Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Another memorable place I've blown my conch shell is while marching in the Telluride, Colorado Mushroom Parade. Everybody was dressed like mushrooms and banging on drums or making some kind of noise. My kinda place! I think that was the most fun I ever had. I had on hot pink tie-dyed longjohns and my Peruvian hat that I'd haggled for in the market place. Did I paint my face blue? I don't remember.
Anyway, somebody wanted me to do some small conch paintings and this is what I came up with this weekend. Conchs are such fun to paint! I could probably do 100 conch paintings and still find them fascinating. Having worked for nearly 30 years on an auto assembly line, doing the same motions for 8 - 10 hours a shift, makes me not only tolerate doing what appears to be "menial, boring tasks", but to kind of enjoy doing them! Years ago, when I had an exhausting job of installing rear fascias on Lincoln Town Cars (they were heavy!), I longed for an easier job. "I don't care how boring it is, as long as it's easier!" So, sitting and painting pretty conch shells is kind of nice. Far better than installing carpeting in Town Cars, on your hands & knees, soaked in sweat and covered in fibers!
Monday, April 09, 2007
So I got home with them and had to rip everything off my little makeshift table (actually part of a large cardboard box, propped on a plant table). I'd had it set up for a scene with a teal/gold/ivory theme and that just HAD to GO! Just the weekend before, I'd unearthed this marvelously embroidered silk shawl (from a garage sale, of course). I arranged it on the "table" and composed around the pot of tulips. I'd picked a small bunch of forsythia from my backyard last weekend, which was a good thing. Michigan's weather has turned truly foul, with blowing snow and killer frosts, which threw the brakes on all outdoor flowers.
The cockatiel is really a candle (another great garage sale find). Actually, everything in this painting came from a garage sale -- except for the spectacular pink leopard stiletto booties. Oh, and the cool, swirly, hand-blown glass pitcher (on the right side) came from Goldner Walsh Nursery (in Pontiac). I love the way it distorted the shape of the leopard stilettos, don't you? It also looks good when filled with lemonade. But that's another painting for this summer.
Drawing the composition in is always the hardest part, but I MAKE myself do it. Too easy to find excuses to put off drawing, but the elves won't do it for me, so I gotta just DO it. Drawing in the complex folds of the hot pink trim on the pot of tulips was kind of fun. Hey -- it's SO much more fun than washing floors! Another thing I enjoyed about painting this one was getting to pull every tube of red paint out -- and using it. Some colors just can't be mixed. I started drawing this in on Good Friday and finished painting it on Easter Sunday.
Sunday, April 01, 2007
I woke up during the night on Friday, thinking about this painting. Or, more correctly, the canvas surface. Originally I'd started painting something else on it but didn't like it. Last year a friend told me he recycles unwanted paintings by coating them with oil-based primer. I slapped some on this stretched canvas spring of 2006. But -- oy vey! When I tried painting on it, all the dark colors were dissolving into the supposedly dry primer! It was actually sticky to paint on. Very frustrating. I laid there in bed, thinking about that nasty canvas, thinking I'd have to go buy a new canvas in the morning and throw this old thing out.
Saturday morning I slept in until 4 AM (my usual time is 3 AM) and was so impatient for the sun to rise. Due to glare, I never paint from artificial lighting. When it got light enough to see decently, I went in and just started painting. Drawing this one in was pretty tough (I am far too impatient to take slides, wait for processing, then project and trace images!). I think it took me just as long to draw the basic arrangement in as it did to paint it. At least it felt that way. The glass bowls and large vase were interesting challenges, but not impossible.
So now it's Sunday and the sun is out, of course! I'm going to a big orchid show with my neighbors and maybe to our favorite resale shop.