as the aircraft warning lights for the Buffalo Airport,
looking over from on top of the dunes,
please, send $14.95 for each letter and your custom copy will be sent to you shortly,
very shortly.
In fact, you're invited to visit "Short Lee.com", onlines newest and most dramatic colurcoteurist.
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John Watt

Active member
There I was, lying in bed, around seven in the morning, an almost sleepness night,
and I'm saying to myself, you're wide awake, stop thinking about that blue and paint it.
Before, I tried three cameras with different lighting,
and for here, I just went with the camera I ended up liking, as is.

Sony Sunset.jpgdeeper blue sky.jpg
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John Watt

Active member
Just when the dark night sky was coming upon me, I was made homeless,
and it took a lot of illegal activity against me to do that.
Now that I'm inside again, being offered and talked into a very nice residence,
it's obvious, through my first finished artwork here, how my mood has changed.
I'm into the night, lying there for six months, day and night, looking up into the sky.
And I must miss long distance bike-hikes, doing a Lake Erie shore theme,
about darkness in the rain.

The individual lines of gray in the sky each have their own shine, unlike the atmosphere.
These photos don't show that, using 600 grit sandpaper on a satin finish clear-coat.
The original is 30" wide by 26" tall.
It's stressful, using technology, sandpaper, to reveal underlying areas of paint,
when painting with oils, using a brush, is a far more immediate and satisfying experience.

I recommend staring at the center of the painting, letting your eyes go,
to see if it envelops you, as the larger than eyesight scene it is.

rainy Lake Erie night.JPGclose-up 1.jpgclose-up 2.JPGclose-up 3.JPG
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John Watt

Active member
An old Welland boy who now lives in British Columbia gives me an art gig every once in a while.
It could be steady work, but I'm not into doing anything digital, and that's where his businesses are, online.
He likes my ideas, so I just do a drawing or make an artwork and scan or photograph it,
and send it as a photo attachment.
He's now doing something with horse racing betting online, micro-bets,
and even if he typed out a lengthy explanation, I'm still not sure what's going on.
His previous project involved all the pro sports in North America, had Zack Ward as a spokesman,
and used licensed Star Wars scenes and graphics as part of their advertising.
That was betting for points to get rewards, mostly signed items and sports card packages.

Here's my drawing of a horse head that's going to be used as a logo, if he likes it.
The horse is in your face so a winners' bouquet or ribbon or bling medal can be added.
I wanted to make a serious horse, even if I accented the mouth as a smile.
He might want to make it more of a caricature, I don't know, he just said do what you want.

Looking at books of horses was more interesting than I could imagine.
The heaviest weight pulled by a horse called Shire, in 1924, was 47 tons.
The skin of a horse is as sensitive as our fingertips.
And if a horse comes across a spot where a human or horse was killed,
they might stop and not want to continue.
Inuit I talked to up north said elk are like that when they're migrating.

This isn't as black and white as the original, using a filter function.
I added a smaller one, part of its usage.
Being a sign-painter for almost ten years helps me judge contrast for sizing.
Not bad for a first try without touch-ups.
I had the movie "Power Rangers" on in the background.

Hmmm! The smaller size doesn't activate as looking at it bigger,
at least not right now, and I'm thinking I should provide the original,
considering the level of professionalism and commentary here.

Win-One 2.jpg Win-One 4.jpg Win-One 1.jpg
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John Watt

Active member
And when I type "the level of professionalism and commentary here",
I'm referring to the activities and comments of other Magle.dk members.
And if I'm adding to my previous posting,
I might as well put up some new photos from my long distance bike-hikes,
just to illustrate some Niagara Peninsula scenery.
I always save photos on discs, now according to location and day or night,
and I copied some into my computer to send for an ex-Welland friend,
being an assortment of scenes, not to inspire another painting.
Woodn't you?


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John Watt

Active member
alcaponedudu, Eduardo from Brazil, asked me if I had another painting he could see.
This is one of my newer ones.
Imagine... you are walking on the shore and look to the right towards the sun across the bay,
and your eyes are dazzled, overwhelmed by the light and not really seeing all the black.
This is a realistic painting of the scene, except for the nuclear patterns of clouds like orbits of the sun and moon.
Some people ask if this is a winter scene, and you're looking behind a ski-doo as it kicks up snow.
Other people ask if it's mist or fog on the water, obscuring the distant view.
I can say look at the waves moving towards the shore, and it's a misty view.
If anyone wants to compliment me on the tops of the trees, please do.
That was the hardest part, going back to keep painting three times.
I made Eduardo a nice offer, saying send me $20 and I'll paint a boat with his name on it.
It's $25 for you.

painting 1.jpg