Some random moments from The Big Painting, passages seen up close. Nearly all of these things will be covered up in more paint. But then I’ll take close ups of those too …
It’s fun for me looking at the surface. I hope it’s fun for the spectator too. Many things are abstract seen up close.
There’s lots of color contrast in this painting, both in the painting as a whole and in the smaller sections.
The flowers will get more stuff done to them, but these flowers will probably never be anything other than painted flowers with details of paint but not details of botany.
I am contemplating a plate. It may go at the bottom. Not sure. Right now it exists only as a broken arc. Blue jay’s tail is visible on the left.
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.
Here’s how the painting with the Limoges vase looks today after I spent yesterday working on the green cloth. It still has a ways to go but it’s getting closer and closer to my mental target.
I painted this picture over two other motifs. The first surprisingly enough was a painting of horses that I decided I didn’t like. Over the horses I painted the first flower motif, one that was very different from the picture as it exists this morning. In between was a version that included the Limoges vase but had different flowers. Here’s the trip back under the layers of paint.
Here’s how the painting looked in 2016 when I quit working on it.
And here’s the wild and wacky version of the flowers in 2011:
I wrote a blog about the wacky version here and here:
And here’s the picture of the horses, that dates back to 2008, that lies underneath everything:
So, is that weird or what.
I just hope the horses stay forever behind the other paint because I’m really loving the painting now.
I have been using iridescent paints. Nonetheless, much of the brightness has to come from the apt use of white. I strive to learn the apt use of white.
I’ve featured “fish faces” here lately. This one is composed of little strokes of paint. The gestures of painting on the small scale of the image — these strokes, these abstract “details” — can eventually influence a fish’s likeness quite a bit. This business of drawing with the paint gives me the sensation of being really near these fish as I paint. This is like the artistic equivalent of reaching out and patting them on the head. So far, they are the most obedient fish an artist could want. They give me no trouble. They practically paint themselves.