Out again, trying to get used to my new plein air setup. Belle Isle was packed, so I headed to the lesser- visited side of the island. Something about this tree, with its patchwork bark, and the picnic table, completely neglected and overgrown, spoke to me. Started plein air, but unfortunately, the light abandoned me after about 35 minutes. Finished in my studio.
Who knows why some people inspire us to paint well and others don’t? The longer I paint, the more I suspect that it is a combination of a great pose and also my own personal level of intrigue with the model. I painted two paintings on this day. In the morning, I didn’t paint well at all, but in the afternoon … like a happy pill, the antidote appeared. One of my all-time favorite models was booked for the afternoon session. I find her super intelligent; a great combination of smart, thoughtful and nice. Big plus? She holds really still. And then this painting happened without much struggle. Pleased with it overall, but might do a couple tweaks; haven’t decided yet. Alas, no camera ever makes a painting look nearly as good as it does in real life, and Photoshop is woefully inadequate for helping. The contrast is always too much, no matter how you fiddle with it. The human eye is so much better than a camera. 18×14, oil on canvas. Can’t wait until she comes back!
Oftentimes, I do better when I put less pressure on myself and start a painting with a “whatever happens is okay” attitude. That happened today because I had 6 hours on this pose, double the usual time. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do to counter the red, just couldn’t deal with another red and green painting today. So I went for the grey and burnt umber. Great model today; it isn’t easy to hold the same pose for six hours. Untitled, as of yet. 14 x 11, oil on linen.
Three years ago, I signed up for my very first art class. It’s been quite the journey since then. I feel like I’ve made great strides, but still have so far to go. This portrait was finished yesterday. “Santa’s Daughter,” 16×12, oil on linen. Happy 2016, y’all.