Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Progress and a new start

Worked on the papers, the twine, and the dominoes of Omen yesterday.

Today I started on Prediction: Endangered, the painting with the Peregrine falcon - just the background drape and the top of the chest, but I felt like I was covering a lot of ground fast. One of the good things about doing a series is that your hand and eye get more experienced. Your muscles learn.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

the twins

Worked on everything except the drape and the feather on Didus Ineptus. The skull and illuminated image took most of the morning, and the bottom book made a great leap forward. The skull is fairly subtle, which I like.

Yesterday I worked on the crystal ball and the dominoes of Omens and Portents (not all the domino spots are in place - they turned out to be slippery little buggers. I'll be getting back to them). I also laid in specific color for the newspapers.
They are both coming into focus at about the same rate. I'm starting to think of them as the twins. The best thing is I've been able to go for a run in the morning, work a bit in the garden, spend the best part of the day painting, and read. It's my ideal life.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I took up my pencil yesterday and worked on the 24x30 Prediction: Endangered canvas. I am trying a darker value of gesso, and it's challenging to draw on because it's much harder to see the pencil lines.
On the other hand, it's the big version of Omens & Portents, with the now familiar elements of newspapers, magazines, dominoes and the crystal ball. My experience starting to paint the smaller version Monday confirmed the importance of a careful underdrawing, so I am not rushing it.
The new elements I am looking forward to attempting are the feathers of the Peregrine falcon and the clear plastic bags some of the papers are in. And this big still life is lit by strong early morning natural light, instead of by studio lighting, so all the colors are subtly different.

This morning I worked on the individual pages of stacked newspapers, while listening to TED talks on the nature of creativity by writers Amy Tan and Elizabeth Gilbert, and artist Vik Muniz. It was a good marriage of left and right brain activity.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Omens & Portents

Another good day in the studio. It's a steady drizzle here, so the light is soft and there is no temptation to go outside.

Didus is too wet to fool with - more likely to smear what I have than make progress - so I turned to the other canvas, Omens & Portents.
Before lunch I mixed paint, then laid in the back ground.

After lunch got the magazines, the top of the chest, the twine and some of the newspapers indicated. You can see the dominoes and crystal ball through the magic of painting negative space, but they are still raw canvas.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Didus Ineptus

I started on the Metamorphosis series this morning, a small (12x16) painting called Didus Ineptus. Here's what I did between breakfast and lunch.

Worked until five and got the books, dodo skull and a bit of the brocade drape roughed in.

Really looking forward to doing the illuminated manuscript page, which is a knight kneeling in prayer to the Virgin.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Finishing up, beginning again

Thanks all. I think I am ready to varnish the Palais Liechtenstein Library and the Jordaan Market. I actually was heading downstairs to varnish the Library yesterday, but couldn't resist tweaking the highlights.
I did the bike spokes and the leaves and all manner of dappling on the rug of the Jordaan.

If I don't see anything that needs doing, I'll be hauling these to the basement (Robert's shop) to varnish them at the end of the week.

I also gessoed two canvases a mid-value ochre/umber and worked out the maths for the grids that I'll use to draw images on the canvas. I thought I'd dip my toe into the new Metamorphosis series by starting with one of the small ones; a 1930 Royal typewriter and ribbon.

Friday, March 6, 2009

General art-related update

A devoted acolyte of the gallery wrap, I saw my painting 'The Interval' framed today at Huff Harrington Fine Arts and I'm a convert.

General art-related update
Worked on the Jordaan painting, mostly adding texture to the rug and bolt of velvet. It felt like weaving with paint. Boosted a few highlight areas and deepened some darks. I'm down to the fringe on the rug, the spokes on the bicycle wheel, and the two loose strings on the viola. It seems to be coming to an end very quickly all of a sudden.

I've painted the Rembrant sketch on the Kunsthistoriche sofa, worked a lot on the window view and red sketchbook. More to do on the wooden foot of the sofa and the top half of the marble column.

Robert wired the Palais Lichtenstein library painting for me today and I think I'll be varnishing it this weekend.
I bought a small (10x10) canvas to do a sliced tomato. There is something about painting with multiple vibrant reds and adding the glisten I just have not tired of.
I also took a walk yesterday, that ended up being 3.5 miles round trip, to the photo developing store, to print the initial candidates for my Metamorphosis series. I am spoiled for choice there. It's exciting and a little daunting for me to have so much work in hand.