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The Morning After

 

It is the next morning, and I've slowed it down a bit. I started with an outline sketch...

My sketch is a bit taller than the original picture, but I'm okay with that. On to the color, eh? Let's start with the pepper itself.

When I first looked at it, I wondered if I had a red bright enough to paint this. I mean, that looks like a brilliant red.

But on closer inspection, other colors began to come out. It's not really a true red; it's more of a rich pink. There's a bit of white in it. And there is yellow and purple in the highlights.

To confirm it, I loaded it into Microsoft Photo Editor and zoomed in. Check this out.

You see the yellow and the purple? And then I color-matched the reddest pixel in this close-up and its RGB value is red-255, green-29, blue-21. The green and the blue make a white shade when combined with the red, so this is like 8 1/2 parts red and 1 part white.

Also, at this close view, you forget that it's a red pepper. I believe that anyone could paint that little swatch and be fairly accurate. Why? Because it's no longer a red pepper. It's now just colors: reddish-pink, yellow, purple, and white. Paint a bunch of little swatches like this and it's - ta-da - a painting of a red pepper and a sliced onion.

It's hard work to unlearn. It's also critical to learn how to do this.

The Creating Passionate Users blog has a very succinct post on this.

Yes, we're under pressure to learn more and to learn quickly, but the future goes to those who can unlearn faster than the rest, because you can't always learn something new until you first let go of something else. And learning to let go of rules is one of the first things we (and our managers) have to learn to be quicker at.

Sometimes that means letting go of something that served you well for a long time.

They point to smart guy, John Seely Brown. Go read it.

All of this is a good reason why today's schools don't teach what people need to know - especially MBA colleges. Jack Welch said, "I am convinced that if the rate of change inside an organization is less than the rate of change outside, the end is in sight."

The same could be said of us. I think seeing truly and unlearning are two of the greatest skills in life.

 

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Read the whole story of "Red Pepper and Onion"
Tags: painting | watercolor
by Brett Rogers, 3/6/2005 10:42:55 AM
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Out of My Comfort Zone

 

It's been over a month since I last painted. And like, I forgot how.

For the last month, my brain has been in high gear to get this web site done. Lots of lots of left-brained activity. In that mode, I think fast and I run at it to get it done. Plus, I've had some high octane projects to do at work, so speed has been my way of getting around.

But not so with painting. It's about slowing down, and getting to know the subject, and seeing past my preconceptions. Which of course, I didn't do.

I bought a grill today. It was a cheap grill, but a grill nonethless, and I'm probably the only 40-year-old man in America who has never used a gas grill in his life. So in honor of my first grilling and since I've been away from it for so long, I thought I would paint. I chose a picture of a red pepper and onions, which was part of tonight's very scrumptious steak dinner.

Nice picture. And in my mind, I thought, well this should be easy.

But that's the trick, see. Every painting is equally as "hard." I forgot to rid my mind of the idea that I'm painting a red pepper and a sliced onion. So my first attempt at this gorgeous red pepper looked more like a sketch of Bob the Tomato.

Painting is good for me. I'll take a crack at this in the morning.

 

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Tags: painting | watercolor
by Brett Rogers, 3/5/2005 10:18:26 PM
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Obsessed

 

I wasn't going to bed until this one was done.

Here's me at my messy desk, starting the finishing work.

And here's the progression of the painting:

And the photo from which I started:

As I finished, I washed out whitewater in the foreground because, well, it just looks artificial. And I removed/simplified a few other things, while trying to bring additional colors out. I like it.

And so, content, I am off to bed.

 

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Read the whole story of "Multnomah Falls"
Tags: painting | watercolor
by Brett Rogers, 2/4/2005 1:12:00 AM
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Multnomah Falls: Layer 5

 

I'm close... time now for the tiny brushes and really small, time-consuming detail work.

I went in this morning and snapped pictures of half the corporate art in the building. Can you say "abstract?" Here are a few of them:

What's the criteria for selection? Don't know...

Someday, I'll try my hand at this, but I need to get a grip on painting reality first.

 

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by Brett Rogers, 2/3/2005 12:00:00 AM
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Multnomah Falls: Layer 4

 

It's been all big brush so far. Time to start the detail and break out the tiny brushes.

I didn't watch the president's speech. I talked for quite a while with my kids about life and stuff. Great conversation. Toward the end of it, my son Aaron is thankful that we talk, and in depth, about things. Wide-ranging, free exchange of thoughts and opinions.

My kids are my favorite people. It's cool to hear their foundation become sturdy under them as they grow and get a grip on how life works.

But regarding the president's speech, I expected it would be great. The consensus seems to be that it was. And of course it was - the vision behind it is solid and right. That makes the speech easier.

He's the right man at the right time.

 

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by Brett Rogers, 2/2/2005 11:00:00 PM
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Multnomah Falls: Layer 3

 

 

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by Brett Rogers, 2/2/2005 4:00:00 PM
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Multnomah Falls: Layers

 

I started on the Multnomah Falls picture. Oregon is like my spiritual home, so I remember this setting quite well. I was there several times and walked the perimeter of the pool before the big bus-sized rock fell a few hundred feet into the pool. Due to that, they no longer let people walk in that area, of course.

I'm doing this painting much different than the Trafalgar Pigeons painting. With Pigeons, I painted and finished each area until I was done. Here though, I'm applying layers of paint to the entire painting until I finish.

I went and bought a larger memory card for my Sony Cybershot, and tomorrow I plan to go in early to work and walk through the building to take pictures of the art that decorates the walls in the 50 conference rooms in my building. Here's one I found by Mari Giddings:

I'm doing this to explore different venues for the purchase of art. Corporate art is a huge market. I hope to talk to the buyer for my building and learn more about it. We'll see.

I went to my boss today, though, and asked him if he knew who I might talk to.

"There's art in the conference rooms?" he asked.

I think it's a left-brained (business) versus right-brained (art) thing.

 

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by Brett Rogers, 2/2/2005 10:00:00 AM
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Finished

 

I'm happy with this painting. I picked it because I knew it would be hard, and I wanted a challenge. Much thanks to Doug and Jody for a really great picture.

I learned quite a bit in doing this. What we think we know and what's really true are often two different things. We can look at something and the moment that we look away, it's no longer what's true, but only what's in our head.

Assumptions change our world more than we realize.

I learned to trust my hand and just paint. If you read this blog, you know that I was afraid to paint the girl. But she turned out fine. And the two kids near the wall turned out well.

I've also learned that my style is not necessarily like the style of others - which is fine. But in trying to reproduce the style of others, I lose everything that I can do right. How true is that in other things that we do in life?

For what it's worth, here's the progression of the painting:

I'll be starting my next painting tomorrow. And I've been working on the new web site... here's the main graphic for it:

ETC: I went to Kinko's, as I've had some folks indicate that they want a print of this painting. It cost me $1.89 for the color print on 11 X 17 paper. So I'm thinking... if it took me two weeks in a part-time effort to paint this, and people seem to like it, could I offer prints of it and other paintings I do online?

 

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Read the whole story of "Trafalgar Pigeons"
Tags: painting | watercolor
by Brett Rogers, 1/29/2005 12:00:00 AM
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What 4 AM Does to a Person

 

I worked on the girl... now it's down to pigeons, a few people and objects, and then cleanup.

Yayy!!

 

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Read the whole story of "Trafalgar Pigeons"
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by Brett Rogers, 1/25/2005 12:00:00 AM
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Two Days Left...

 

 

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by Brett Rogers, 1/24/2005 12:00:00 AM
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