Last post featured a landscape painting on the easel and I thought I’d be working on it next. But things have changed. I have begun making new studies for a motif of flowers that has been floating through my head for some time and which already exists in the form of one “proto-painting.”
So here’s the Limoges vase that I’ve drawn before. I’m drawing it again. And will be painting it soon too.
Here’s the vase from before:
And here’s what I wrote when I drew it before:
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 ….
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.
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.
Been focused on all these landscapes, but I got to remember to finish my big still life — the one I posted here:
I distract myself from winter by all the non-winter things that I can imagine — flowers, warm summer landscapes, bright colors! I particularly the riot-chaotic feeling of masses of flowers.
I just learned that my pastel “Pickle Jar of Flowers” has been selected for inclusion in the upcoming “Mark” exhibit at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, Virginia.
Here’s how the gallery describes the exhibit:
Pencil marks, painting strokes, woodcuts, or a dynamic editorial eye are all marks artists use to create their works. Mark-making has been associated with conventional pen, pencil, and paper, but artists make marks on ceramics, plates, fabric, and film, with tools ranging from sticks to scrapers to pixels. Artists can also be marked with memories, conditions, or experiences that shape how their artwork is made. Specific tools, techniques, and the artist’s physicality are embedded in every work of art. This exhibit will show the viewer how the artist’s mark can be the most important element in transforming the ‘blank canvas’ into an image. Artists are also encouraged to provide a brief statement about their ‘mark’. The curator is Charles Jean-Pierre.
The exhibit will be on view from September 5th through October 1st with a reception taking place on Thursday September 14th from 6:30-9:30 pm.
A print of the painting is available for purchase here:
I put flowers into the bouquet last week. I think it has enough flowers now. I put flowers into the decoration behind the bouquet too. I worked some on every inch of the painting making little alterations in this and that.
Now everything is in the painting, but everything still needs tweaking. This large still life — it measures 48 x 36 inches, is “resting” while the paint dries. And I’m working on something else in the interim. Then it will get its tweaking. And then …
The last time I bought flowers I decided to draw them with oil pastel. It’s the easiest medium for me to use — very direct — just grab a sheet of paper, open the box, begin.
I made this drawing and the next on Strathmore 400 series 18 x 24 inch notebook sheets. That makes the flowers approximately life size. Drawing same size provides an interesting sensation as well — you can feel very connected to the thing when you draw it life size.
Now I find these drawings become helpful when I need flowers for a flower painting. More and more I find myself doing some of the flower pictures from composites. And when I need individual flowers to put into a painting, I can turn to these drawings.
That fact, in turn, makes me want to draw more flowers — definitely a virtuous circle ….
I put all the flower bouquets into simple settings at the time. Now I put them into complicated settings, with lots of color and patterned cloths. But I like these simpler works, and I did do something like this one when I was painting flowers with pastel last autumn.
The one on the right was painted sometime in the early 1990s, while the one on the left was painted last autumn. They are not so far apart in design — though they are decades apart in years. Thus it goes to show that my youthful self is still residing inside my head. That’s how I’m interpreting the similarity — that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Obviously I am young at heart. Here is the proof.