Sunday, February 15, 2009

New Painting

I finally finished the picture for a new 16" x 20" painting. Used one old drawing, about 4 or 5 years old, of a nude couple hugging one another. I made the drawing but never used it. I didn't use any photographs as an aid for this drawing. Its nice to know that I really don't need them.

Combined the hugging couple with a new drawing of a mother horse and her colt. The colt is drinking the mother's milk. I thought, human love, animal love, the two go together. Used the mare and her colt as background in a landscape, they are smaller than the hugging couple so they seem to be a bit off in the distance. The horses are based on a photograph in a book and was supposed to be used in a painting with the erotic woman with a horse's head. I really tried to develop a painting with the horse headed woman, went as far as to buy a 18" x 24" canvas and large piece of paper to draw on. Last class used the time to draw little people beating up on one another in the foreground, it looks like play violence, but I suppose my intent was serious. Quit the drawing when everything looked flat and disjointed. I just wasn't planning a painting that I could be proud of. There was no mystery in it.

Probably what is best about the new painting is the odd flowers I've invented. You will not see anything like them in nature. I really like perverting nature. But before I invented these plants I spent a long time looking through a book on plants. Used tiny naturalistic plants in the foreground while I sized my creative monsters to fill the space from top to bottom, spanning the horizon line, passing from where the grass is green high into the sky which will be streaked with blue and pinks and purples.

Yesterday was a Saturday and it was Valentine's Day. My honey took the car to work the day before so I was not able to shop for his gift ahead of time. However he did shop before he came home from work, and when he did come home he handed me a small box of chocolates. "But Valentine's Day isn't until tomorrow" I said. "This is a pre-Valentine's day gift" he replied. It was silly and extravagant, buying me chocolates the day before Valentine's day and then giving me an even larger box of chocolates on the holiday. But I know why he did it. When he was out, making his purchases, a part of him couldn't wait a whole day to make me happy. He felt that he had to make me happy right away. Besides the huge box of chocolates I got on the holiday I also got a card and a glass red rose. My glass rose, after only having seen it once, mysteriously disappeared and I asked Mike where he had put it. He stuck it in the plant that hangs over the sink, and I must say it looks marvelous there. "I want to buy you a glass rose every Valentine's Day" he swore to me. I hope he can find them. Green leafy things and transparent colored glass go good together.

I have a collection of purple crystals and champagne colored crystals that I bought from an antique store. They obviously once hung on a chandelier, although probably not together. I would like to find them and put them in a window. The house is unhappily dirty, dusty and filled with animal hair. I think that come spring we shall do a massive cleaning. I will have my paintings back from the gallery and I can hang them through-out the apartment. I have little hope that any of them will be sold. Drove past the gallery store yesterday and in the window are large "sale" signs. I know from talking to the owner that they expected wealthy skiers from New York to buy some art, but that nothing has sold. I said to her "its the recession" and she got the strangest look on her face. It was perhaps fear, mixed with disbelief, mixed with helplessness. I do not know if this gallery will survive. Its loss will be a blow to downtown Brattleboro. The store is vibrant and eclectic, a real jewel in the crown of Main Street.

Now that I have the plan for a painting I can return to painting every day. For a while I was doing nothing else but reading in bed and jogging on the treadmill. I was immersed in a dream, the books of the "Twilight" series by Stephanie Meyer. A human teenager girl falls in love with a teen vampire boy. It's a bit of a struggle not knowing what to draw next, and for me, I have to get the drawing finished before I can start the painting. The purpose of my days drifted while the drawing slowly developed. Yesterday Mike and I went to a copy store and we made a large, single photocopy of the drawing. Today I take the photocopy and rub a pencil across the entire back of the piece of paper. I am transferring graphite to the paper. Next I will tape the photocopy to the gessoed board that I will be painting on and go over the lines of the drawing with a ball point pen. The graphite gets transferred to the painting surface and I have an outline of the objects to help me paint. I'm so untrusting of my drawing skills that I do not believe I could do a good job of reproducing my drawing without help. When I draw I use the eraser a lot. It is much harder to put down paint and then to lift it up again when you wish to adjust the shape of an object. I know that I was not born with great illustrative talent because I struggle with the basics. My creativity is more conceptual, not knowing where the line should go to create mass and volume, rather, deciding the unlikely event that this flower's petals shall have warts on it, or deciding that that flower's leaves shall resemble a golden necklace's filigree design.

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