David Hardy | Artist Statement

My paintings seem softer, more atmospheric. Part of this is the result of using aerial perspective, which focuses on the distortions of clarity caused by distance
 or depth. In aerial perspective, anything seen from further away will be seen through a filtering screen composed of minute particles of dust or water vapor ever present in the air.
There is one thing one notices right away about my studio painting procedure. When I place my painting on my easel near my subject, I choose to view my subject from a view spot some distance away. Then, I proceed to walk to my easel when each stroke of paint is applied. Back and forth. Friends have jokingly suggested I should measure the total distance walked when completing each picture and charge by the mile!

All this walking while painting is not an idea I originated. It was used by Caravaggio (Michelangelo Merisi), Franz Hals, Jan Vermeer, Rembrandt van Rijn, Peter Paul Rubens, Diego de Velasquez, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Gilbert Stuart and John Singer Sargeant. It was used because it works. It helps to dynamically develop your painting as a single, vibrant unit.

I use a gradual building up of paint, a process called Layered Painting. Areas in the light are built up with layers of opaque thinned with glaze medium until translucent. Shadows are glazed on in thin overlapping layers of transparency. Each layer must dry before applying another, requiring patience and time.

Why go to all this trouble? Because you can create marvelous effects with a subtleness not possible in any other way. It's like being given a special wand and becoming a magician.


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