Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Three runs, no outs, no errors

About tomatoes - one day I may tire of them. But not yet.
There are very southern. Someday I'll try to paint a tomato sandwich on white bread. Done properly, you have to eat them dripping over the sink. And my daddy always planted tomatoes in the garden when I was growing up. That and hearing crackly baseball play-by-plays on the radio reminds me of him.

Meanwhile I’ve worked on the Priest's Laundry. I painted two doors, the upper story windows with curtains, and canal level windows with bars (also mesh - got to keep those wharf rats out). The remaining white canvas is a bit of the brick wall, the guard rail of a bridge (the one I'm standing on to take photo) and the laundry. It's going to have to be dry as a bone around the laundry before I do it so I can lift any errors or wobbles with turp without erasing the background.

Now I'm starting a third canvas - the paint is so wet on the other two that it just makes sense. This is the lunch at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC last year. Did 90% of the drawing. Love the blues. Decided to swap out the yellow #2 pencil in the photo for the Caran D'ache red pencil my daughter bought me in Paris when she surprised me with the blue sketchbook. Finished the drawing in time to paint a bit more on the tomato - worked on the knife handle and bread. Then mixed the colors for the Met painting. Realized Gilbert's George Washington portrait on the museum guide is particularly appropriate to paint this year. Great colors to work with - all those luscious blues! And there's a tile floor that stretches away in the background, like a little Flemish nod.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Eat Pray Paint

Day before yesterday I started the priest's laundry painting. I'd forgotten how good it feels to create specificity and discreet texture. I painted until four and got three quarters done with the under-painting, which pleased me. Not that I'm going for speed. There will be many layers and glazings and tweaking of colors and edges to come. I got lost exploring the melting world of the luminists and feel I've come home.
It's drying a few days before I go back in with the inky color of the priest's clothes and the dark green and shadowed doors. Probably tomorrow.

Today I worked on the tomato painting. I guess I'll call it the Lamott tomato since one of her books of essays on faith is anchoring the left hand side. This moved fast too. I have learned more than I realize. It's still in the under-painting stage and until all the white of the canvas is covered up I won't be able to discern exactly how I'll push certain values.
Here's a work-in-progress photo. The bottles of olive oil and balsamic vinegar are in place, minus the complicated lettering of the vinegar label. Also untouched are the book, a cut-glass salt and pepper set, bread, a fork, tines down, on the plate and silver knife with a pearl handle.

I have taken next week off for vacation and hope to empty my mind of verbs and nouns and paint.

Monday, February 18, 2008

drawing, Venice

Another day of drawing, this time of a priest's laundry, strung over a wall with 20th century pvc and electrical wiring, and a carved medallion from 16th century, layers of flaking stucco over brick over stone. Some paste-on graffiti. Lace curtains. Stone and wood mantles. Clothespins.
The more I drew, the more I saw.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Not all work is visible to the eye

No new paintings to show, but lots of prep going on. I've been enlarging photo references so I can see detail, gridded two canvases and did a series of photos of tomatoes to include in my Table for One series. I want to get at least three paintings up and going to I can switch from one to another when they are wet or I am stumped about something and need time to think about them.

I gridded two canvases and completed a drawing of something that I hope is the first in a four part series. I'll draw the other - one of a possible trypdich - tomorrow. Though neither of these are food related images they will have the detailed realism, emotional atmosphere and autobiographical elements of my other work.

Feeling very optimistic about the clouds, though I'm aware they don't fit into the look or subject matter of my other works. That's the beauty part of being an artist - you don't have to be rational about everything you do. You can go where your heart pulls you.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Dawn sky

I've continued wrestling with the mackerel sky, I haven't given up, but I am in the weeds with it. I am missing something it needs. I've set it aside and returned to the first cloud painting, of a dawn. And To my surprise is was pure pleasure. So it isn't clouds per se, it's those particular mackeral clouds. With dawn, I had an entire day of painting bliss. Dawn isn't done - needs more layering, scumbling mostly, and more of the the atmosphere and the cloud vapor melting one into the other.

Meanwhile I've been juiced up with ideas and have been putting together references and canvases for a diptych of laundry hung on clothesline over canals, three more cloud paintings (storm at evening, morning over the sea and a dusk that glows with threads of light on the edges of the clouds), and the first of a four seasons still life in my garden.

Deciding on the size and type of canvas is something I grope towards. I know it when I see it, is my best method.

And there are two more in the Table for One series (at the Met in NYC and Table 1280 at the High - both museums) and two of coffee cups, gloves and postcards.

More than enough to keep me busy for a year. Better get started.

First place winner

"Venice, Tagliatelli” 12x16” oil

I entered three regional juried shows, for practice in putting my work out there and to get more exposure than is offered by a single yearly gallery show.

I was accepted by the 2008 Southeastern Regional Biennial Exhibition, sponsored by the Dunwoody Fine Art Association.
The show is called SIGHTS AND INSIGHTS, and runs March 1st – April 11th, 2008, with cash awards for the first, second and third place.

I learned yesterday that my "Venice, Tagliatelli” won first place.

They also asked permission to use an image of my work for their show card, which I gladly gave. I'm astounded to win the first show I've ever entered. I'm very grateful and encouraged and inspired.

The show will be hung at the Chastain Arts Center.
Chastain Park, 135 West Wieuca Road N.W.
Atlanta, Georgia 30342