Thursday, March 12, 2009

Comfort Painting

I may not be alone in this, but feel like I've hit upon a new term: comfort painting. It's much like "comfort food" which you turn to when you need to snuggle up and turn off the world for a while. A Comfort Painting is one that has no pressure, perhaps is even a revisiting of a previously fun composition and is also quick to do.
Though y'all know that I don't do any painting quickly, these little panels (5x7) don't dry very fast, so I can't do much in one sitting. I painted the whole panel's imprimatura one day and then days later painted the composition and blocked in the background and foreground. I had to then let that dry so I could come back another day and start working the pears.
I've been sick this whole week with a sinus infection, so painting in little spurts as I have done with these, seems to work well with feeling like crap and not having a very clear head. And the subject matter is one that I feel so very comfortable with and enjoy more than most fruits or flowers. They're so bulbous and fecund and I enjoy the extreme light and shadow in this composition.
What's your Comfort Painting?

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Firenz Afterglow

I hope that the fact that I already have a title for this piece bodes well for this work, but am wondering if it's just wishful thinking. Why? Well, today I decided to document what I had worked on last night at studio and the first thing I did was knock a glass ashtray full of sea shells off the buffet when I grabbed my little table easel which resulted in shattered glass and broken shells all over my clean floor. At least I learned that The Maids do an excellent job of cleaning under furniture.
Within 5 minutes I had another disaster on my hands when the painting I was photographing (Firenz Afterglow) was hit by a gust of wind and it and the table easel went crashing to the patio floor, putting a little dent/tear in the canvas. I understand that there are relatively easy ways to fix it, but made me sad nonetheless.
They say bad things come in threes, so you can bet that I'm watching my every move today to make sure that nothing precious gets damaged. No picking up the doggies, no handling delicate or expensive items today. In fact, I should probably get off the computer since I find it much more valuable than most things in my house!
One second more and I'm done. This painting is a lesson in low values. How to make it interesting when there's very little contrast. How to understand just how to keep the values low and still convey light in the painting. I did a lot of scraping last night, because every time I'd squint I would see that I'd gotten it too light. Should be interesting if I can get this lesson learned. And now I have to buy a new tube of paint because I don't own any Old Holland Schveningen Blue (Thalo Blue).

Monday, March 02, 2009

I'm Hungry, So Let's Get This Over With!

As the heading says, I'm hungry and really just want to post the signed painting, so I'll keep my comments short. Issues with this painting were all about the background. Staying true to the friend's photo made the composition a little confusing and not all that dynamic. By bringing the lawn and fence across the left side, I think it provided cohesion. And the other problem, how to work the fence, got plenty of attention. Too light, too dark, too undefined, too warm, too cool. You name it, I dealt with it, haha! And now I'm very excited to contemplate a few more paintings. I want to do some small ones for my "Fearsome Foursome" gang of girls for when we meet up in San Antonio in about 3 weeks. That may get done, it may not, depending on how crazy life gets or if other paintings have to take precedence. Also, I'm excited about the possibility of using some photos Sami took at West Cave Preserve yesterday. There was a grotto, a cave and beautiful vistas. Really interesting subjects and, since my daughter has such a remarkable eye for getting the strong shot, I am really jazzed about using her work to further my own. We collaborate well! And now for some food. I've been photographing this painting, which is a bear because of all the texture. Then, working on the photographs to get the best one cropped, adjusting for the light. And I've been sort of dieting lately so always feel hungry. Three pounds doesn't sound like much but it's making me cranky! I needz mah chocolate!