Some artists are very particular about ellipses, getting them right. Monsieur Bonnard on the contrary used distortion a lot in his art, as did others of his contemporaries, like Vuillard, Matisse, Braque, many others. While there’s nothing wrong with getting your ellipses right, getting them “wrong” poses a different sort of conundrum. What kind of distortion gets the proper meaning? Something about that creamer above, its overly wide rim, its weirdly strong echoing shadow appeals to me. I like the crudity of this little painting that I made a long, long time ago.
I am wondering if I can properly manage a similar kind of sharp elbowed kind of drawing-in-the-painting now … and can I do so on a large scale? Can I do that in the forth-coming big still life?
I wasn’t trying to distort the creamer when I painted this, and I had an actual motif that I was looking at. I won’t be looking at the motif when I paint the big painting, and can one respond in that angled way to an image that floats in your brain? An image that is really large in scale?
I don’t know, but I’m going to find out. Writing about these things makes me eager to paint them.
It’s been a while since I bought some flowers to draw. I need to do that again. Drawing is a way of getting to know a thing. The drawings that I love best have as their primary purpose the recording of a moment. Flowers are wonderful to look at, to hold, to smell and they are wonderful to draw.
You choose an edge and let your eyes travel around that edge, and your hand records the journey — a trip through the flowers. Drawing is freedom.
Looking at the still life flowers from where I sit, how will I ever get back to them, to finish their painting? I see the lights and darks differently — or I should say, they seem new to me looking at them now. This mood, the pen, sitting in a different location, having been away from them a long time. What I was thinking recently about Matisse regarding landscape one could attempt with these flowers: do versions, let yourself take greater liberties.
Spring is coming and I am thinking about working outside again. There are artists who brave any kind of weather to work en plein air. Well, I’m not one of those artists! Give me comfort and sunshine! Nevertheless, even with comforts provided I am not one to just dash off and paint Nature. I don’t know why, but I just like to make all kinds of preparations. I need a script. There are rehearsals. Call me cautious.
Or maybe I just like to dream. Have my cup of tea and think about big open spaces. Light and air. Spent this morning imagining kinds of landscape that I might (very cautiously) depict in the open air once the air is nice and pleasant.
I had big things in mind. But little sketches in hand. And plans to plan. A very successful teatime, if I may say so myself.