That’s what Winnie-the-Pooh said when he was posing as a little black raincloud, hovering over the honey-tree. However, I am not “tut-tutting” about rain, but rejoicing! It does mean that the light isn’t quite good enough for painting, so I finished up Oranges 38 (too long to write in Roman numerals!) in the waning light. I could paint oranges with half my eyes tied behind my back! Low light meant drawing instead of painting. The magnifying glass lamp makes it possible to draw in any conditions, provided it is black and white rather than color. I started on another portrait and had a few thoughts to share about drawing faces. If you draw faces and want them to look realistic and pleasing, there are some definite rules. 1. Use no lines at all, only blurs, fuzzes and smears. 2. NEVER have any outlines, only edges. 3. NEVER have any hard edges, only soft ones. As usual I learned this stuff the hard way (“Why does he look so much older in the drawing?” . . . hmmmm, better figure this out or not get paid!) I am redrawing someone who was made to look like the dictator of an evil empire in a previous drawing by another artist. It is imperative that I show his warmth, concern, and sense of humor in order to erase the image damage from the previous portrait, and I am thoroughly enjoying the challenge! These sorts of drawings always cause me to ponder the question of why laugh lines and wrinkles cause a man to become more handsome and a woman to freak out and start thinking about Botox. . . wasn’t the feminist movement in the 70s supposed to take care of that kind of baloney? Let’s hear it for inner beauty!! Here, contemplate these nice faces:
This is Perkins. I am showing him to you because I love him as much as Zeke. He isn’t as showy as Zeke; the first year he lived here I had to carefully study him for distinctive markings because he is so common looking. If he were dead on the side of the road, I might not know it was my cat. (If you must know, he has pink toes, but he is NOT a girly-man cat – he is Mighty Hunter!) He has yellow eyes, a pink nose, a black and gray checkerboard patterned tail and the tiniest wussiest little meow you ever heard in a such a fierce hunter. Perkins is kind and gentle and loving, unless you are a gopher. He is the only cat in my life that has never turned teeth-and-claws on me – you know how they do when they have had enough of whatever it is that they get enough of. What does this have to do with art? There is beauty everywhere I look!
This week I have begun 12 new paintings and (maybe) completed 5 of them. Perhaps as you view them, you say to yourself, “Self”, you say, “those look like some I’ve seen before.” Yup. If you aren’t selecting and cropping all those photos, mixing all those colors, matching all those textures and capturing all those shapes, it might look that way. Me? I might be a bit simple, but every new painting, even of the same subjects over and over and over (and over), every new painting feels totally brand new!(And no, Deanne, there is nothing new on the shelves. . . sorry to disappoint you!)
Oranges XXXVI -oil – wrapped canvas – 8 x 10″ – $80
Yes, the title is a little odd. It comes from an old knock-knock joke. Anyone know the joke?
Oranges XXXIV – oil – wrapped canvas – 6×6″ – $36
No pictures this time, just a confession, sort of. I don’t always show you everything I have painted. Why not? Because surprises can be fun. Because something is coming on Saturday, November 22, and it is a surprise! And that’s all I’m gonna say about that. For now, anyway. (More will be revealed in the fullness of time!)
Every place I go is an opportunity to find painting and drawing subjects. Today we went to a pretty place for a load of firewood. It involves lots of gates to open and close, and the road requires a slow speed. This means there is much time for looking around.
If the air were more clear, you could see better color on the distant slopes. Black oak and chamese (which I have no idea how to spell!) are showing. Also, there is a clue where we are in the distance. . . I know, you are thinking, “what is it with this chick and Mineral King??” But I’m not telling where we went, so there.
This is what black oaks do in the fall. Don’t worry, we didn’t cut anything down. We only cut wood that is already dead on the ground, promise!
Call me “Butter” – I’m on a roll!!
This canvas looks weird because it was very wet when I photographed it. Or, maybe it only looks weird to me. . . hard to be objective about one’s own work
Not exactly six, but perhaps five. Can’t remember how it was when I cut it open, because it happened in the kitchen, not the studio. There is a different emphasis on how things look in the kitchen than in the studio, but I bet you all knew that.