I have a list of things to work on and I was supposed to be working my list. But then I got an idea about this motif, and it seemed like something that I should do instead.
Sometimes I seem to be dreaming while awake.
This is a beginning of something or other. Not sure where it’s going — only that it’s light.
Some of the landscapes I’ve been painting are just scenes without any special significance. And this landscape began that way. However, as I keep tinkering with it, the scene begins to suggest something to me. I don’t know what it is. A memory? Some hidden meaning?
While I was tinkering, I made a drawing.
The little yellow tree used to take up more space, as in the drawing. But I decided to make it smaller. And somehow that works better. But I don’t know why. Not in terms of naturalism, but just as meaning. Or so it seems.
I began this painting in the late autumn and as I switch from landscape to flowers I’m pulling things out of the bin for one more bit of tweaking. In many respects this painting is where I want it to be, but since flowers still hang suspended in the air, I suppose I should give it another level of completion.
But, you know, old Pa Cezanne did this sort of thing all the time and those of us who admire the old man have a tendency to follow his habits — perhaps even when we shouldn’t!
This acrylic painting measures 36 x 24 inches.
Soon, soon, soon, I’m going to resume work on this largish 48 x 48 canvas. I am chomping at the bit. And all the landscape painting that I’ve been doing in recent weeks is helping me think about these flowers.
I can’t wait.
I love to draw. And I find that drawing helps me figure things out. For me, drawing represents one of the most direct forms of thought. So drawing the large forms of the landscape helps me rehearse an image prior to painting. I don’t always draw the scene first, but I often do and I always enjoy doing so.
For the garden picture I made three preparatory drawings, one which I’ve already posted. Each of the drawings are like line readings and with each I feel that I know the motif better — just as an actor learns the character’s lines.
It’s with the spare drawing above, though, that I felt I most understood the image. I wanted to be able to render it down to its essentials. And that makes me feel really prepared to cut loose when I start painting.
I sometimes make drawings after the painting is underway because in episodes of being away from the painting sometimes I feel that I lose the thread a little and drawing helps me get back into the world of the picture. I pick up the thread again.
Even the spare lines take me back into the world of the picture again too — not only into the painting, but in this case back into the garden.
The painting and a link back to the first preparatory drawing is located here:
This garden measures 34 x 28 inches. It’s more difficult to photograph properly than usual because the canvas itself is out of square slightly and then the camera adds its own curve distortion. But these photographs are ones I’m using for tracking. Later I will rephotograph all the paintings using a better camera.
Anyway, hopefully this painting makes sense of its reference drawing that I posted last week. The relationship between drawing and painting is much clearer now. The drawing was very abstract; this painting is still very abstract (and may remain so – I’m not sure), but things begin to emerge from the roiling curved forms. I am really pleased with the painting. Sometimes a picture will start to delight you as you are painting and this one went that way.
There’s a line near the top that runs the picture’s length horizontally. That marks the boundary that conforms to the reference photo I used. The picture is in the same ratio as the photograph inside that boundary. The bit of canvas above it is invention. I left the line up to this point so that I could more easily make drawing changes to the main part of the image. But I can cover the line up now because I know that none of the changes I’m likely to make going forward will profit by knowing where that boundary falls.
The preparatory drawing that I posted previously can be found here:
After landscapes, still life and flowers. I have some pictures that I need to finish including the one above which measures 48 x 36 inches. I began it a while back. I’m eager to return to it.
Painting the landscape has given me lots of ideas that apply to this. So, soon — very soon I’ll return to my flowers.
I’m all landscape right now. But when I get back to painting still life, this guy is going to be providing a lot of my motivation. Look at that color.
I love Bonnard’s paintings!
It’s another blue ball point pen drawing which I’ve made to help me figure out the big shapes of a new landscape painting that’s in the works. I love drawing this way. It totally suits me. It’s wonderful when you have a form that fits your thoughts and emotions to a tee. With the pen, I figure out how to think about the scene. With a pen I can walk around in my own imagination.
I liked the first version a lot and thus was reluctant to have another whack at it right away. And there’s nothing wrong with that: I had plenty of other things to keep me busy.
But it’s undergone another swipe. I still like it. And I still think it needs some further something, though I’m not sure what that something is, so once again I’m briefly setting it aside while I contemplate my next move.
The earlier version is visible here:
The painting measures 36 x 18 inches.