Another fun painting is almost done. Just a few tweaks left on this one.
I say fun, now!
Painting is at times a weird thing. I’m not always “plugged in” (when it flows and I get all happy and the hours go by quickly).
This morning, I kept looking at the clock for when I would put down the brush and go for a walk. After 3 hours of that, I was finally plugged in and another hour went by before the walk was taken. During the unplugged time, it doesn’t look right, is it how I see it or is it really the colours I’ve mixed? I don’t feel it, intuition isn’t on, the colours don’t seem to jive but I keep going because I have to, and then something shifts, and I feel it, a jolt of excitement is felt, the colours are indeed working and I’m relieved to have stayed with it. The weird part is, it working out when judgment seemed to be suspended, almost fumbling. Yep, painting is at times weird.
A few days ago the background was pretty much completed on a plugged in day – stirs me up to think about trying landscape painting again. Maybe in a few weeks after the show pieces are done…
I met and photographed Judy last October, in fact it was Thanksgiving weekend; about 3 weeks before her life would change from long-time rancher to Lt. Governor of British Columbia. What an adventure awaited her!
I’ve been looking forward to painting her portrait because I go back that day and the visit with her. We enjoyed cups of tea in the house and became acquainted while roaming the fields, meeting her horses and dogs and soaking up the warm autumn sun. I was raised on a farm that was sold out of our family nearly 40 years ago, so it was much like going back home – it was all so peaceful there in the wide open spaces.
Over the past 2 days I’ve drawn the sketch for Judy’s portrait and while gleaning info from the pictures, the warm sunlight casting long angled shadows is stirring the “Fall feeling” inside of me. I don’t know if you get that feeling, it’s warm yet melancholy because those choice days are dwindling down. Then I look outside the studio window and see there’s a thunderstorm brewing and summer hasn’t even begun.
I’m using three photos to build her portrait.
Only a snippet of her eyes is revealed at this time, saving the whole painting for opening night October 5
Mark’s portrait has been a breeze – ha ha, so far. Again the simplified start makes getting into the necessary details easier. While still at a very early stage, and looks rough, it has the push and pull I like and I can feel the whole painting taking on a life of it’s own. In some paintings this has to be worked at a lot and others it seems that all I have to do is have the paint on the brush. I’m looking forward to the next session on this.
Marks portrait is well underway. Usually I go for the eyes first and the painting evolves outward from them but this time I lay in the background first and then went to the head. I’m approaching his face much as I did Janice Michel’s portrait (See post from April 8) which had less division of values, making it as simple as possible and the painting process flowed well. I didn’t become bogged down in the details as I am prone to do. Details aren’t always necessary, in fact, including every detail can quickly eat up the viewers interest. I don’t see any value nor enjoy trying to replicate a photo, rather, I aim to pull source materials from the picture and let the journey in colour and brush marks tell the story. Painting with a bit of mystery and much less info is a plus – yes indeed, less is more.
Yesterday this painting came together, there will be a few final touches and it’s a wrap. There was another learning curve with this painting, fair skin the main one.
Those of you who follow my blog know I take many steps to prepare the canvas before the drawing is impressed upon it, seven applications in fact. They are important to the longevity and restoration of the painting decades from now. They are important and can’t be rushed in spite of my eagerness to start painting!
That day has arrived. Below is the snippit of the drawing on the toned canvas.
click on image to see it larger
So a learning curve is in progress as I paint fair-skin flesh tones. Feels like I’m jumping all over the place trying to find my balance with this. It reads ok to me right now but then I start second guessing myself. I may leave it for a few days to gain a fresh perspective.