The Mystery on the Easel 2:7

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As I’d arrived at form so abruptly – and quite unexpectedly –  it was time to bring some life to the daisies.

I should say a little something about daisies.

They are arguably my favourite flower.  I love all manner of daisies from the minute daisy that intrudes itself into immaculate lawns, to the slightly bigger erigeron that spreads wantonly given half a chance, through wonderful marguerites to the fabulous shasta.  I love their bright cheerfulness, they have no pretensions, no super breeding – they are just plain old daisies, the flowers of the fields.  They always make me happy.  They keep on flowering, they keep coming back they keep waving their sun-filled centres about in garden or meadow or by roadside and they remind me that just being who you are is enough.

My friend Bekki, who appears in the comments here as a little knitted woolly lamb published a lovely photo on her blog a week or two ago of a field of ox-eye daisies and that picture has stayed with me through our dim, cold mid-wintery days.  I had also painted a daisy picture in my art journal recently and I wanted to do something more with that idea – with hindsight, I see it has influenced steps on this painting prior to the appearance of the flowers hdr

So, it was time to set to work.

Spotify randomly delivered me Diana Krall and Norah Jones today – separately and at their best, thereby proving to me that inanimate objects can know exactly what is required to get the job done!

 

They were followed by one of my favourite Van Morrison tracks

With small dabs of yellow, green and orange on the palette I lightly played about with beginnings and endings, light and shade to bring more shape and form into the  daisies.

I used my trusty charcoal stick, sketching lightly where stems and leaves and buds might go……….

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And put down the first layer of colours, alternating between leaf, stem and flower

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And, feeling pretty happy with progress, that was that for the day – we had other things to do.

Loving your thoughts my friends, thank you for your support and inspiration!

The final outcome shall be posted tomorrow 🙂

 

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The Mystery on the Easel 2:6

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Jesse Winchester’s delightful ballad ‘Sham-a-ling-dong-ding’ was playing as I looked at the poached eggs.  Letting the music take the lead, keeping my head out of it as much as I could, I picked up a wet baby wipe and my trusty scrap of sandpaper and began to wipe and scrub gently at the canvas, removing most of the white and black paint and revealing once more some of the under layers.

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Finally I felt happy, threw the used wipes into the bin, washed my hands and called it done for the day.

But a thought had crept in and a few minutes later I was back, white paint on the palette and an itchy finger ready to add some quick strokes around the canvas

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The canvas got turned upside down in the doing of this part and I quite like it this way …..

Are you still with me?  Any thoughts?

Thanks for coming by today, I’m so happy that you did!

The Mystery on the Easel 2:4

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The soaring notes of the Lacrymosa of Mozart’s Requiem reverberated through the room.  Orlando fled – he’s not a fan of the classics.  Siddy looked vaguely interested then settled onto his chair with his teddy bear and a sigh.  I looked at my paints.  The metallics looked back at me and I chose first bronze, then gold and turned to the easel.

Using my fingers I stroked long bands of bronze around the top and right edges and dragged and smudged them into the canvas.  It looked too heavy to me, so I swapped for the gold.  Gold is a go to metallic in any of my paintings – it sparkles and shines and I love it.  My finger traced stripes of gold around the blocks of colour, slowly, quietly as the music filled the room.    As the music moved into the Domine Jesu I finished laying down the gold and turning, picked up the white and began to paint random circles and spirals and somehow found myself enclosing them with black paint.   By the time I was done with that the Sanctus was reverberating around the room and  I picked up the metallics again and built them up some more, allowing the colour to bleed over and blend into the circles.

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There was no dancing today and I’m not at all sure about those black marks –  we’ll see what tomorrow brings!

Any thoughts to share?

Thanks for coming by today I love that you did!

The Mystery on the Easel 2:3

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There was a variety of colours left over on the palette this afternoon – and I required no music in the art room, I was enjoying a soft and gentle day of introspection and quiet gratitude.  I quietly applied blocks of  mostly translucent colours all over the existing layers.  Yellow, orange, rose madder and aqua met the heavier cyan.  And we were done for the day.

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You have to look quite hard now to see the original signs of strong, chaotic swirls – but they peek through here and there.  And still, I have no clue where this is going – any thoughts?

Thanks for coming by today, I’m so happy that you did!

The Mystery on the Easel 2:2

Hello!  So, day two dawned and I stood before the easel and gazed with horror at the mess….

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But as I looked I could see that the random choice of music had had a fair bit of influence over what appeared.  I decided to see what the gods of random chance would fling my way today so Spotify was turned on and I waited – somewhat trepidatiously (is that a word?) and Leonard Cohen’s voice floated through the room, inviting me to dance him to the end of love.  Without thinking and swaying along with the music I applied a thin coat of gesso over the entire painting, knocking back the vibrancy but still allowing some of the colour to show through.    Then I was stumped – where to now?

My eyes fell on the buckets of journal inspiration sticks and I reached forward and grabbed at one.  It said ‘Write at least three random words somewhere’   So I picked up the green paint lying on the palette from working in my art journal and wrote big, random words over the canvas.  And being somewhat of a wordy person, why stop at three words when there is room for so many more – I wrote six of my favourites and, as there was still paint left over, the green mixed with some blue made random circles between those lovely words.

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Here’s a close up so you can see what’s happening

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I cleaned the brushes and walked away just as the 2 Cello boys began to play ‘Benedictus’ – don’t you love the mad vibrancy of these two young musicians?

Your thoughts?

Thanks for coming by today I love that you did!

The Mystery on the Easel 2:1

Remember this post?

It was fun wasn’t it – are you up for following another process to see what comes off the easel?

It’s almost our Winter Solstice – and today is really cold.  My feet and hands were cold – I feel just a touch flu-ish.  I needed to get warm and keep warm!  Time to do some work!

I have an art board sitting on my easel.  I found it at the back of a cupboard when I was (ahem) sorting stuff prior to the latest re-organisation of the art room.  It had been covered with green and yellow paint – so long ago I had no recollection of ever having done it, let alone why.

It was the ideal jumping off point for my first real try at ‘Intuitive Painting’.  The thing you do when you have let go of all the rules, all the expectations and any thought of ‘achieving’.

I’m a Virgo.  I kinda like rules.  I’m very ordered.   I have ‘expectations’ for outcomes.  I like ‘achieving’ my expectations.  I like organising my stuff – have you noticed?  I’m not the ideal candidate to play with my paints this way.   I like order, I like process, I kinda like rules.

it’s a challenge I simply long to aspire to…….  But really, no rules?

So I gave myself some rules.

  1. Paint for a short time every day, even just 10 minutes
  2. Use paint brush, fingers, hands, whatever appeals
  3. Use up any paint left on the palette from other work
  4. Play music – loudly
  5. Dance
  6. Rules are for breaking – feel free

The first layer was going over the yellow and green background, so today, as I had no left over paint to use up and I was feeling very brave, I chose complementary* colours.  The complementary of green is red.  the complementary of yellow is purple.  I used two shades of purple, one with more red in it and the other with more blue.  I added some white to the palette too – just in case……..

I pumped up the music.  My favourite Spotify playlist is set to random and anything could appear – I’ve got something approaching 50 hours of non-stop music covering 50 years and all genres on that thing.  Bruce and the good old E-Street Band burst forth with ‘Ramrod’  –  a live version, so nice and long and still with Clarence on the saxophone.  (This is the closest version I could find on You Tube)

We were off.  We boogied and rocked and the paintbrush loaded with red paint made heavy random lines and marks. Then with big swooping movements as we rocked to the music the purples went on – gathering up and spreading white paint as well.  It was so good I put that track on repeat……..

When the paint was gone Siddy looked slightly shell shocked, Orlando had had a dance (he’s very fond of Bruce and Co; they have been among his preferred listening sounds since a young kitten)  and this was on the easel

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I know, I know – a blind elephant could have done better with his trunk tied to one ear – but I was no longer cold!

I can see this will be a long process.

If you followed my previous ‘Mystery on the Easel’ series you will know anything can happen.  The only difference is this time I have no plan, no vague idea where this might end up.  I’ll just work on it a few minutes every day,  respond to the impulse of the moment and we’ll all find out together.

Feel free to leave your thoughts and impressions – it’s all part of the process.

Thanks for coming by today, I’m so happy that you did!

*In case you haven’t come across this terminology before, or it’s been so long and you’ve forgotten your basic science lessons in light and colour,  complementary colours are colours that sit opposite each other on the colour wheel.  They are combos that pop and sometimes startle in the worlds of colour and design.   Andy Warhol used them to good effect in his  ‘Pop Art’ and Bohemian Style aficionados still love complementaries.   Mix them together though and they make mud! Complementaries are also the  ‘shadow colour’ that appears when our eyes have stared at any pure colour for a long time.