I'm trying to create form in the vines, using light and dark in contrast—
I feel soothed by working on the the landscapes lately. And it's a good way to start off the week. Added some lily pads here, they're slightly decomposed and ragged, so they don't look as oval as you'd expect.
Everybody is exhausted: Covid and Trump have worn us out. I don't feel like working on anything that requires a lot of concentration, detail, or patient, careful painting. So I'm doing something that pleases me.
I do not feel like painting, or, for that matter, doing anything lately, so I don't know how this week is going to go. Plus, we have a major holiday on Thursday. There will be much cooking and baking.
I re-worked the sky this morning, mostly in an effort to obscure the grid lines just under the initial paint application. Not sure I did myself any favors, but here it is.
Moving on, I also turned up the color in the trees in the background here:
It's a day that feels strange; clouds moving across the sky, wind forming little cyclones near the back of the house, leaves blowing everywhere, birds flitting around the feeders in the yard. I took some pleasure in painting this vineyard image with slow, deliberate strokes and analyzing the colors in the scene. I can't wait to get to the golden, backlit leaf clusters.
Sometimes things get to the point where, if you keep fiddling with them, you end up doing more harm than good. So it is with this painting; I think it's done. I applied some brown glaze to the floor and worked on the faces today.
We had a very pleasant weekend, and all I wanted to do this morning was curl up in my chair with a cup of coffee and read some more pages of A History Of The Modern World, which I've had since my undergraduate days. But I got started on this instead. The #6 blending brush I'd bought on a whim months ago was extremely useful in smooshing the paint around on the tiles; I wanted to brighten them with more vivid color in some places, darken others, and add a few highlights. The sunlight streaming through a skylight makes a dramatic difference to the composition. Now I need to step back— let it dry— assess the situation going forward. Who knows; I might finish this before the end of 2021.
I really didn't want to work on this today, but forced myself. One thing that has always caught my attention was the face of the young woman in the foreground; I thought I could do better and give her some more light and color. That, at least, worked out well, and I painted a lot of the foreground woodwork and tabletops, too. But there's SO much left. The seated patrons. The ceiling. The walls around the sconce lights. Bah.
Sleeping better in the last week or so, and finding it easier to get out of bed at a reasonable time. Got into the studio early and started playing with color; now have stopped before things get too out of hand. I'll assess this piece again later today and see what steps to take going forward.
I pushed through the afternoon and worked on four more pieces:
Every time I look at it, I see more places that need to be painted. Christmas will be here before we know it, and I almost never want to work on it after then. So I'm a bit discouraged today.
My intention was to take care of some minor adjustments, but I got sidetracked by the idea of creating more depth in the wood grain. It was easy to do, since it only involved dipping a wasted brush into some pigment and glaze medium, then dragging it across the picture plane, and then scrubbing back in a few places.
Of course, once it was all wet, I couldn't get into the middle part of the piece, so that'll have to wait until next session.
Feeling pretty good since the news over the weekend, and have become much more active around the house and in the studio. I brought the entire Vineyard series upstairs, spread all of the paintings out, and had a good look at how they're working as a group. And they look pretty good to me! There was only one that stood out as being dull, so I've spent the day (so far) doing a substantial repaint. It looks much better to me now.
I'm excited at the prospect of having a show of these somewhere, once we get past the pandemic. I'm planning to do three more, which will bring the total to 15. It's not the best time of the year to visit more vineyards to take reference photos, because the leaves are pretty much dried out by now, so I'm looking at some pix from past visits.
This is going well. I decided to pick out more detail, and the colors on the river itself are adding richness to the image. Tomorrow: Desserts!
Again, I figure when I have a palette of colors at the ready, I might as well use them. Worked the foreground today; the right side of the door needs attention and after that maybe I can get to those apples.
Instead of just dabbing the paint onto the panel, I'm trying to be a little more judicious about the shape and placement of the leaves. Also adjusting the color a bit.
Felt like working on something joyous; have been aware for a while that I had gotten carried away with the flowers and had made some of them too big. They overwhelmed the composition. And there were just too many of them. So this morning I went back in and did some judicious cutting. Now it's time to move on to something else.
I was working on this yesterday and texting with an artist friend when he gave me the great news that Biden had won the election. Normally I try not to work on weekends, but this morning I added a few more strokes to this one, and wanted to post the changes. It's a gorgeous day here, and I'm going to spend the afternoon in the yard. Tomorrow I'll get back to the easel in earnest. Peace out.
Chrysalis Vineyards, Virginia Vineyard Series, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
So, we had to set the clocks back an hour yesterday, and that always confuses me and makes me groggy for a couple of days. Then this morning the cat pushed me out of bed and that was even more confusing because he made me think it was later than it was and I felt guilty for getting up so late. Eventually I got the time figured out while working at the easel, but I stuck with the work for the whole day, using a mostly green palette.
I'm really really tired of painting the tiles on the one below, but in a few more sessions they'll be done. They just needed darker color in some places, more vivid green in others, and some work on the grout. There's about a million of them, and I want each one to look slightly different, like they were made by hand.
I'm experimenting with color on this one, mixing pigments that I haven't put together before, and so far I like the way it's going. I want it to have the feeling of a muted sunset in the background, with backlit golden-edged grapevines (the deeper shadowy color is going on underneath). The central tree is going to have arching branches.