foreground, background, surface

painting on may 24 am (2)
detail of the work in progress

Some of my artist heroes, when painting drapery, would paint the folds first creating the three dimensional structures over which they would afterwards add the design patterns as they fold around curves and disappear around corners.

Me, I am so enamored with the patterns that my instinct is to go for the pattern first.  I just do this, I make no particular claims for the process.  Maybe I just don’t like to do my homework.

I’m thinking there’s a case for either approach (and for various approaches that are neither one nor the other).  As I see it the whole painting is flat anyway.  If you start with the patterns, you afterwards put folds where they seem to make sense and those folds curve however much they do.  One can always put more paint on top.  Indeed the picture consists of the paint that’s “on top.”

Well, that’s very true for this picture more than for most because underneath all the flowers and folds and patterns and whatnot are some toy horses.  I cannot put too much paint on the surface to make sure those horses never see the light of day again!

I’ve begun putting the vertical lines in the blue just to see how they add up with the rest of the painting.  Not sure yet whether all those lines will stay.  And I’m glad to paint over them or over anything else so that my horses don’t come trotting out.

And this painting is the warm up for The Big Painting.  I remind myself of that from time to time …


strange saga of the current painting

limoges painting on may 21.jpg

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.

early version of Limoges in 2016

And here’s the wild and wacky version of the flowers in 2011:

limoges flowers early-stage-oct-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:

ToyHorsesOnParade under flowers

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.


koi before flowers (2).jpg

I was going to be a koi painting, and it would have been horizontal.  But now it’s a flower painting and it’s vertical.  Here’s the canvas before it’s transformation — which is taking place these coming days.

the do over

lucy photobombs koi pic

Lucy and Zoomie photobomb the picture I’m trying to take of a 30 x 40 inch acrylic canvas I found in storage that I’m going to over-paint with landscape.  It’s exactly the same size as the painting that has got me stuck — so I could use it to rehearse a second version.

It’s the wrong size to serve as a proper format for an idea that I have in the hopper.  But I’m inclined to use it to rehearse the new idea anyway (rather than deepen my obsession with the troublesome existing painting).  Changing formats is like changing media — it can shake things up in interesting ways.

canvas 30 x 40 to overpaint (3)

It will be interesting sometime later on to recall that this picture was underneath whatever landscape I decide to paint here.

The options are this:

or a more probably an elaborated version, in a different format,  of this:


The Rose of Indecision

The painting I displayed in a previous post has gotten the ax.  I turned it over and painted this quick study of a rose — with a few flower friends faintly adumbrated on the sides.  Just couldn’t get the first study going, so I ditched it.  Meanwhile, this rose is the same one I’ve drawn over and over. 

There’s even a new “study” drawing that I made this week:

And another more developed small painting:

I have stared at this plastic flower so much I think it’s beginning to feel self-conscious.