After Kidnapping, Fear Spreads

After news reports of the kidnapping of an Australian poem, held for an enormous ransom (the story broke at poet Gabrielle Bryden’s blog), my koi are refusing to come to the surface of the pond.  Moreover, they are refusing to be painted.  Efforts to paint them, thus far, produce only pale grisaille images of very ephemeral koi.  These “ghost” kois have hidden themselves behind the veil of anti-art out of fear that they might also be kidnapped and held for ransom.

Well, that — and the spreading rumor that I was going to begin a series of Blue Heron paintings ….

However do these rumors get started ???

It’s tea time

I’m having Darjeeling.  I just looked at Twining’s website, and I’ve got to get me one of those little purple tins.  I didn’t know they sold the tea in tins.  Those would make nice still life boxes.  I note that some of my other favorite Twinings teas come in little tins, though not Oolong — my all time favorite.  I don’t care so much for Earl Grey, but that butter yellow tin looks wonderful.  English breakfast comes in a suitably dark green tin.

Anyway, it’s tea time around the koi pond.  Time to reflect, sip and drift upon the aroma of Nature’s most lovely beverage.  Ever.

multi-colored “grisaille”

I accidentally bought more white paint than I need.  And now I’ve decided that my mistake was a boon.  I’m adding lots of white to all the colors in the underpainting and producing a kind of multicolored grisaille when I do a lay-in on the koi paintings.  The lighter colors are kind of pretty in their own right:  I’m wondering if sometime I should do a few “grisaille” koi paintings.  But for now these tints form the substrate for a full colored painting that will go on top.

The grisaille is exceedingly useful.  First off, it is very forgiving.  Let’s say that a koi has to be nudged over a little from this spot to that one.  Because the principle colors of these pictures — blue and orange — are optically opposite, over-painting between the colors gets tricky.  But a grisaille takes the edge off painting with opposites.  If the paints are still wet when I make the changes, then the areas where they unavoidably mix just turn to nice shades of pale grey.  And once it’s all dried, ’tis an easy matter to paint over a pale orange with a full blue, or paint a full orange over a pale blue, and not have the oppositions of color impose their tyrannies.

Of course, if you like the tyranny, there’s always still the option of letting blue and orange go to war — later on — if that’s what rocks your mind.  Either way, the delicacy of the initial pale colors lets all kinds of possibilities erupt — anything from the most delicate diplomacy to full-scale color war.  Meanwhile, the koi seem to enjoy this adventure in paleness.  They like it so much that they’re thinking of turning themselves into metaphors.

Above is one of the little scribbly drawings I make to put myself in koi painting mood.

Some of my past koi paintings and drawing are assembled HERE.   Some of these works have also prompted my discovery of whimsical and philosophical ideas, some of those are available HERE.