Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Now for Something Completely Different!!!

Well...its that time once again to experiment, push myself
in directions unfamiliar, discover what I can and implement
thereafter what I find useful and pertinent to me as an artist.

I have been taken in by a Russian Artist, whom Californian
artist Bill Wray has introduced us to on, his
name is Bato Dugarzhapov and I suggest if
you check him out, do take time to look thru a good many
pages of his work. At first you may not get it...but using a
lighter light key in many of his work, he suggest so stinkin'
much appearing to do so very little!

To make it easier, I have a thread going at in
the Animal/Wildlife art forum...where you can see examples
of Bato's that speak to me...and some works of my wildlife art
for comparison. That is, if this whole experimental push thing
interests you. Just click on the word above.

I decided tonight, I would take a 5"x 7" panel, mix up a
simple palette in a higher light key than I might more
likely use. It certainly is NOT Bato enough...but I was
inspirted by Bato's work to try something looser, more

Some artists fear such experiments, or especially sharing
such things, but the art instructor in me asks "why not let
you come along on the journey with me?", I tend to
take risks perhaps in what others might think of my work.

In truth...I act like a teacher giving myself assignments,
knowing it has been said that a "mind stretched can never
return to its former dimension"...and I stand to learn
something valuable. I can do such believing that what I
experiment on does not ultimately HAVE to DEFINE ME.

My wife and I recent spent time on the Pine River, at
La Salle Falls in NE Wisconsin, and while there I envisioned
black bears visiting the spot. Here is my "BATO" driven
first attempt...

Please, by all means click on this image to see a much
better larger image. The brushwork and color will make
much better sense.

available at Moondeer & Friends Gallery-
(Boulder Junction, WI)


Dean H. said...

Thanks for sharing this one, Larry! Your closely related color and accompanying brush strokes have nailed Bato cold! What a great 'assignment' to experiment toward a goal of loosening up in a beautiful way.

Larry Seiler said...

Thanks Dean...nice to hear some positive affirmation. Those more familiar with my more hyper realistic past may wonder what the heck I'm doing? hahaaa...

but...I see painting outdoors things with the light that we by nature seem to make more difficult to nail down, which Bato's work appears to capture effortlessly. I'm just trying to understand this a bit more...

Jason Seiler said...

Whoa Dad, this kicks serious butt! I don't see it as a "Bato" I see it as a more advanced Larry Seiler . . . this is FRIGGIN CRAZY!

m said...

I was quite taken with this piece, your experiment, and with Bato's work. If you take a peek at my website (, you'll see that my work is much different than this. But, like you, I am continually challenging myself, giving myself assignments as though I'm my own teacher, etc. I'm going to make an assignment of this too. How are the high key colors achieved? Just by adding white? I paint with acrylics and one has to be careful adding lots of white -- chalkiness. One thing is really clear. When one paints this way, drawing skills must be way up, and the eye must really concentate on every little nuance of light. There is such a stunning amount of information available when looking at these pix close up. Truly an example of 'the closer you get, the less it looks like anything at all'. It's all in placing each of those strokes correctly. Anyway, I'd love to hear more of an explanation of how you get the colors so high key.
(BTW ... although I live in California, I'm from Menomonie, WI.)

Larry Seiler said...

thanks everyone...
I've really received mixed reviews of this effort on artist going so far as saying its a real failure, but even so...taking risks asks of us to allow that possibility. If one is not at times failing, even miserably is not learning or stretching.

Our day and age seems to require of mature painters the consistency of ongoing works offering constant proof of being considered apparently to have arrived. What those believing such do not understand is, the work you have done which they consider good exists because prior to do those had pushed and stretched yourself. It must not end. There are more roads to travel, and when you stop dreaming you essentially die..

Appreciate everyone's comments...thanks

Larry Seiler said...

Hey Marie...
High keying is more a thinking of how to look and interpret than it is the medium you use. I have used acrylics since about 1983...though I am back to preferring oils today.

Needless to say, it may help to have a value scale on hand nearby or make one going from black all the way to white with at least 9-10 value differences in between. Edgar Payne suggested we paint only about 40 values of the 400 values or so of the values we see with the eye. Pigment has its limitation there.

Have the scale on hand, and simply elect to paint from about one third of those values from pure white down. A mid key would be the middle third, and a low keyed painting the bottom third from black up.

Then...looking at your subject, you interpret relatively assigning a dark you see as THAT darkest dark in your high key, breaking things down from what you see lighter then by comparison up to white.

It will require thinking until it becomes so well understood it becomes second nature and you can fall back into the zone...

good luck...