Thursday, December 24, 2009

"Gift Wrap" -- oil on canvas -- 30x40" -- Margie Guyot

About half the time I was painting this, I had to grab one of the kittens as it attempted to leap onto my wet palette. Kitty thought it was a game, to have me catch her as she leaped toward the wet paint.

I started this painting last Sunday while waiting for my neighbor to come over and help me build storage shelves in the back room of the studio. Instead of standing around, feeling frustrated while waiting for my helper, I decided to clear a space, set up another still life and paint.

As usual, it was cloudy most of the time, so I didn't get a lot of strong sunlight/shadow patterns. To liven things up a little, I put a string of colored lights running around in the composition. That roll of aluminum gift wrap was drawing a little too much attention. By draping 2 strands of lights across, it helped stop the viewer's eye from sliding off the left side. To get an effect of "glowing" light bulbs, I painted them pure white. Once dry, I put a thin glaze of pure color over them.

The toughest thing about this painting was the plastic bag full of bows. Ah, patience! One thing I figured out about how to get the bows to look shiny was to clean my brush with turpentine, then use it like an eraser to remove a thin band where I wanted the highlight to appear.

That bowl of truffles gradually got emptier & emptier as the week progressed. But the mini-cupcakes: they were horrible, from the grocery store bakery. Nasty things! I fed them to my chickens. They viewed the green frosting with suspicion.

No, maybe I was wrong about the bag of bows being the toughest thing to paint. Those vintage poinsettia glasses were no piece of cake, either! I think obelisks are rather difficult. But I loved those glasses & I was bound & determined to paint them.

And the shelves we were building? 95% done. Hallelujah! Going to use them for storing my canvases and frames.

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