Painting Intensive – Day 4
Did not take a nap today so I’m a bit loopy. I squandered that half hour by being late, so worked through with only a lunch break. My goal for the day was to resolve the big painting #3 and start another Variation #4 on a 24 x 30 inch canvas. (side note here: I got that at Hillsdale Art supply Co. for $6. They have a Recycle Program and I also picked up several of tubes of paint, some brushes and ½ can of Turpenoid for way less than retail). I had in mind something with a lot of pattern in it so I was thrilled to find a fat volume on Edouard Vuilliard available when I arrived. Why do I not know this artist other than doing a transcription of one of his paintings for my class with Mark Andres last winter? So many wonderful paintings! Now I have another book to search for at Powell’s and I’m grateful to have a gift card to use.
Visions of Vuilliard were dancing in my head when I read the note Jef posted for all of us:
Today is the fourth day of your precious 5 days of intensive painting.
If you are contemplating a courageous move, today is the day to attempt.
There is nothing to lose.
There is also nothing to win.
Do as much as you can do with the knowledge and skills you already have.
Do not wish for more in your toolbox
Why is painting so terrifying?
What would it be like to paint truly free, with no regrets?
What holds us back?
When you know, bid it goodbye.
…and then I went to ponder my Variation #3. Guess what? I don’t want to work on it any more. You may be as bored with the many flips and turns of this red and green design exercise as I am. Is this painting free, with no regrets? Not today. But if there is nothing to win or lose, why not give it another hour or so and at least resolve the dang issue of the second foot if not the face.
But after lunch I jump into the pale blue of the under-painting on my new canvas and it feels like a deep delicious dive. A quick loose sketch, turning the bookworm’s bowed head to gaze out the window behind her and then immediately into pattern of white stripes.
I’m using the second color study I did on Day Two and referring to the photo to better understand the folds of the fabric. I’m so into it I forget to take photos. I add a fushia bow in her hair and literally laugh out loud. “Painting free”.
I am on the list for a group crit at 3:00 so I do as much as I can and present all four of the series to Jef and the group. Variation #4 gets all the attention, of course. They have all kinds of good and interesting things to say about it. I tell them I’m afraid I’ll muck up finishing it and they tell me it is finished now. Maybe. If not, I’ll be going slow.
I’m elated and terrified that I will not be able to do this again. If I had not run out of time today I would have kept going until it was dead. Who will stop me next time?