looking for what you want

frog teapot in other pochade (3)

Looking through my posts, I noticed something about this detail that I hadn’t seen before. It’s a quality in the thought process of the painting that I want to put into the big painting that’s in the works.  I don’t know if I can even describe it.  What got my attention was the pale blue flower on the left hand side of the frog teapot near the lid — something about the color relationships and the summary aspect of the drawing.  What I noticed first was the thin highlight that creates the top edge of the flower.  I never noticed it before — then the rest of the brushstrokes.

The warm/cool color variations in the blue blob next to the flower (it’s also a flower) does also hint, hint, hint at something that I’m looking for.  An answer is here inside my own little study (for a different painting) from a couple years ago.

It came like the solution to a puzzle.  And I’m asking myself if there is any way I can put effects like this into the whole painting — into all the parts of all the things that are going into a 60 x 48 inch canvas.

And the obvious answer seems like it’s “no,” because I wasn’t even aware until now that I had made this small effect in this little painting.  Though as I look at the little painting further I find additional little qualities that I think could form the technical structure for the painting in progress.

It’s really kind of crazy.  But I see — dimly see — a path toward the painting that becomes now “mine” and not Pierre Bonnard’s anymore.  I began the picture to study something about Bonnard and now I find there’s something about my own way of painting that I am struggling to understand and to recapitulate — to develop.


frog teapot in other pochade (4)

I write these things to remind myself because I’m often forgetting ideas.  Somehow this painting above has many of the answers to the questions I’ve been asking myself lately.  Still not quite sure how to use this information.  But you start sometimes from hints since hints are better than nothing.  So one is wise to follow them.  They are compass bearings.

This is one of the reasons I produce this blog, because in sifting through my own past ideas, I get new ideas.  And they help me paint.  I hope it doesn’t sound too self-involved, but whatever it is I need to post a sign for myself saying “do this” — so this post is the sign.


memory places

100_1800 (2)

Sometimes the still life table becomes my three-dimensional planner.  Things on the table remind me of tasks I need to do.  The teapot needs to be revisited and the stripes and the compotier also  — they need to become drawings — they need to be painted because they’re all going into the big painting.   They will be parts of it.

And the picture of my parents reminds me of another painting that’s in the planning stage.  I have a calendar, but the things are reminders too.

the aroma of the real

100_1799 (2)

The pictures are stacked around the room and the big painting has its study floating above it, flowers on top of flowers.  I might be running a florist shop.  The crush of flowers — even if they are only pictures of flowers — is pleasing.  However, there are some real flowers in the room too and their aroma makes the painted flowers seem more present.

I must tell collectors: when you hang a picture of flowers put real flowers near by so that the aroma of the real ones will make the painted ones seem more true.

trying everything

100_1797 (2)

A figure, a face is not so different from a landscape.  It’s another kind of terrain.  Looking at faces is like traveling through mental territory as you try to figure other people out, try to discern their thoughts.  To paint and draw faces is to make the journey with tools.  I record a face in brushstrokes or pencil lines.  I travel through the face as I might walk through a landscape. Painting provides this luxury, that you can think about mental places without using words.

So I switched from flowers a bit to draw faces — or to begin to draw faces.  But soon, it’s back to work I go with more flowers.  Still, one makes some tentative steps with faces.