Saturday, February 18, 2012

On My Easel February 18, 2012

I started a couple of paintings. This is normal for me; I seldom work on a single painting, but several. This makes sense, as I tend to work small. Up to now, the largest painting I have done is 16” x 20”. More often I work really small, like 2.5” x 3.5”. But I have this really large canvas. 16” x 48” and I have several 12” x 12” square canvases.

Over the summer Hubby and I went to Greenbottom, a nature preserve along the Ohio River. There the water lotuses were in bloom and I have wanted to do a painting or two of them. The 12 x 12 will be a close up of one of them almost open, with the light coming through.

Sketching it out, the underpainting seemed to go well. The lotus is slightly off center, etc. But the next morning, I was unhappy with it. The water lotus is leaning and I think much too small. Also, the purple/blue combinations I used did not really please me. The water is much deeper blue and the leaves more Thallo green than viridian. But that is what underpaintings are for, to see if you got it right.

I was going to do the larger canvas in an expanded vision of the square canvas. I had it underpainted. I did a detailed drawing, sketched in out on the large canvas but there it sat, I could not make myself start it.

Even after I started the square canvas the large one just sat on the easel. Finally, I decided deep down I did not want to do it. All that minute detail! What was the point, a larger version of what I usually do? What I had set up was in reality simply a very large still life. What’s the point? Deep down I did not want to do this painting, and it was stalling me from doing any painting.

This big canvas calls for large strokes, a bigger vision. So I painted over the first layout, with broad firm strokes of a hazy sky reflected in still waters. This went so quickly I new it was right!

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