Well, before my last few posts I was away for a long while, and not posting…I do have a good excuse, believe me! But I’m not telling:) Anyways, this is proof that I was still painting. I finished this one back in the fall. I was trying to prove to myself that I could still paint in the face of adversity! LOL! Well, I think I pulled it off.
Bella Coola, where I live, is one of the few places in the world, besides Alaska’s Denali Park, where Grizzlies roam freely and in abundance. They come to the river in late summer and fall to feed on the salmon which fill our many creeks and rivers. Last summer I had the exciting experience of sharing our local swimming hole with a grizzly who was fishing for salmon. Well, I certainly didn’t stay in the water for long! I snapped pictures from my perch on a bank overlooking the swimming hole, ready to bolt if he decided to get out of the water on my side!
I decided to test out Sargent’s technique the other day, and I’ve always loved this painting. I usually resist the urge to paint from anyone else’s photos or paintings, but since this was only for myself, I decided to give it a shot. It was very liberating to not have to think too much and just study this master’s brushstrokes…He really was a genius, and his technique is much more difficult than it looks. That economy of brushstroke is extremely hard to pull off. You have to know exactly how your brush is loaded, and exactly where you want the stroke to be. I believe that each brushstroke he placed on the canvas was deliberate. I’m more of a “slam the paint around until it ends up where you want it” painter, but I’m getting better. I’m learning how to plan and see an end product in my head. It’s all such a learning process.
Well, now I have a painting that I’m happy to hang on my wall. It’s so strange hanging my own paintings…all I ever see is the mistakes…but I don’t feel that way about this one.
I took the photo for this one last winter in Maui at the Children’s Hula in Lahaina. Although it was indoors, the light through the skylights was very dramatic, and I was able to get a lot of great shots. The sun shining today made me feel “Mauish”, so I thought I’d post this painting, which I did a few weeks ago in a frenzy of creativity. I think I completed six paintings that week, all larger ones, too. I’m sure most of them will eventually end up on this blog, too.
I’m starting to feel a little like I’m coming out of the darkness of an extremely long and difficult winter. The weather is warmer, the grass is starting to come up, and I have tulips! It makes me feel like painting again, and dancing, and smiling…all that good stuff.
This is a quick, one day color study I did for a larger portrait commission that I’m going to be working on. I like how the study turned out, and I think it almost stands well on its own as a finished painting. I would like to see more detail, though, and I’m going to change the angle of the pickup to get more of the grille in if I can find a good reference photo of a 47 mercury pickup.
Anybody out there have one? If you do, send it to me!