where do ideas come from?

ginger jar honey jar and seashell

I get my ideas from the still life table.  Here’s one of my favorite things to do — pull out favorite objects, set them on the table, start drawing.

Usually I draw the same motif over and over.  I am loving this motif so much I think it’s destiny that I draw it again.  But I am trying to train myself to reshape the set up regularly and do faster drawings of different arrangements for the sake of the variety.

The above is 24 x 18 inches on Strathmore 400 series pastel paper using Caran d’Ache Neopastels.  Seashell, ginger jar and honey pot, with a bit of blue compotier peeking in from the left.

(almost) live blogging the Big Painting

studio assistant and other assistants tail

Junior studio assistant gives me a meaningful look while senior studio assistant (mostly unseen) smacks junior assistant with her tail.  (This happens a lot.)

big painting compotier going in

The blue compotier is starting to go in.

big painting flowers going in

The flowers also are starting to go in.  I use music stands to hold my studies.  It’s very convenient — and musical! — I feel like I’m playing the score while I paint.

All these study drawings and paintings are very useful.  I’ll be making more of them as the painting goes forward.  As more of the picture gets painted I’ll know what further information I need from the objects.

Any excuse to draw the frog teapot will do ….

a big painting is just many smaller paintings stitched together

big painting on july 27

Well, the big painting is back.  If you recall how it looked when I left it and compared that stage to how it looks above, you might wonder what all the fuss is about.  However, the renewed work is a big deal in terms of painting problems and their solutions.  I stopped work because I didn’t know where to put the foreground items, namely the famous froggie teapot, the blue jay figurine, the seashell and the black teapot (temporarily ochre colored in the version above).  I drew them over and over, recall, and posted the drawings here.  And you weren’t the least bit bored to see froggie teapot and the blue jay drawn again and again and again and again and again, were you?!

It does pay off though.  Let me tell you, putting that seashell in that spot, for instance, was an order of magnitude easier for having drawn the object so many times.  So, now that the painting’s things have places, I feel that the rest of the painting can proceed.  The great irony is that I have no idea what exactly the painting is going to look like.  I just know now that these particular objects are going to sit in those locations.  That difference, however, is enough that I can continue.

And whenever I get stuck on matters of detail, can you guess what I’ll do?  More studies! (Secretly, of course, I love drawing the studies — don’t tell anyone.)

I have 2880 square inches to fill with colors, doesn’t that sound wonderful ….

From my blog, I see that I began this project around the end of May.  July is ending.  That’s not a bad time scale for a large picture.  See, there’s another virtue in blogging, it helps you keep track of the days and puts things into better perspective.

https://alethakuschan.wordpress.com/2018/05/28/emulation/

Anyway, the real painting begins.  Wish me luck!

Here’s another link to an early stage of the picture:

https://alethakuschan.wordpress.com/2018/05/28/most-tentative-beginning/

teapot with flowers

teapot study

I made another drawing of the black teapot that sits on the horizon of the still life table.  I decided that maybe the ellipse does matter after all so I redrew it to better match the appearance of the blue compotier.

I included a shadow.  Things are going to have cast shadows similar to the ones that objects have in Bonnard’s painting though not all the objects have shadows yet in the various studies.  The question of the shadows and what they shall look like is another piece of the big puzzle.

the many moods of the blue compotier

compotier with three lemons

The dark blue compotier has been the subject of many drawings lately — this because it occupies such a prominent place in the Big Painting that’s in the works.  However, I wasn’t aware how much I’ve drawn it.  I think I must be drawing it in my sleep, too.  It seems to border on obsession!

Well, I suppose there are worse things to be obsessed about ….

compotier with three lemons close

I love the lattice work in this object.  It totally fascinates me.  I particularly love it in the form of a cast shadow, but the light wasn’t coming from the right direction in the latest drawings to observe the shadows.  In the drawing at the top, of which the above is a detail, the widest part of the basin measures 15 inches across which is two inches wider than the actual object.

compotier with three lemons arbitrary color (2)

compotier with three lemons close arbitrary color (2)

compotier with lemons drawing (2)

bringing lemons

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If life brings you lemons, of course you paint them.  And if life would bring you lemons, you wouldn’t have to go to the grocery store to buy them.  Maybe it’d mean you have a lemon tree.  Or perhaps you have people who just bring you lemons — that’s what I need — I need staff.

On my still life table, the lemons repose in a blue compotier.  So it’s kind of like heaven here.

a seriously studious student for studying

limoges compotier with lemons first

As perhaps you surmised from the title, I have been making studies.  These are paintings that you don’t paint to finish — you just paint them to paint.  I might finish them.  I might not.  They might be sketchy.  They might be overdone with paint.  It can be anything at all.  (Which makes working on studies a blast.)

The only point of the study is to have rich visual contact with the thing being studied.  So this is the first pass at the large blue compotier with lemons.

Limoges compotier bird frog teapot

I made quick first sketches of some other objects as well.

frog teapot porcelain basket bird

I’m not sure at this stage where anything will go in the actual painting.  And I don’t plan to be fastidious with it either.  I hope to work on the large painting with as much freedom as with these little studies — though I will have had many rehearsals of various sorts to inform my painting when I get to the big canvas.

In the lower corner of the study above, you’ll see the beginnings of a porcelain basket.  You can find the actual basket at the link below.  And, if you want to buy the basket, you can!  Better still, if you decide that you want to buy the basket so that you can send it to me — leave me a comment and I’ll provide my address and hire the security guard ….  It’s just a little bit pricey ….

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Link to the basket:

https://www.1stdibs.com/furniture/decorative-objects/sculptures/figurative-sculptures/decorative-basket-bow-porcelain-factory-circa-1760/id-f_9878641/?utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=criteo&utm_campaign=display_us-pdp-criteo-non-exclusive&utm_content=d

 

 

a brand new year

flowers-on-red-cloth-horizontal-2

It’s a good time for making plans, for setting goals, for dreaming big dreams.  A whole beautiful year lies ahead — a huge expanse of time waits to be filled, to be lived.

I hope that your 2017 was good and brings you many rich memories.  I hope that your 2018 will be wonderful.

Happy New Year!