Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Show Up And Something is Bound to Happen


Michael is recovering from Memorial Day 

Memorial Day, I made a mess
of Michael.
My painting plans aren't overly ambitious. My cup isn't overflowing. Taylor x Four (We) and I've Gotta' Crow (JD) haven't been laid out on canvas yet; they are not paintings, just charcoal studies that would make good paintings. The only two on my list that need finishing is Steve and Zac and My Guys.

 Though Steve and Zac is closer to finish than Guys, I started in on Guys first. The painting  was started before the workshop I took last month. I was curious if I could rework it using what I had learned. As it stood, the three heads were just sitting there looking amateurish. Why not try to bring it up to some higher level?  I am the client and the artist on this one. This is the perfect painting to experiment on.

 Memorial Day, I attacked Michael. I had left him with no mouth and dull skin tones.I was having trouble with his jaw line and neck. Why not try to fix that which was broken anyway? I made a mess is why.

But I showed up for work again today eager. Things got a little better, but I didn't have as much fun as I did with the charcoal sketches. Charcoal I can handle; I've got a lot to learn about handling oils and brushes loaded with oils. It's going to be a long winter.


21 comments:

  1. Michael is looking good, I love that you 'attacked' him, it's a good word for your work, I adore the way you just go at it, your enthusiasm is so inspiring.

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  2. You do beautiful work with oils, Linda. I wouldn't even know how to start...he looks just like his picture. Wonderful job!!

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    1. He looks like a sourpuss. I'm going to have to put some sly, mocking laughter in those eyes.

      If I recall correctly, my sitters were very reluctant--putting up with mom and her camera--six years ago. I can be very annoying when I'm want something. When this--if this--painting is ever finished, it'll be a perfect example of "Don't frown like that. That expression could freeze on your face." (Something my mother used to say to me a lot. TG she wasn't an artist."

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  3. Looks to be going in the right direction...the expression he has would definitely be a challenge --I think--- for anyone. I'm tuned in to see what happens next. I agree with Sharon W...you have that roll up your sleeves way about you and it serves you well!

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    1. We do screw up our faces in some sorts of grimace a lot--especially when being cajoled into posing for a picture one doesn't really want to be in. But his eyes aren't done and I'm noticing what I didn't catch, so there's hope.

      Three portraits in one is just three paintings in one. The difficulty is the joinery, how they sit/fit together. I don't mind going slowly, as I learn to handle the paint and brushes and read the points and planes. Hopefully I can develop a feeling of spontaneity with time.

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  4. I love your enthousiastic way of painting! I think Michael is looking good! What else would you want to do this winter?

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    1. He's on his way to looking better I hope, but thanks. This might be it for the winter :-)

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  5. Dear Linda,
    you do not anything easy ! You choose expressions difficult, that Sargent would never have come to mind! But it is also the original charm of your work!
    You remind me portraits of European painters such as Egon Schiele.
    Look up to
    is good for you!
    It is good for us who follow you with love and curiosity!

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    1. He does have his face set is stubbornness, but I'm going to try to put more laughter in that smirk. The medium at this point doesn't come easily to me. That's the added struggle, the challenge. The class I signed up for in October is painting with pastels, the subject will be flowers. That should offer some relief. And I'll throw in a landscape too along the way.I've got two sitting unfinished in the studio as well. I will look Egon up. I'm trying to see as many portrait styles as possible these days. Thank you.

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  6. Well, you might have messed up earlier, but you're on the right track now. In a way I envy those who paint with oil, since it takes time to dry and there is the possibility to wipe for a long time. I usually have to paint over, with the result that a small area can be thick with paint. That can be really bad if it is in the wrong place.

    Keep working... and happy painting.

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  7. Messing days are over, they are just a distant memory now! I see that even if some days are hard and some are more fun, you ARE on the right track and you have the upper hand; not always easily maybe, but the results are great! And though I'm not surprised, because after all you are the right girl for the 'job', I'm happy :)
    Hugs.

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    1. Couldn't stay away from your blogging buddies. It is addictive. I spent yesterday morning finding our exactly where the Chatzimouratadous live. In Northern Greece, far from Athens,
      Chrisoupoli near Kavala, close to the Tracian Sea, which I would have missed on a geography test.

      Thank you for your confidence. I need a cheerleader. I'm understanding why I put this one aside.

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    2. Oh I'm not planning on staying away from blogging buddies, no sir! Though the traveling day and probably the day after would be difficult to even open my computer... but still will try.
      Chrisoupoli is such a beautiful place to be, if you haven't been there yet I strongly recommended it! The sea is magnificent!!
      I like the cheerleader role, I can do that :) But the confidence is something you've earned with both your hands and work.
      Cheers.

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  8. You could always use one of my tactics - put it away for a few days, start something new, play with the pastries.

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    1. No. I did that already. It's time to face the music. I'm using the pastries and charcoal drawings to break up the tension that develops as I flounder about with the strange paint from yesteryear. I have a book coming any day now that is suppose to be the end all of oil painting books. It can't get here too fast.

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  9. Well I don't know about oil, but in acrylics I have had the hardest time with using the colors and values to properly form a nose, for example. And it looks so easy! What is the book on oils btw? I think you have done a fine job sculpting these faces. You are definitely on the right track.

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  10. Linda!
    You are so right when you write, "Show Up And Something Is Bound To Happen!"
    Many times showing up is half the battle.
    Quite often I just show up and start to paint. Not sure where I am going or what I am trying to do. That is often when great, exciting creative things occur. When we least expect that to happen!
    Today I showed up to paint and I painted over I piece I started some twenty years ago! I certainly wasn't planning on doing that when I showed up.
    Thanks for showing up!
    Michael

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    1. My mother in-law once told me the hardest part of ironing was getting the ironing board out. The hardest part of painting is going down to the studio and turning on the lights. After that things just start to happen. We follow our whims, our fancies and three hours later or more, we've done something incredible.

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  11. I wouldn't know where to start! I admire your courage/madness ...! I'm a bookworm too when it comes to learning things. "You can't learn from reading it in a book," my father used to lecture me! He was hopelessly wrong about a great deal else as well.

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    1. I'm a good cook. I cook from a book. What makes the dish my own is my intuition and everything I knew before. The book is just a place to start. It's the reader's interpretation that shapes the knowledge into something different, something original. Meanwhile, I'm working with the stuff and my own opinions are forming with regards to handling it. I'm just looking to cut some of the pain. That book still didn't come today. It's overdue. I bought it from the artist to save a buck. But now, I'm relying on someone who really isn't in the book business. Risky. I have his phone number though.

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