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Monday, September 27, 2010

Autumn Grasses 10, Artist Zilch


My first little painting on a nine by twelve canvas board was exhausting: Nine by twelve is huge if you chose to use little tiny brushes to paint a subject that you cropped in close to blow up the details, (which is what like to do); there's no bounce at all of course; and even though I added two more primer coats of gesso, the tooth was nil and the paint separated and puddled when it first went on. I needed quite a thick application before I could get it to grip with one stroke followed by a drying session. Luckily it was laundry day.

I bought a dozen of these boards in an effort to standardize the size of my daily drawings/paintings. But unless I employ a palette knife and choose less detailed subjects, they just aren't going to work. The Autumn Grasses in my yard must have grown an inch in the two and a half hours it took me to get what you see. And it's not done.

Aside from needing more sassafrases in the sassafras trees and yellow in the leaves, the whole thing will need varnishing. The tube paint even though thinned with semi-gloss medium is looking dead to me. What's with this cheap surface?

The session was a wrestling match and I lost. I came away with magenta on my warm ups, green oxide on my sweater and red in my hair. The little sucker kept flipping off or falling over on my lap if I pounced or stroked too hard.

If I'm going to pursue this size, my big boy easel is definitely out. I have a portable drafting easel somewhere in this house that will do much better. It's table space and enthusiasm I'm lacking.


My canvases finally came; Chocolate Mice is up front for today.

Then, thanks to Agnes, I now know how to be in the picture. Her latest blog clued me in that my camera might just have a self-timer setting-- duh, something I never thought about before. She also said she liked to see the blogger behind the blog, a very clever idea I never got. So, thirty something years older than beautiful Agnes (I'm guessing), here I am as I am--sans fancy fixins, but with a smear of Vasoline on the lens to soften the blow for me, not you.

I'm reading Hugh MacLeod's book Ignore Everybody. It's quite enjoyable since we share philosophies on creativity. In an essay about you don't need a lot of fancy equipment to produce your masterpiece, he used as an example Van Gogh's limited palette. I looked that up this morning. Van Gogh's palette consisted of seven colors: Ochres, (red, yellow,brown);Cobalt Blue;Prussian Blue;Naples Yellow, Sienna then black and white. Simple. Great. Food for thought.

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