New Work: “Red Door” – New Series “Reminiscences”

January 2, 2008

I started the New Year with finishing a new painting that I began to work on a couple of days ago. That’s a good start – isn’t it?

In the series “Where do I find Inspiration” I was talking about looking around and what you can find in your neighborhood. I decided to start a new series immediately while the idea was still fresh. I wanted to try one of my own ideas myself smug and this is now the first finished piece that emerged from my latest photo documentation about the Olympic student village here in Munich that is being torn down.
The first one I started landed in the bin – truly – it was crabby, the colour was not right and well – I just did not like it. This is the second one now – I am also not quite satisfied with the colour – I wished I could have managed to make the colour a bit more glowing – more like the original photo that shows a higher colour contrast but at least it is acceptable.

I also tried new material on this one, a different size and a different shape. It is also a bit smaller than I usually paint and therefore I included much more detail as you can see on my website (when you click on the photo). This piece has been painted on a very dense cotton fabric that has its own pattern and I was not sure at all how the colours would turn out and how easy it would be to be painted. I used a real primer for the first time before I painted the first layer of colour.

The next unknown was, that I had to get used to the quick drying of the acrylic colours – how quickly I was not aware of – and that was the problem. On silk it is quite “easy” (if you know how ) to achieve deep glowing colours because the fabric itself helps you to turn pigments into something shiny and lustrous but cotton and acrylic colours dry out quite dull (is this normal?) and darken a bit when completely dry. I was eager to not brighten up the colours too much but I probably overdid this. Luckily the glazing provided the final spell. These new materials and techniques (for me new) need some practise first – so this was a new experience but I will learn how to handle it.

The second task I entirely missed and that could not be repaired was, that I broke my initial intent to keep this painting as simple as possible. Unfortunately I discovered this until it was too late. Lesson learned! Originally I did not want to paint all that greenery and ivy stuff – I wanted to keep the whole painting quite raw, without any extra stuff. Now it looks nearly exactly like the photo. Again – this was not my intent. Well – that happens. Next time I try to remember this.

“Red Door”, acrylic on cotton, 24″ x 18″
©2008 Petra Voegtle

I nearly forgot – here is the original photo again – to judge for yourself what another result could have been achieved without painting all those plants, just emphasizing on colour and simple form. I know I have to get away from overloading paintings in my enthusiasm for the painting process. Sometimes less is really more. I am not saying that the above painting is overloaded but I still think it would have been better without all that extra stuff.

(click on image – “Doomsday for the Olympic Student Village”)

Now to the next one….


4 Responses to “New Work: “Red Door” – New Series “Reminiscences””

  1. laketrees Says:

    this has a real sense of mystery about it Petra….and I think the subdued colour (especially the red) heightens that….
    interesting texture achieved with the cotton….
    I love the title that you have chosen 🙂

  2. m6fan Says:

    Your painting strong and powerful.
    The window……..due perhaps to the high contrast and the positioning within the frame pulls me…. in an emotional way……not sure what I feel…perhaps a sense of mystery…yes that is it.
    There is a ense of deep mystery about this composition. Your slight rendition of a glimpse to the other side of the door through the window adds a great deal to the painting.
    I really like this one Petra.

  3. vyala Says:

    Hi Kim, thank you so much for this lovely compliment that really baffled me because I was not quite satisfied with this painting.

  4. vyala Says:

    Alan – now I am really stunned. You are the second now who is talking about that mystery. That’s really very strange and interesting because that shows how different a perception can be when you are near to an object i.e. somehow involved or far away from it (physical distance). Thank you very much for this wonderful compliment. Now I am really eager to work on the next one and see what’s happening after that. You don’t know how exciting this is!!!

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