Wednesday, January 06, 2010

"White Violet" -- oil on canvas -- 24x24" -- Margie Guyot

After finishing 2 paintings of onions, I was THROUGH with painting onions! But what to paint? What to paint? I felt frazzled. Somebody once told me that when I don't have a painting to work on, sometimes I feel like a frantic, little bird. That may be true. I'd bought 4 amaryllis bulbs over the weekend and potted them, but they won't bloom for several weeks.

I rooted around in my garage sale, vintage tablecloth collection -- for which I'm glad the mice haven't discovered yet. Found this one, horribly wrinkled, but zowie -- inspiration struck! No, it wasn't inspiration to iron it. I laid it out on my table and it looked pretty enough to paint all by itself (almost). I dug around in my collection of silk flowers and found this white violet. Aha! At last, a subject to paint!

Up here along the NW coast of Michigan, winters are typically very dreary: overcast, with snow every day. Blue skies are a rarity. Alas, no strong sunlight and shadow patterns most of the time. Some painters prefer painting by north light; I'm the opposite. I love the strong sunlight and shadows. But as you can see, I had none in this painting. Only the softer, diffused light. But that's OK, too. It snowed all day, lightly. Lake-effect snow, they call it.

I always love a good challenge and this tablecloth certainly was a toughie. I quickly realized I'd have to draw in the whole pattern. Once that was figured out, I could add the pot of violets. Wasn't sure if I could pull it off. The little wrinkles were tedious, but what else was there to do? Clean house? Ugh. Would rather paint wrinkles. The final touches on the tablecloth were to add dashes of heavy impasto white paint.

I think I'll be using this tablecloth AGAIN....

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