My Blog List

Sunday, November 6, 2016

On Break? Mess Around.

There are plenty of breaks to take when painting in the style of the fifteenth century masters. Shaking off the impatience of modern life, when speed is attractive to everybody and a snail's pace is intolerable, makes breaks an important part of the old world painting process.  Since I did Morris, (the Maestro) last winter/spring and started Waiting At The Gate this fall,  I've used breaks to mess around as I pleased with the paints in an effort to paint quick and loose and keep impatience at bay. Sitting in the only soft seat in the studio, I painted whatever was in front of me--the studio, the paint table--still lifes that started off still, but as time passed, became full of (nervous) energy-- and a series

.The Studio, monochrome, oil impasto, 6" x 8"

The Paint Table, oil, 8" x 6"

.The Paint Table, monochromatic, oil impasto, 8" x 6"

.The Paint Table, oils,8" x 6"

The Paint Table, oils, 8: x  6"

The Paint Table, oils, 8" x 6"

The Paint Table, oil impasto, 8: x 6"

My impatience found its way out in my sketchpad too:

.Clowning Around, graphite pencils, 6" x 8".  My granddaughter and her boyfriend
never read about the evil clowns terrorizing neighborhoods when they chose their costumes
for Halloween. 

With my impatience spent messing around, the slow sessions with Waiting At The Gate  have become a relief. 

Waiting At The Gate underpainting in progress,  This week's concentration was on the woman two on the right
and the connective area between the two women.

.Detail of woman on the right.  How dark or light to make the background is still
up in the air.  To make that decision, I need to do the foreground, the darkest area in the painting.


  1. Wow! Extraordinary work. I am in awe.

    1. Daily sketching shouldn't be confined to a sketchpad. Messing around with paint is liberating. Love it!

  2. You've certainly been messing around ... looks like a lot of creative fun was had!

    1. There's a nice balance between the two approaches to painting that's both beneficial and pleasing. Balance is what happiness is all about. All work and no play does make people dull.

  3. Wow - what a great little studio series - your messing around in oil paint has provided some really vigorous work!

    1. Thanks Susan. Messing around is the most fun and often produces the best work. I think that's due to being carefree--no marketplace or client commission to worry about. If it comes out, it comes out. If it doesn't, so what? Go on to the next. It was an enjoyable week.