Now that I know where things go, I’ve begun painting the things. And I started with the blue compotier and lemons.
Adding paint, thing by thing…
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 ….
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.
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.
I made quick first sketches of some other objects as well.
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 ….
Link to the basket:
First marks of paint for the flower study. I set up the still life somewhat late in the day and didn’t begin painting until quite late. Here’s how it looked on the first pass. It’s really fun to begin flowers this way. From the outset, there’s a riot of color.
This is the beginning of the first of what will be several studies of flowers for a large flower painting that I’ve just begun on what was formerly the beginnings of a koi painting (a couple posts previous).
My studio looks like a gypsy caravan these days.
I’ve pulled a 30 x 40 inch painting of a pine tree out of the rack. I began it a while back but I’m ready to finish it now.
Made this drawing above to sort out some questions I have about the top of the tree. The drawing measures 24 x 18 inches so the image is just a bit smaller than the related section of the painting.
The pine tree is an oil painting so I’ll be switching gears from acrylic to oil. The studio will soon be filled with the wonderful aroma of linseed oil. Soon!
Drawing and redrawing the motif to get myself revved up to continue painting — on this:
Here’s an even closer detail of the drawing. There’s a sort of riot of lines.
I feel an unabashed love for the material appearance of oil pastels (Caran d’Ache Neopastels to be precise). I love to describe somewhat “loopy” forms with them. I love mixing colors by abrasion. I love the way that you can drag one color across another and create as it were almost veils of color.
So even when the situation is stalled (as I make drawings for a painting that I’m unsure how to complete), I can nonetheless love the act of drawing because the materials themselves are so beautiful.
I have rehearsed these forms many times and they still hold my interest. Indeed, it’s stronger than that. They hold me captive.
I continue to resist going forward with my crepe myrtles painting so I make more drawings. The drawing stops on the right because I ran out of motif — would have to invent more landscape to fill that space — which might be an interesting exercise.
So it rains outdoors and rains a little in my head where I lack some of the pizzazz that propels a painting forward. But it’s better to draw, if you’re stuck, than to do nothing. The drawing paper measures 18 x 24 inches.
Here’s the painting I’m endeavoring to unstick:
I am redrawing things that are in the painting, reconnecting myself with individual parts of the motif to get myself ready to continue working on it, stitching the parts more securely together — or preparing to do so — since the real discoveries will happen on the painting’s own surface. These are just ideas.
So I redrew the roses and then added the top of the clump of hydrangeas below these roses, just to help myself think about some ways that these two parts might connect. These are the hydrangeas that I drew in the previous post. The drawing measures 14 x 11 inches and depicts the flowers actual size.
Here’s the whole painting in its present form:
The roses and the hydrangeas are located in the top left hand side.