Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Jordaan Viola

For several days I've been collecting bits and pieces for a complicated still life series, and taking digital photographs, switching out elements and tweaking the light. I have more items coming. Meanwhile, I still managed to do a little painting, and tomorrow will be entirely dedicated to the canvas.
I worked on the copper lamp base on the far left, and added the rim of the bike's front wheel and a layer of dark beneath and behind the bike. Lightened up the fuchsia velvet cloth. Just started turning the edge of the rug into fringe. I still need to add some dents and ridges to the scuttle, push the darks and lights, and define the leaves on the ground in the background. Last of all, I'll paint the spokes of the bike wheel and the two busted strings on the viola.
I am going to set aside the photography and tomorrow I am going to paint on the Kunst. It's time to bring it back onto the front burner and work on it until it's done.

Monday, February 16, 2009

more Jordaan

I worked on the very worn embroidered top of the warming pan. First a couple of layers of carefully mottled paint, then dragged my palette knife edge across it for the grid pattern, then painted over that so the faint scratches nearly disappeared.
Next took on the brass sides, which mostly reflect the violin and rug, so it's like painting an abstract, while keeping an eye on the elliptical shape. Then I sharpened up the scratch and dent viola/violin, working all over its surface, plus the bottom edge and the sides that dimly reflect the rug too. I began to suggest the rug's fringe that lies alongside the orchid pink velvet.
Finally took on the tarnished copper item that I think is a kind of scuttle. Might be a odd pitcher. One side of the lid is attached the other partly open. I think both sides hinge in the center. Wonderful complex colors there. I covered more ground than usual and saw the difference, which is a great feeling.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Violin or viola?

Had a great painting day working on the Jordaan Market.
I mostly worked on the violin. There is some debate as to whether it is a viola or a violin. I just love all the 'road hard and put up wet' scrapes and dings and scratches.There are two strings on this (not yet painted in) and only one of them is fully attached at both ends.
Today the paint behaved itself, the brushes were lively yet docile and edges were all cooperative. A rare day, to be savored.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Progess on the Kunsthistorische

I'm between shows - the next one is this Thursday - and happy to be back in the studio. I laid in the red sketchbook this morning. Last week was all about the bottom half of the marble, the woodgrain and deepening the dark behind it all. Later this week, once things dry a bit, I'll be working on the view outside the window. It needs to be both more substantial and less distinct. Then I'll take a metaphorical deep breath and tackle the sketch of Rembrandt.
I'm also entering a juried show, and applying for a residency at an artist's retreat, which mean asking for three letters of recommendation. Humbling experience, but humility is good for my soul, therefore good for my art.
I'm trying to figure out how to get a hold of certain props for a still life I want to put together. That's an adventure all by itself. Life is good.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I got some paint on the violin and the rest of the rug yesterday, and did the foot warmer today. The foot warmer is round and brass with an embroidered padded lid. The lid is hinged and hot coals go inside. I've seen these in some old Dutch paintings; a woman sitting on her chair making lace, with her feet on just such a warmer.

The unexpected challenge - this is a linen canvas and with the gesso layer, it's like painting on glass - very, very smooth. Paint just skids. As soon as I have one layer down, the paint will stick to the paint, but for now it's the painting equivalent of ice skating for a novice. Every few brushstrokes I fall on my butt, so I have to proceed cautiously and use patience.