art in progress

Sick days + trial of drawing on wood panel

As far as being sick goes, these two days have been very kind to me. I'm feverish and achy enough where I definitely had to take off from work, but not so horribly bad that I was immobile or vomiting. Even the congestion has been moderate and I could sleep to my heart's content without coughing or breathing problems. 

So how have I been spending my "pleasant" sick time thus far?

  • The number one priority is SLEEP. I've been sleeping and half-sleeping and thinking about sleeping when I'm awake. At first I slept because my head and body both hurt. Then I slept some more just because it was so nice getting to sleep as much as I wanted. 
  • For nourishment I've had mom's homemade chicken soup for 2 days.
  • I almost finished reading a book. (Quantum Man: Richard Feynman's Life in Science by Lawrence M. Krauss. ) Still have 50 pages or so left. Even though much of the physics in it is not fully clear to me, I feel some connection to the way that Feynman works. Throughout the book, he's described as having an intuitive approach where he can picture the answer and arrive at the answer in his own way, but then has to go back and figure out how to have that make sense in acceptable science jargon. When I'm painting. I have an image in mind of where I'm going and I somehow try to arrive there. Along the way, I don't think about it very technically. After I've put my brushes down, someone might say to me, "I see you used warm vs cool colors there." Then I do go back and put some thought into what I did in art terms in order to communicate with other people about it. But, on my own, my mind is usually quiet while I'm painting and I just do what feels intuitively right to me.
  • I also experimented with drawing on a wood panel while resting in bed. Oil painting is too physically taxing in my current state but gimme a pen, a handful of color pencils plus a couple pillows to prop me up and I'm a happy gal.  
 unfinished attempt at drawing on wood panel w/ a sepia micron pen and prismacolor color pencils

unfinished attempt at drawing on wood panel w/ a sepia micron pen and prismacolor color pencils

ART IN PROGRESS - "The Antique Shop", in progress @ 24 hours

Why has this painting been so fun?!? With many paintings I hit a wall at some point and encounter a stretch of time when I just don't want to work on it. I haven't felt like that at all with this piece. In fact, I'm more and more eager to paint it. EVERY day if possible. (It's not possible.) My mom said to me the other day, "What's so special about that? Why would you want to paint that?" She's in favor of me switching to topics that are proven to sell well in Texas (i.e. cowboys, horses, etc.) But "sellability" is secondary to me right now. I just want to paint whatever strikes my fancy. Usually my choices of subject matter are targeting things I've been wanting to test my abilities on such as how to do the subtle shifts in white in a snow scene or finding out what my take on a self-portrait would look like. On this piece, I mainly wanted to practice high key painting and also tackle the huge number of objects. 

 "The Antique Shop", in progress @ 24 hours, 22x28in., oil on canvas

"The Antique Shop", in progress @ 24 hours, 22x28in., oil on canvas

Here is a peek at a few other things on my mental list of what I want to try to paint (aka my painting bucket list):

  • something that has very muted colors (I tend to go vibrant)
  • something that is on a very extra long thin canvas because coming up with the composition and subject matter would be challenging
  • something that uses gold leaf (at least once in my life!)

ART IN PROGRESS - "The Antique Shop", in progress @ 16.5 hours

This latest update is after 3 more sessions of painting (2 hours each). I'm in an experimental stage right now. The first shelf I painted is the one above the drawer. It obviously looks the closest to completion. However, I may have unintentionally used too much blue and that's not the balance that I want.  I want the image to be filled with shelves and shelves of objects but still feel simple for the eye to grasp. To do that, my composition is very simply organized into an orange zone which is bright and a blue zone which is dark. If I continue what I did for that bottom shelf for the rest of the shelves, then the oranges and blues will be too evenly distributed throughout the painting and it may start to look too cluttered/busy. The background will lose the simplicity of having that unified block of orange. At that point, the lady will no longer stand out as clearly either.  So on the 2 other left shelves, I changed my approach. I started by painting everything with light and dark values using yellow, orange, and white only. Next time I will slowly add in only small amounts of blue and other colors to control it carefully. Hopefully that will stay closer to my original intention. I don't know yet if I need to do a major repaint of that earliest shelf...

 Tue. Feb. 10, 2015 - "The Antique Shop", in progress @ 16.5 hours, 22x28in., oil on canvas

Tue. Feb. 10, 2015 - "The Antique Shop", in progress @ 16.5 hours, 22x28in., oil on canvas

ART IN PROGRESS - "The Antique Shop", in progress @ 10.5 hours

It’s hard to make myself stop painting when it’s progressing smoothly and this was one of those days. In the past, I could easily do art for 6 to 8 hours continuously because I would enter a zone in which those human needs such as food, sleep, and bathroom breaks all vanished. But as my teaching hours increased, the chances to do my “art marathons” became rare. Although I really enjoy my job, I do miss getting to draw or paint for as many hours as I want whenever I want. What I have time for these days is usually 1.5 to 3 hour blocks of time at the most, unless I decide to stop sleeping.

  Mon. Feb. 2, 2015 - “The Antique Shop”, in progress @ 10.5 hours, 22x28in., oil on canvas

Mon. Feb. 2, 2015 - “The Antique Shop”, in progress @ 10.5 hours, 22x28in., oil on canvas

In today’s session, I primarily finished sketching in the shelves on the right but you can also see that I’ve already begun painting a couple of the objects. (I’m going to make all those vases shine like *bling* *bling* *bling* *bling* *bling*!)

ART IN PROGRESS - "The Antique Shop", in progress @ 8 hours

Today, it really dawned on me HOW MANY OBJECTS are in this one painting! But with it came another realization: it's not beyond what I'm capable of handling. Folks, I think I have January-itis. It's that beginning of the year optimism when I think I can do anything and everything. Let's hope it lasts. 

 Tue. Jan. 27, 2015 - "The Antique Shop", in progress @ 8 hours, 22x28in., oil on canvas

Tue. Jan. 27, 2015 - "The Antique Shop", in progress @ 8 hours, 22x28in., oil on canvas

Today's changes:

  • distributed more blackness between objects in the bottom 1/3 of the picture
  • added in part of a chair that’s on the right edge
  • after that, just settled into plowing through as many shelf object outlines as I could manage before I ran out of time for the day