I started this 2 weeks ago, when it was a lot cooler. Today, as the temperature started to climb to 90 degrees, was I sorry to be painting in the sun! Not to mention that in the past two weeks the early irises had faded away. Still, I wanted to get rid of an excessively sweet feeling the initial sketch had and I reversed much of what had been light, putting it in shadow. The result was a great improvement.
The Foundry Gallery show opens in 11 days, the reception for the show is in 2 weeks. Nonetheless, I was at the garden store, planning ahead, and I thought these pots of gerbera daisies would be great for decoration in the gallery.
There they were in my house -- how could I not start painting them? I took the canvas from the painting I'd started outside with my sunflowers and started painting this over it. That painting just wasn't going to work. It's a 24 x 30 canvas, and here's the initial sketching in of the flowers. I put them on a silver tray (which I retained from a catering job I had 32 years ago and has periodically shown up in my paintings) and used a canvas as a backdrop. I should have time tomorrow to take this further.
This is what I've finally decided I look like. I didn't look in the mirror while I was painting the revisions to the portrait I'd been working on. The earlier versions definitely didn't capture anyone's idea of what I look like.
I wasn't going to paint today. I've been a bit crazy with the constant painting or framing or working on my show, so I thought I'd take a break for a day. But...
The Victorian Book Club at Bethesda Library and the Center of Civic Literacy of UMd are both having programs tonight and through an error somewhere in the system, the meetings were booked for the same room. I was going to get food for the forum on Economic Security anyway, so I also ordered a cake for the book club. It was a very big cake. And it wouldn't fit in the library refrigerator so I had to bring it home before the program so it wouldn't spoil.
I have to get the cake and other food over to the library before I can fine-tune the painting, but I think the idea is there anyway.
And there you have it. My excuse for painting on a non-painting day -- and I'm sticking to it.
Nice spot I picked this morning to paint the one-lane bridge in Poolesville. I think I donated at least a pint of blood to the insect population and I must have dropped paint brushes into poison ivy at least 10 times.
About the painting -- I wanted this to stay loose, a constant push-pull between the very geometric lines of the bridge and the lush vines along the stream. I can see I still need to adjust the tension a bit.
This is probably the last thing I'm going to be working on before my show that can possibly be dry enough to be included. The irises, clematis and amsonia were pretty beautiful today. This isn't done so I hope to get back to the farm or continue in the studio later this week.
I got to Washingon Grove late this morning and I was mad! First I had to drive my daughter to school... then my husband called to say he was downtown in his suit job and had forgotten shoes when he biked to work, would I mind coming downtown to bring him shoes? An hour and a half later after I spent a lovely rush hour driving around DC, I was finally getting my paints out. I had a lot of blue on the palette and I just dug into it.
Maybe anger works for me! Maybe I need to get really riled up every time I paint.
Sunny, cloudy, sunny... it seemed like I couldn't get the great shadows I saw to stay put. I was also sorry that I didn't make a bigger deal, compositionally, of the bowl. I really liked painting the lemon decoration on its inside.
Tomorrow I have a portrait to paint in the gallery.
Julia is a beautiful woman with high cheekbones and long hair she sweeps back and over and it changes color and shape, well, constantly. I started painting her today and I am fighting the "good painting" with "good likeness" problem. I want there to be no conflict between the two -- but that's going to take a lot of work.
I think I'm going to paint a nice loud geranium and clear my mind of worrying about faces for a bit.
I was asked last night at a meeting unrelated to art whether the pressure of an upcoming show was a distraction. The meeting was a distraction (although we are planning Civil War programming for the library and how cool is that?)!
I was painting until I fell asleep, not quite brush-in-hand. And this morning, back at it. I'm at the point of choosing whether to further resolve the patterns in fabrics (Vuillard, what should I do?) or go with the brushing which is a huge part of what makes my work mine. Will be thinking about that.
The soundtrack this morning was a big help. I decided not to play the music of a 13-year-old but instead my stuff -- Deja Vu, Rain on Me, Back on the Chain Gang...
I started working on a portrait today.. from a photo. As I am known as a photo snob -- never, ever paint from photos! -- it's either a sign of my great weakness or just an idea I couldn't resist. In Lebanon, NH, we happened upon The Cupcake Queen and this moment of joy was experienced alongside the town square, coconut cupcake in hand. As a photo, it's not the greatest... but I think it's going to be a fine and fun painting.
The canvas is big -- 30 x 40 -- so this is practically life size and I am using huge gobs of paint and a big brush. Too much fun.
The mural I painted in 2009 has been buffed -- the street term for the addition of graffiti to a work of street art.
There's now "I love you TEA -- sh" next to the tennis raquet and a pencil thin mustache on the wheaton terrier. I will now get to find out just how easy it is to clean the German Keim paint system I used for the mural.
June 1 - 26, at the Foundry Gallery, 1314 18th St., NW, Washington DC. A show of my work, most of which will be recent (some yet to be painted!) -- and an opening reception Friday, June 3 from 6 to 8 p.m.