I was nervous about starting, but I have begun putting the bouquet of flowers into the Big Painting. They take up a lot of space and occupy the central most part of the canvas so I know I need to broadly determine their forms first.
In the beginning I just locate them in generalized shapes. Later I have to paint individual flowers — or more accurately, I have to include the smaller, individual patches of paint.
I was nervous, but I’m over the jitters. Now it’s just paint, paint, paint.
I made a drawing of the compotier with lemons for the big painting. This quick drawing is on an 18 x 24 inch sheet of Strathmore drawing paper made using Neopastels. I had already made one study of the compotier in oil paint — and I’ll make others. Today’s light isn’t even right. I just want enough information to get the contours at least close enough for jazz. This one is close — still not right though it will be enough for me to use to paint some of the lay-in tonight.
The study in paint was more accurate in some respects, but it’s seen from the wrong angle. I set up a partial still life and also looked rather more closely at Bonnard’s image (I’m emulating Bonnard’s painting The Dining Room) and I find that I should be standing up when looking at the bowl. I was sitting for both the painting and the drawing, though I sought to prop myself up a bit higher for the drawing using a stool and pillows.
In any case I like the further engagement with the subject. It’s very satisfying simply to follow its lines and colors with the crayons.
It begins — still very dependent upon Bonnard’s picture. Recall I said that his version is the map I’m using. It determines the territory, but as the picture progresses I will be planting more and more of my own images and ideas into this painting. It measures 60 x 48 inches. I am trying to keep it vague enough to accommodate whichever window treatment I finally choose.
The foreground cloth was going to be pale yellow-white until I found the green cloth with stripes. The cloth’s beautiful color sold me on the idea that it should be included. Bonnard’s cloth was pale white with blue stripes. So the stripes have crossed over from his picture to mine. But now my table will be mostly green. Green in the window above and green on the table below.
I’m wondering if he should be added to the picture up-coming, the bouquet of flowers with the window and the wise old owl. He might make a nice addition.
As currently planned there will be a songbird on the side of a porcelain vase. Adding this fellow means that there will be two songbirds — one flat, one three dimensional. I like that. Don’t know why.
I have been thinking about this picture for months and months. I got a new canvas — a big, brand new, white canvas. I want so much to begin.
Always a balancing act to begin new things, finish old things, keep the everyday chores humming, to adjust my schedule to the calendar I keep with others. But a bit here and a bit there, and incrementally one makes progress.
I am not sure exactly when I’ll start work on the new picture — and it’s the same motif as featured in the post “almost a year ago.” But in this drawing — in this version — the flowers are smaller relative to everything else. And this is the version I’ll do first. I might also paint that other version (who can tell). Somehow, though, this is the one with the magic in it for the present.
I have decided how I’ll start, too. I am going to draw the composition using blue paint, drawing it in lines, just as above I drew the motif using a pen.
It’ll start all blue and white. Then I’ll see where it goes from there.
Some drawings are thoughts. I usually approach pastel as though it were painting, but in this one I was drawing as much as painting — was putting things in places, was putting down lines in particular. I like seeing the lines in situations. I feel like everyone ought to notice the lines that are everywhere. The world is filled with the most amazing lines everywhere that you look ….
But I digress. I like the bright orange of the persimmons against the pale sky blue of an old table cloth. And the pale violet of the backdrop with them, and the sweet sentimental rose on the elegant pitcher. They all conspire most earnestly to convince me that life is good. I remember all the joys of hundreds of ordinary days of the present and past years and believe that the future will be similarly rich in experiences. Various members of my family are evoked in a picture like this.
It’s almost a family portrait.
Pastel on Canson Mi-Teintes “touch” paper; 17 x 20.5 inches
The favorite pen has been getting quite a work out too.
Hint: it’s round, it’s “elevated,” it’s blue! It holds fruit ….
I drew my compotier! Again! Dix fois — will be there soon! Can cent fois be far behind?
Yes, I know there’s other stuff there. But clearly the compotier is the star of the show.
This is one of my “drawing while walking” drawings. An artist has got to stay fit, after all.
… which as Everyone knows is “mightier than the sword.”
And this is no ordinary pen. It’s my favorite pen.
This drawing above is after Bonnard (a detail of a Bonnard).
Favorite (and mighty) pen. Favorite artist (Bonnard), favorite object (compotier).
Who can ask for anything more?