Years ago I bought a beautiful table cloth at the Smithsonian institution. It has one pattern on one side and another on the inside so it’s a versatile still life cloth. As with anything else that an artist paints it gets interpreted. The pattern of the real life cloth doesn’t exactly match the pattern of the cloth in the picture. It’s like jazz — it gets improvised.
And in that strategy the artist finds a great deal to explore and enjoy. This particular cloth has a great melody. I never get tired of looking at it, thinking about it, painting it. Thank you, textile artist, whoever you are who created my still life drapery.
I’m working on another large still life. Almost everything is inside the painting already, and yet the painting isn’t its things only; thus there’s still a lot of painting to paint. I add colors without a plan, thinking “this might look interesting here.”
Almost everything is there and yet it still seems to have more potential than I quite know what to do with.
I like my crazy little color studies for up-coming largish landscapes. This one measures 13.5 x 9 inches. Unfortunately they are nearly impossible to photograph properly. They are hard to “read,” as it is, their whole raison d’etre being color. Que sera sera. What is most interesting about the study — the character of the color relationships — is also the feature that causes the photography challenge, that and Mother Nature’s grey mantle this morning, and my general naivety about the technical aspects of photography.
Later on, when it really matters, I’ll have to rephotograph all the finished works (not the studies). I just post the studies and the work in progress stuff as a record for myself and hopefully as entertainment for my internet friends.
The study is painted using acrylic paints on unstretched canvas primed with clear acrylic.
An earlier crazy little color study was posted here:
Here’s the whole painting, measuring 30 x 24 inches, painted using acrylic paint. The detail that featured in the previous post is to the left. It’s in the works still … of course!
This is not the whole painting — this is just a section of it — just a peek.
So, who wins? Apples or oranges?
For the last three weeks I’ve been attending a life class that meets at the historic Arts Club. As I get back into the habit of drawing from a model, I’m thinking about different ways to focus the experience. Last session, though, I had no particular plan and I ended up drawing very fast, and it was a wonderful session. The model was lit by a bright studio light in the front and by cool outdoor light in the back. The outdoor light brightened as the session lengthened and I had the opportunity to observe some fabulous color effects.
I’ve approached each session so far a bit differently. And that makes sense given the differences in the models and the set up. But I think I’m developing a plan for what I want to achieve from life drawing. So next session might be a little more structured — for me — in terms of what I draw, what materials I use, and so on.
New thing. Always got to keep shaking loose the ideas. Drawing the figure is utterly different from what I’m pursuing in my regular work, so the class offers a chance to change gears.
But last session was intense. I just drew. Not much thinking about it. Indeed, for some reason I felt that I had to draw as fast as I can. So it was a bit of a race. And when it was over I was suitably tired! That’s a great feeling. I could tell that the model was getting tired as well. When he was most tired, he got a fierce look on his face that was marvelous to behold which I tried to capture. I think he was striving to hold still as his muscles were getting fatigued from the stillness. And that strife in his face …!
Well, you can’t tire someone out on purpose so just take the images that the moment gives you and draw them as well as you can!