I am approaching the current still life in a much less literal way and find myself loving this approach. Formerly I would have sought more fastidiously (not always more successfully) to duplicate the patterns as I see them in the actual still life. But with the green cloth in this painting, I’ve decide to shift the pattern elements according to my intuition. So the still life in front of me is a guide not a rule. And I can change the cloth around later on, if desirable, to get some other views.
Thus I’m very aware of myself interpreting the imagery. Now one might wonder how that affects the composition as a whole, and I’m being very subliminal about that as well. I stand back from the painting from time to time to see how it all looks. But as I am painting, I know that my brain sees a wider view than the thing I’m currently focused on painting. And I’ve decided to just trust my brain to arrange things in a holistic manner while my attention fastens onto this or that particular. Sometimes things will link up from top to bottom in ways you are not aware of having designed. You stand back, scratch the head, and ask “how’d all that get there?”
As long as the painting looks good all this is good too. Do not pry too inquisitively into the workings of the subconscious brain. When it goes well, a simple “thank you” to your right brain for its good functioning will suffice.
Currently it hangs in the May exhibit at the Torpedo Factory in Old Town Alexandria. Very pretty light in the gallery today though there were areas of flooded streets just outside the building. Mother Nature dropped A LOT of rain on the Washington DC region.
Here’s how the painting looks on Friday night. I put the study on a table beside the easel to make it easier to draw from. The picture begins to feel more solid after a day of work. I love painting that vase — and I’m not done yet. The paint all over the canvas is very thick because I’m covering up parts of the earlier version. There’s still lots of things to figure out, of course — like the entire bunched up green cloth that takes up the whole bottom half.
Here’s a closer view. The painting measures 40 x 30 inches.
What a fun day of painting, working on this picture. You cannot look at blue and green all day with scattered red and yellow and violet and not be in a terrific mood.
Still quite a ways to go. But I’m very glad with this stage.
I have been painting today while listening to Cho-Liang Lin and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra playing Lalo Schifrin’s Tango Concertante, a piece that I only know because I chanced to hear a live performance of it by Cho-Liang Lin and the Apollo Orchestra in Bethesda, Maryland a couple years ago. We knew the cellist playing the solo in the Apollo Orchestra’s performance.
I was so glad when I discovered that the piece was available on Youtube and must have listened to it at least 25 times in just the days and weeks immediately following my introduction to it. I have lost count now how many times I’ve heard it. It only grows richer to me with every listening.
Lalo Schifrin is most famous for his television and movie music and very most famously for one theme, the music that introduced the 60s era television show Mission Impossible. While I love the Mission Impossible theme, Tango Concertante is a thousand-fold more complex and beautiful.
You might notice that it has fewer than two thousands views! And that is so wrong! Recently my daughter sent me a video of a mockingbird singing and it had a half million views. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love birdsong. I love mockingbirds especially, but you can listen to a mockingbird anytime you please in spring and summer. They are all virtuosos, and they’re sitting in every tree. In contrast music like this comes along rarely!
Well, it’s the background music for today’s painting session … here it is ….
There’s one other window that I want to have a look at before I begin working on the BIG painting. It happens that the Library of Congress has some windows that are rather like the one in Bonnard’s painting of the dining room at the Villa Castellamare.
I would go there right now with my camera, but Mother Nature doesn’t want to do anything these last several days but rain. Rain, rain, rain all the time. Of course she’s got to stop raining eventually. And when she does I’m off to the Library of Congress for more window shopping. In the interim, I’ve found this picture at the Library of Congress website.
As you can see it’s got the balestrade just like Bonnard’s window (top of the post). Naturally, you will not be seeing the United States Capitol in my painting. I’ll be finding a landscape to view from this window if I decide to use it.
My teacher Monsieur Bonnard has just whispered something in my ear. He says that while he used to love to take photographs himself, that if I want to have a better contact with my motif, I should take a little notebook and a stubby pencil and make some DRAWINGS while I stand in front of the actual window. “Take your photographs, bien sûr, but makes the little Croquis too.”
So, anyway, either I photograph — AND DRAW — another window soon, or start building my Ark. If it’s the latter, I need to get some doggie sailing outfits for Lucy and Zoomie!
So it’s time to transfer some of the flowers in the newest bouquet, the ones on the aluminum easel, to the painting above it. The painting on the wooden easel is an intermediary stage between me and the really BIG painting.
I’ve been working on this 24 x 18 inch study for a few days in succession.
Jump flowers, into the picture!
And the flowers of the actual bouquet are now kind of spent. Some are a little worn and others have gone entirely limp! But that pretty rose is still firm. It refuses to open, but it still looks like new.