Sunday, March 29, 2015

There's No Fire


Ruby, IN PROGRESS, oil on gallery stretchers, 16 x 20"






Ruby, a detail of the still life portion in progress.
The colors in white on white began showing up  right after the previous photo was taken.  Each day, a little bit more.
And there's more to go!

Ruby  is  coming along. The 'white on white' still life that is the table and dinner service is taking a lot of consideration and mixing paying special attention to the edges--hard, but not.  I find myself doing a lot of pacing, backing up and squinting, then advancing and laying in brush strokes till I feel the need to backup again.  When I'm not scrutinizing to make just the right marks, I'm cleaning brushes, refreshing the OMS  and scraping the palette.  It seems that most of the paint sessions are spent doing everything you can to avoid contaminating colors.

The sessions  are short, from a half hour to an hour and a half, spaced through the day.  If I stay too long, I get anxious to finish and tend to over think and overwork.  when I feel I've reached that point, that's the time to wash the brushes--there's no fire.

The Painter At Work, 6 x 8, graphite.


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The Wedding Hat, 6 x 8, Graphite IN PROGRESS.


The fire went out in my draughting studio the day I stopped sketching and started drawing for thirty minutes. To me a sketch is fast; it's done in a few minutes.  A drawing takes a bit more time. These  two drawings were worked on.about three days each--till I got a finish that was good enough for me.

Artists often talk about finding their artistic voice, but recognizing  a comfortable creative pace is also important.   Mine turned out to be  leisurely, but planned and deliberate.  No surprise.

.Spring on the far side of the woods, enhanced digital photograph

This photo was taken on a whim this Sunday morning when I spotted the first sunrise in months.  What a joy!  What a nice limited palette landscape!  Will it ever get painted?  Maybe?
















 
 




 



17 comments:

  1. I saw the painting of Ruby, and had a big smile. It looks so very, very good, Linda! Everything ... colors, pose, composition, and of course ... the soft, but not edges :) Your self- portrait sketch is you - so intense, focused - love it. ANd the sunrise photo - WOW!!! Makes one want to get up very early to capture those superb colors and shapes. Thank you for an absolutely wonderful post today!!!
    Kathryn

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    1. Thanks Kathryn! I side stepped that still life of the table and dirty dishes all week. I finally attacked it this morning. It's still not free enough, but I've clued in the 'whites.' It seems that not having to get things painted gets me to paint them. I've always been a bit ornery. 😄

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  2. Love them all! The photo is stunning and you certainly have grim determination in your face, but something bugs me about Ruby and I think it is that the stark contrast between table and wall is too unrealistic. I know it is unfinished and I really like the table as is, so a suggestion would be to have a white wall.Do tell me to butt out if I overstep the line.

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    1. The wall, her shirt, her hair, her face are all evolving. I paint all over the canvas constantly balancing values. Today's area of concentration was the white on white of the table and the dishes. I like how that's evolving. Tomorrow, or soon, maybe the wall and her left arm and the hair" You know how it goes. Maybe we shouldn't show WORK IN PROGRESS? But I was happy I had finally picked up a brush and figured you guys might want to see I wasn't confining myself to black and white. I was pretty happy just drawing.

      How'd your client like the portraits? All signed, sealed, delivered and paid?

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    2. I added the detail for you. There's no white white in painting!

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  3. I like the progress of the "Ruby" painting, both the table ware and Ruby. I also like your "selfportrait", a lot of "soul and emotion" in it.

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    1. thanks Roger. My Ruby experiment is coming along well, a nice mix of a succinct Ventian start--grid system/tight contour drawing followed by a tonal wash in, followed by gestural brush strokes tempered with scumbling. I seem to be working out my own work process that's accurate, but loose.

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  4. You are smart to go at your own pace. Experience and experiment are so important to learning what works for oneself.

    That self portrait is terrific. And I love the impulse photo.

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    1. It makes you want to scribble orange and blues doesn't it? If I wasn't so intent upon working out a satisfactory work process, maybe I'd take a minute for a landscape--or buy some flowers--but I've got portraits on the brain. --The nicest part of having had my design studio in my home for thirty years or so was I could come to the drafting board and leave it as I wished or as the creative juices flowed. Time away from a project was as important as the time spent on it. Great ideas germinated while chopping vegetables to make a soup. Dwelling on something for too long, just to get it done, (because others paint a painting in an hour, three hours, a day's time), is a real bad idea for me and would have been horrible in the design/build business.

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  5. Artworks different, very beautiful with the expressive power that characterizes you, dear Linda! In portrait detail, larger, that you put even on FB, I admire a great variety and subtlety of colors. Extraordinary overlays and transitions along with the bold strokes with which you faced other points of the painting attracting the eye .... dynamism, rhythm, points of rest,a perfect balance.
    I wish you great painting-drawing- photography days. Follow (here and on Fb)your artistic journey is always thrilling to me!!!

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    1. Rita you bowl me over with your praise. Thank you so much. This has been a progressive year for me. I've found my subject. I've found my medium. I've found my format. I've found, most importantly, my pace. I'm feeling pretty good--till the next catastrophe comes along and knocks me down to size. I'm pretty sure I can count on that. It's an artist's life.

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  6. Roy loves Ruby.........the painting, he thinks it excellent!

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    1. I love Roy! He's got excellent taste. :-)) I won't show him the sassy cowgirl I nuked this morning. Hate to disappoint.

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  7. Your self portrait is amazing, and Ruby is gorgeous, a great, great work ! You really know how to catch those expressions !

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    1. Thanks Jane. The expressions are what interests me. So many portraits are straight-faced, just recordings a person's existence. I like to capture people responding to a moment in their life. I like reactions. I was watching the dumbest TV show at the time I took the selfie I used as a reference. Ruby was done eating, leaving the table and on to doing something else? The viewer can make up who might of said what to get her to pucker her lips like that. I do love people watching.

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  8. What a great post! Ruby is certainly beautiful and evocative. This is the kind of painting I just love. It is the kind of painting that if it finds it's way to a gallery wall some person might very well remember this painting all the rest of their life. You know what I mean....we've all had a painting just stick in our minds. She looks so pleased...and the viewer gets to decide why. She obviously loved the food...but there is something else to this story! (Side note: I scrolled back to see if you did a preliminary sketch of Ruby and sure enough you did...what you wrote made me laugh a little ...something along the lines of "what is the point of all this"? Well, allow me to tell you, Dear L.W....the point (for you) is that you were pretty much born to draw and paint. As Andy Warhol said, you just do the art, let everyone decide what to do with it (buy it, show it, etcetera). Love the sketches here too. As always.

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