I have set up a new still life and the under painting is complete. In the next week I will be glazing and refining the detail with shadows and highlights. The working title is Clouds and it is 18×20″.
I have been working a lot on the background of this painting. It has become less of a physical cave doorway behind the figure and more of an aura in my pursuit of creating a sense of place and atmosphere. I am very happy with the paint texture and the subtle shifts of colour. I have also begun the clothing which I intend to make very soft, luminous and painterly. Creating this piece is a very different experience from the still life I am also working on but I am aware of similarities too. The difference is the feeling of creating purely from imagination and looking “in” for reference as opposed to describing something I physically see and looking “out”, but there is much the same experience of looking at the paint and the piece for guidance as well. The experience of colour, creating form with the pigment, the desire to create atmosphere and presence in the piece and the pleasure of mark making are very parallel in doing both pieces. You can click on the photos below to see a larger format.
Recently I have enjoyed developing more of a still life practice. I have been working from a black box set up beside my easel. Much work I do of portraits is from photo resources and so it is very valuable for me both creatively and technically to spend regular time working from life. In this composition I have used some fabric from my studio that I dyed in deep hues, the now familiar purple ribbon and a small terracotta face that has been hanging on my wall for years. When the face has fallen a couple of times I glued the pieces back together as I love it very much. This painting was strongly about colour relationship while I was working on it, but there is a symbolic component that describes the ancient alien conspiracy tales which I find fascinating and bizarre.
Here for your interest are photos including a couple of the work in progress. The finished piece along with the last, “Courage”, will be at Jarvis Hall Fine Art in Calgary later this week. I will also have more additions of work in progress on this blog shortly.