The rice bowl is textured and nubby. It’s the most textured element of the picture. But then it’s surface is composed of so many shapes.
It’s a very satisfying way to paint — or way to see — to be telling oneself: “this goes here and this goes there.”
It’s like housekeeping.
Lights comes through the back of the canvas that’s in the works. The flowers are amorphous and I don’t know how much paint and flower I want — or how much I want the grain of the canvas to be part of the picture’s essence.
All I know is that the ethereal morning light, coming through the back of the canvas, is not a thing to be held and captured.
I find it difficult to work on a large still life from the motif because you see all the parts from different angles as you move around. And the whole canvas is too large to see everything all at once. So although I did begin the painting all at once and very spontaneously — as I get into the weeds of it I have to sort out parts one by one.
My first couple attempts to get the notebook on the left in correct perspective on the table went awry — in the painting itself and in a drawing I made as a study. Happily a painted study is getting me closer to where I want to be. I propped it up against the painting in the photo above. I needed to see how this change would look in the actual painting.
After painting out two compotiers that had appeared on the right hand side, I used a study that I had made a couple months ago to form the new right hand side of the painting — and I propped that smaller painting up against the canvas to get an approximate notion how it would look.
So part by part, I’m gonna get there ….
I am still working on landscape ideas in the moments between moments. And you can see the edge of the recent pine tree drawing peeking on the lower left hand side of the photo.
But I have been longing to get back to this large bright yellow still life that I began a while back. And now I have resumed work on it.
I flit between pictures sometimes like a bee flits among flowers. Well, since I paint flowers I guess I literally flit among the flowers too ….
I’ve assembled some of the landscapes in the studio to see how they look together and to decide what work remains. As a consequence there’s a definite “greening” to the decor. It’s still wintry enough outside this mid-February to find the green quite comforting — very comforting indeed.
My winter pond painting has a frame now. It’s there on the lower right.
The large flower wall has been thoroughly blocked in, and now I have to bring the individual parts into greater clarity. At the same time I don’t want to spoil the element of abstraction, the aspect of the painting that suggests forms. I want to suggest more than to describe, though my natural way of thinking is descriptive.
I learning to look at the painting itself more to gain a sense of how to go forward. I waver between the pull of the motif and the needs of the picture to stand on its own.
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.
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:
This is my crazy little practice painting. I just pile up paint on it. Measuring 8 x 10, it’s already gone through a second swipe and there’ll be a third, maybe a fourth, maybe more.
Last session I painted in very low light using a limited palette of teal, orange, brilliant yellow, primary magenta, thalo blue, and white. I couldn’t see the colors properly, which was interesting, plus there’s a blue curtain over one window that creates pale bluish light in the morning.
So it was interesting. I love to play around with color — with the colors on the canvas and with my own color perception.