I worked on River Watcherand Night Watcher(see the previous post) concurrently, switching off as one dried enough to work on, and then the other did. Each time I switched – rolling my taboret cart from one to the other, shifting the left-hand easel (River Watcher) to fit the taboret between or beside each piece – it was emotionally difficult to leave the one I was quitting. But I’d gamely work into the current piece, and eventually be reluctant to leave that one! Guess I’m a bit obsessive.
I have a penchant for the 19th-century visual sense, both the popular esthetic and the experimental high art of the time, and it’s showing more and more in my painting. Maybe it’s hokey, but it’s me – at least for the time being. The figure in River Watcher is from the same photo shoot, same cemetery in Manchester, NH, as the one in Night Watcher – another muse-like beauty. She’s placed beside the Susquehanna River in Endicott, NY.
This is the first piece I’ve done, since childhood, which features an expanse of water, and I’m quite pleased with it. A lot of the underpainting is left to show, and I like the resulting depth.
River Watcher presented more challenges than the previous piece, as you can see in the progression below.
Click in any of the tiled photos below, to switch to a slide show of progressives. To exit the slide show, click the small X in the upper left corner.
River Watcher 1: underpainting started
River Watcher 2: underpainting coming along nicely.
River Watcher 3: underpainting finished!
River Watcher 4: beginning of color block-in, with light grey-blues in sky and river; greyish browns, greens, pinks on hillside. Underpainted trees show through, to be painted in again later.
River Watcher 5: color block-in continues. Greens added and wiped back in river, white/veridian green semi-transparent glaze over the figure. Some re-drawing on the foot.
River Watcher 6: blocking in the lights on the figure, more darks in the river, and added lights on the river in the same hue as on the figure, for color harmony.
River Watcher 7: values blocked in on figure – a bit too angular.
River Watcher 8: thinking maybe I should lighten up the figure again, after the dark glaze. Definitely have to cut some sky color back into the foliage (can’t believe I thought this was almost done).
River Watcher 9: thought I was nearly finished — just needed to delineate the geese, cut some lights into the darks of the trees and the figure — but I wound up re-painting the entire figure. It was just too choppy and muddy. Much happier with it now, but have to do some more work on the form of the wrist/hand. (The darks under the new surface inform it nicely, I think — I did as much wiping out as I did painting in.) Then lights to thin the trees, and subtle clarification of the geese. This one’s taking a while!
River Watcher 10: finished! just a little clarification of the geese, hand and wrist corrected, lights cut into tree foliage, and blues greyed down just a bit.
Learn the basics of oil painting in a fun and casual setting with artist Glenda Blake. Together we’ll paint from a still life in the classroom, exploring composition, under-painting, light, shadow, and color mixing. If you’ve been puzzled by books on painting, this is an ideal time and place to ask questions. If you’ve always wanted to paint with oils, now is the time! Please bring a work apron and/or wear older clothing to paint in.
Classes are on Mondays, July 28 – August 25, 1 – 4:00 p.m. There is a limit of 10 students per class. A one-time $15 fee is required to cover supplies, which are provided. To sign up, stop by the circulation desk at Your Home Public Library, 107 Main Street, Johnson City, NY.
Call YHPL at 797-4816 for more information, or contact me.
Early this afternoon I was interviewed in my studio by a nice young woman from the local Fox News affiliate. I know, right? Fox?? But the local broadcast is okay, and who was I to refuse publicity for me and my work?
It all came about because the director of the Community Foundation of South Central New York invited me to show my work in their conference room gallery (we’d talked about it casually since last fall) mid-March through mid-May, in time for their press conference this morning announcing their new Artist Fund grants. When Fox asked her to recommend a local artist they could talk to, she suggested me… as, apparently, did the director of the Broome County Arts Council, co-sponsor of the grant program. So I guess I’m the poster child for the grant — I’ll be shown in the Foundation’s Annual Report as well. Exciting!
They called around 10:15 in the morning — right before my dentist appointment — and wanted to come right over to interview me in my studio. I demurred, citing dental work, so we settled on 1:00 p.m., the latest they could do before deadline. Luckily Dr. Hogan was on schedule and quick, so I had a little time afterwards to straighten up the studio, leaving a few messes here and there so it didn’t look artificially neat.
I’ve been negligent about photography, lately — just not thinking about the iPhone camera in my pocket — and I didn’t get shots yesterday of my show at the Foundation, or today of the TV reporter/camera-person in my studio. The report’s on at 6 and 10 tonight. ([link is now dead] I don’t know what that chubby old woman with my voice was doing in my studio… oh, wait…) Naturally I’m not quite happy with the editing — wish they’d included some of what I said about the vibrant arts community in Binghamton — and that I hadn’t left my new, experimental set of gouache paints out on the drawing table. But really, not too bad.
In the meantime, I took a bunch of photos afterwards of my studio/office as seen by the TV camera, for those who are curious; the painting on the easel — on which I faked working, for the camera — is an already-finished piece called “Whole Hey: Morris 4.”