Sunday, January 31, 2010

Grind, or Corn and Consequences

Spent the morning reworking bottom of the table, obliterating the stack of coins, adding another layer to the fence slats in the back ground and refining the body of the grinder. I am enamored of still lifes with something falling, in motion.


Saturday, January 30, 2010

In the queue - progress report on the South of Eden series

Working on several canvases at different stages. Here's the line-up.
Paradise Lost - Probably a third done. With a big push, it'll be done by the end of February. I did the watering can today and the mossy band across the bottom has a zillion more twiddles and fidgets of moss, leaves and pine needles. Only a trillion more to go. Next - all those leaves along the top. It's the priority. 30x40
Grind - One layer all over, so maybe one fourth done. The wood grain is interesting and the husk is looking good. I hope I am better with corn now that I've done spin. The coins are a beeyatch because I'm working from four or five references. At the end of today I painted the needles. I tapes them to a a board for angle, and set them next to the grinder for scale. They turned out to be so close to life size, I ended up holding the needle in my left hand and painting with my right. I went with no cap because a needle is dangerously sharp and adds that element to the painting. Also, I can always add the orange, but it would be very difficult to try to get rid of it. They worked out great. You would have thought I'd been painting hypodermics all my life. Now that I've made the decision to include this element, the title will revert to Corn & Consequences. 16x20
Spin - close to complete. just one more round on the darker area of the corn and a little glaze on the dark area of the yarn. A week or two to dry, then varnish. Want to enter it in a show with a Feb 8 deadline. 24x24
Seasonal - Two layers of snow done, no fruit started. Very small - 8x10 - but the white is really slowing me down. I'm thinking of it as a study for a larger version that will be 85% snow.
Harrow - maybe halfway, maybe less. It depends on how long a field of knee high grass blades take. But it is my least necessary piece. I can finish it whenever. 14x18
Equilibrium - Started yesterday. Did part of the chest top and the dark green silk background. Miles to go. 18x24
Calibration - gridded and gessed canvas, gridded reference. Prepped to draw. Tons of elements, a lot going on. 24x30

I know it sounds a little crazy, but they will all start popping off the line and out of the studio. Much like Metamorphosis. That's the plan anyway.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Paradise Found

Spent the morning painting away on Paradise Found. Worked on the bucket, the jute twine, the moss here and there, the bird house and the snake. It's supposed to be in a show at the Swan House in March, so it's the priority. One of the good things is it is so large there is always some place dry on it to work. Tomorrow I will tackle the watering can and glove. Every time I work on it I'll throw another layer on the moss and tangles of grass.
Next week I'll start doing the leaves, maybe three at a time.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Grind, round 2

Painting the first layer of the husks and the corn, the wooden handle and the coins and the key.

By the time I finish this one, I reckon I'll have painting corn kernels down. I did it differently this time out. Instead of painting individual kernels, I painted stripes of dark and light and then wiggled the edged in loops before a little light blending.

It's raining steadily here and the light has dimmed. I've cleaned my brushes, lit a fire and am going to pull out my book now.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Worked on the harrow today and have it pushed along enough to start laying in the long blades of grass after this dries.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010



The beginning of a new painting this morning, Grind. I'm working background to foreground.
Tonight I did the drawing of the strawberries and grapes in the snow. It's small, tight and simple. Plus colorful. Some days you really want to bust out the red.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Today I worked on the bottom fourth - the coins, the bottom part of the spinning wheel, the bucket and the corn.

I spent an hour or so on the coins

Here's how it looks altogether. I'm down to the ear of corn on the far left, but it's much too wet now.

It's getting sequestered in the drying room so I can get going on South of Eden.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Close ups

Working on the details of the corn and the yarn. From a distance the changes don't register on a jpg, so here are a few close up shots. There is a ways to go on the corn, but it's a start.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Ear of corn

Added that ear of corn on the lower left. No prelim drawing, just up and painted it in. Painting kernels reminds me of painting a string of pearls - one crescent of shadow and pop of highlight after the other.
Fixed that one coin that was driving me crazy.
Today starting on the right and working my way around the wheel. Spindle by spindle.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Spin & Gold

Painted the coins on Spin, plus the looping yarn. Blocked in the corn and the husks.

Thinking of adding an ear of corn to the left of the bucket. I drew it to scale and it gives me a good idea of how it may work. Going to put this is the drying room and wait a week before wait I decide.


Next up - back to the Hambidge Harrow.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Spin and juried shows

Worked on the spokes and the base, which is actually the middle leaf of our dinning room table and a particularly nice mahogany. Added more more layers to the legs.
Dying to paint a bit of yellow. Used that as the motivation to finish last few spokes, then blocked in the yarn and a few of the highlit areas on the corn husk leaves. Cleaning my brushes, then lying down on the sofa by the fire to read. I'm really lucky to have a fireplace in my studio.
Applied to two juried shows yesterday. There are half a dozen more I'm considering. I'd like to enter something from this new series. Nothing like a deadline to help me focus and put in the hours

Friday, January 1, 2010

Spin's bucket

Spent the morning cooking lamb stew and the afternoon painting an 18th century grain measure. I bought it from an antique shop in the south of England back in the seventies when I lived in London. The top is unevenly worn, lopsided from scooping out grain. The nails are hand forged, as is the handle. I'm very fond of it.