Hmmm. Nov. 4. Nov. 15. 2 weeks. What in the world has Vicki, aka Red, been up to. W-e-l-l, ya aren't gonna believe it.
Am picking up some glare from my new north light windows...and am using new camera, so will take me a bit to find the optimum spot to photograph in the new house.
I'm learning how to 'find the painting' within the vast view your eyes see when outside. That is a very big step for me.
I'm also learning how to be extravagant with the pigment...and to work on gessoed boards. At first it is very strange because the initial pigment seems to go on and show the white board through the brush hairs. But as you get more paint on, you almost sculpt into the pigment.
You have to be very careful to keep brushes separate (light and dark), no turpentine or medium...just pure juicy pigment laid in strokes next to each other.
Make sure the bright sun grass that goes behind tree #2 comes out on the left side...make sure the bright yellow on #2 comes out a bit on the left tree...
I remember some very sage advice from Charles Reid...he said not to ever touch a painting started on location, unless you are back in that same location at the same time of day, with the same light. Keep your partially finished painting pristine, because you will never capture the same feel or color mix in the studio. Just begin another painting.
Gave my first tree painting as an xmas painting swap. I could tell the recipient was underwhelmed. But this is the funny part. She called me that night to tell me that she 'got it' after getting home and putting it on the counter. When seeing it from a distance of 8-10 feet, it was a TREE!
These little paintings do hold up from a distance. You can call me Red Monet (teehee)! I was fascinated with the water lily series in Paris. Up close there were 3-4 large brush strokes that meant nothing. Then you back up across the room and those strokes made a water lily. Absolutely mind-boggling.
This cupid statue holding the cornucopia of flowers is on the side of a street in Eureka Springs. The day after we got back from our 13 hour drive from Denver, we got up early, hopped in the car and took off to meet Tim and a few other plein air painters for a day outside. We took a leisurely morning coffee, then scouted for light, parking, lunch. I found this little grotto made of native stone and the steps went down to another level.
I was having a bugger of a time with the board, tho. The pigment went on, and the oil disappeared! You couldn't move it at all. Was trying not to use medium, but that did make it slide a bit. We finally figured out that I had picked up a Claybord, not Gessobord. It WAS soaking up the pigment. Tim suggested that I wet-sand with linseed oil on the statue and work some more on it. A good start, and I have a good source photo. I was liking the way the stone in the back was looking...even though you can't see the texture. Again, just over an hour.
At one point I was struggling to match color, and he told me that Van Dyke Brown was the answer. Another time I could hear him snicker, as he showed me how to copy one of the marks...with your thumb! Another with a Q-tip, another with a watercolor brush (NOT a Charles Reid one, however). I had a ball with my fingers in the paint. He explained that was a blackboard in the background and to use fingernails to create an illusion of marks...and that would be a good spot to sign.
Was done with this by lunch, so went out and painted tree #3 in the afternoon.
Here is a photo of the two paintings side by side: His is the smaller, more proficient one. I was pleased with how close I got...an artist can't even perfectly duplicate his own paintings without changing something. Takes a forger for that!
OK, now for the rest of the story. We got a green light to move last Monday, Nov. 10. Nothing packed, we could have had a dinner party Tuesday night...a final hoorah for the 'estate'. Called our movers on Tuesday and he had a free day on Wednesday, or it would be a week. Since we are such spontaneous idiots, we looked at each other and said 'why not?'
They brought over a big tractor truck, and 6 young men, and a bunch of boxes. As they were getting the furniture out, I asked if I packed something, would they load (they did not have time to pack and move in one day). SO, when Brian said yes, I started a packing frenzy. Just kept my mind on the goal...get as much stuff out on the truck as possible, with the hardest stuff first (kitchen, books)...stuff that wears you out when you have to do it in armloads. They put clothes in the wardrobe boxes.
By 3pm we had all the furniture, washer/dryer, all the clothes, 80% of the kitchen and books, the big easels and 4 or 5 boxes in the studio I had done Tuesday night.
By 6pm the beds were up, the French Armoire re-assembled (those break down for easy moving). We slept in the new house Wed night. Randy goes over to the old house every morning to get the papers and brings back a load of stuff that is hard to pack...lamps, wine, fridge stuff.
As the movers brought boxes in that I had packed, I unpacked them and shoved them back out. Thursday my Mom came over to help with the kitchen organizing...I went and got the rest of the pantry dry goods, and that job was complete.
Friday the furniture store delivered the new sofas, office furniture and kitchen table/chairs. (thank goodness for Randy's lottery win...makes moving and getting new stuff possible) Seriously. That happened in October...no more credit card bills!
Saturday we had a luncheon for our Ozark Pastel Society xmas art swap. At the same time, the cable guy was here installing internet and TV connectivity, AND the fitness center moved Randy's weight set. Saturday afternoon I died in my chair,
Saturday evening we went to the reception for Artists of Northwest Arkansas (ANA). Their annual juried show had 285 entries from 7 states. The judge narrowed that down to 82 that he would see in person. 20 or so of those were photography and 3-d work. Of the remaining 60, I had 2 of my 3 chosen for hanging (the limit).
Ta-ta-DAAAA! My 'Eyes For You' won 2nd place in Pastels/Drawing. Got beat out with a graphite drawing of 2 horses. It was really good, even though modern art puts pastels more with paintings than drawings.
Eyes For You (aka Italian Girl)
She was standing outside a coffee shop in Amalfi in an absolute trance watching Charles Reid paint.
Now, new house pics. I've just about got everything else in the old house packed...Josh helped me Sunday get all the studio packed, and those paintings in boxes for the movers. Yesterday I packed more on the main floor, and moved all the big art. Randy got the bar stuff last night.
The next 2 weeks should be a bit slower, hopefully. I'm off to paint at Tim's tomorrow, and the movers again on thursday...mostly stuff that goes upstairs.
The office area just inside the front door...already have my art library unpacked!
just next is the dining room
Buffet looks good here, huh? I am going to order a gallery hanging system for this wall so my good art (Charles Reid, Ann Templeton, Kippy Hammond, Leslie DeMille) can hang with spotlights.
The living room and new RED sofas
The new kitchen table/chairs
We are so thrilled with this new house. Never been lived in. Anything that is wrong, the builder has a crew on it. It is so cozy, and the floorplan so open. Upstairs off a media room is a floored attic that with walls and skylights (north) will make a Fabulous studio...better than what I had.
Randy and I feel this is our REAL start-over since the fire. The 'estate' house was always an albatross hanging over our heads. Here there is no acre groomed lot on the golf course, no 1/4 acre of groomed planted beds, no SWIMMING POOL to throw money into, no 15 year old house to keep repaired, no security fees, no snotty neighbors who have changed the complexity of Pinnacle from a community to being rude, out for themselves. People in this new neighborhood actually slow down when they see Randy out with the hairy kids instead of honking and floorboarding their car.
That's all for now! Whew, caught up again...gonna go unload the truck.