|Backed up project #1: load one in dish washer|
I got a very tiny taste of what the folks in New York and New Jersey were going through that sent my compassion for their discomfort sky high. We had an electrical blackout for six hours that seemed eternal. What do you do when you can see nothing? You don't paint. You pray for those who are worse off and then you worry about your own situation.
I was sitting and reading Alla Prima, with my morning coffee, when the lights started to play strange games. They hissed, went out and came back on--again--and again--and again--enough times to get me out of my chair and running around turning them off for fear of a short that would burst the house into flames. The lights I chose to leave on, did one more hiss and died. I was left standing in the dark living room while Ellis stood in in the shower, his hair suds up with shampoo. It was going to be a different sort of day.
|Dish washer load #2 waiting in line|
I was way luckier than my Jersey shore friends. My house was in tact and would keep me warm-- for a little while anyway. I got dressed, had some cold cereal and sat down at the piano to wait out the darkness with Beethoven. Half way through the second movement of his Sonata in G Major, (the dirge like one you play to a nine count when dirge like things happen to you), I heard something scarier than dark, a high pitched buzzing sound. It was soft, persistent and audible, in spite of my foot pressed heavily to the pedal. I went to investigate. The alarm we hardly ever use had been zapped to life. It was lit up like a panel on the Enterprise. I called Ellis.
"How do I turn this damn thing off?"
"How can you turn something off that shouldn't be on?" he asked. "Don't worry, it'll go off when the lights come back," and hung up. He was working.
|Yesterday's batch of Mushroom Barley soup|
made today. Dinner in a bowl for eight.
Again he reminded me that the alarm was off what could he do?
It was my turn to hiss,"Come home."
Standing in the basement staring at the electrical box and the alarm boxes with all those twisted pretty colored wires, I said, "On TV, the bomb squad cuts the yellow one to disarm the device."
|Yesterday's whites washed, dried and|
The alarm shrieked again piercing our eardrums. Ellis jumped. I smiled. "See?"
We both looked up, our hands clamped over our ears. We were standing directly under the squawking siren .
"I didn't know that was there, did you? I yelled "We could cut those wires?"
"Let's get out of here," my hero said.
Walking back through the studio, my flashlight hit My Guys standing up against the wall. I hadn't worked on that overly ambitious painting, since March--months before Vianna's eye-opening workshop--months before reading Schmid's eye-opening Alla Prima? "I should finish that up," I said as we hoisted the garage door for the second time. But Ellis was already in the car in no mood to talk art.
|The raucous culprit that finally drove us out.|
My second portrait in oil needs a lot of work, but I'm not looking
for perfection. I'm looking for three heads of equal size with enough likeness for this mom to know who's who. I looking for good values with a limited palette. I am not looking for a lot of detail work. Unfinished is the finish I'm going for now that things have lightened up, warmed up and quieted down.
MY THREE GUYS AS I FOUND THEM IN THE BLACKOUT:
|Painting was begun last March. Background was blackened in September. And a whole lot of learning went on since. This is an important developmental painting for me however it turns out. I'll be satisfied with a sketch-like finish.|