And I continued on with the face – still not happy, you can see the charcoal lines I’ve put on to mark where I want to shadow more. I’m happy with the hair and the light on her right shoulder – and the appearance of the cosmos delighted me …..
Which really started with this bit, just to the right of her
and this bit where water and cosmos meet and there’s even fire ….. which makes me wonder if there might be more yet
Here ’tis – so far. The centre and left have barely been touched……….
Please do share any thoughts or questions – or critiques if you feel so inclined. It’s taking longer than I had originally thought, but it’s also going places I’m quite excited about.
Thanks for coming by today, I’m happy that you did!
Less a mystery and more a what happens next – mainly so I can keep track of my progress…… And hopefully shorter than the last ‘Mystery on the Easel’ that so many of you loyally followed along with. (Thank you 🙂 )
Here’s what we started with, from the last post. It’s a big board for me 1200 x 900 mm. My main thought whenever I look at it is ‘I hope I don’t muck this up!’
After two coats of gesso and a bit of fiddling it looked like this. Why I chose yellow and then mixed orange with white to make peach – I have no clue. Terrible colour palette! But I quite liked the way the lower half of the canvas looked ……
I had no real idea where I might be going – except for the vague thought I might like to see if I could paint light …..
I threw a bit more paint around the following day but forgot to photograph it.
By the time I lay the brushes down today this had appeared
Let’s see where we go from here – I’m not seeing much light yet and who knows what might happen next! You old hands know that anything can ……..
It was around about now as I flipped through the process pics yet again that I suddenly realised I had painted my life – it’s all here in little vignettes that maybe only I can understand. It was a shock, then I laughed and looked through it all again, yep!! – I painted my life!!
Well that turned out to be a really good experiment!
The daisies each represent a time when my life changed – being me, always done dramatically, but always leading me further on up the road so to speak.
The daisies are important so I just kept on playing with colour and form and light and shade, building them up…….. I often don’t know when to stop and almost a whole day went past……
The background was deepened and earlier layers were built up, allowing them to add their voice to the final canvas. More gold was added, eventually it edged the entire piece and mixed into leaf and calyx.
And as the sun set, I finally called it done
You can’t see all the glimmery, shimmery bits sadly. But here’ s a couple of close-ups. maybe you might catch a bit in there
Thank you so much for sharing this process with me – I’ve loved reading your thoughts and Geoff’s increasingly wild and wacky comments as it’s gone on. I hope you enjoyed all that too.
Oh – and for my Canadian friends – Happy 150th birthday! Here’s Siddy doing his bit for the celebrations and honouring his favourite Canuck aunty Kelly
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
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……….
And put down the first layer of colours, alternating between leaf, stem and flower
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!
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.
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
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!
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.
Paint for a short time every day, even just 10 minutes
Use paint brush, fingers, hands, whatever appeals
Use up any paint left on the palette from other work
Play music – loudly
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
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.