I began by doing a tone drawing in Burnt Sienna oil paint
|This is part way through my first day of working with color. The first step is to get the average of each color, abiding by the light and dark pattern I established in my tonal sketch.|
|Here I have completed getting the basic colors down and I begin refining. I look at how the light hits each object and develop it's light and shadow, and the overall relationships of color and value.|
I found these well worn, stacked galvanized buckets on the floor of a big barn. The doors were thrown open and the late afternoon light bounced off the concrete floor and illuminated these old work horses as if they were devotional objects. The notion of all the loads they'd carried, the powerful hands that had clutched their handles and the velvety soft muzzles that had carefully found every oat within them made me smile. I think I might have heard the angels sing.
Here are the first two steps I took in making the painting. I covered the panel with a layer of Burnt Sienna and then did a line drawing with my brush to place the objects. I then wiped the paint off the panel where I wanted to place light tones, and brushed in more Burnt Sienna in the areas I wanted dark. This helps me to place the objects and make sure it is a composition that I think is interesting.
After this initial decision making I got so caught up in the painting that I NEVER ONCE remembered to pick up the camera in the many days that followed. Suffice it to say that it was an epic battle between light and dark, warm and cool, hard edges and soft and painting time and sleeping time. I can only hope that all the right forces won out.
As promised, I've been dilegently working. No, that makes it sound too unpleasant... I've been spending long and happy days at my easel. I'm letting the house, garden and the bulk of my social life go (not without some regret) in the interest of creating a chunk (that's a technical term) of work.
This 11x14 is one of a series that I will share with you piece by piece that I came in very close on, creating an abstraction as well as a specific vision. I love that zone between realism and pure design. What a beautiful place to be!
I see it's been an entire month since I last posted. Well, I want you to know that I've been busy in all the right ways. I painted up a storm before the holidays, selling things before I had even completed them! Then of course I took time off to properly whoop it up with family and friends for Christmas. Directly after that our entire Fletcher family gathered for a week on the coast of tropical Mexico. It was delightful to be there and soul satisfying to see 20 some relatives from 87 to 1 year old laughing and playing their way through the days together.
I am now back at work like never before. I have been juried in to the Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach this summer! Since I sold virtually every painting I have ever made at Christmas time, I have buckled down, cleared my calendar and am enjoying painting in an uninterrupted fashion.
I will be posting more regularly once again… I promise!
This 8x10 oil on panel is a shiny bit of joy. Last Christmas I bought our son a surfboard and it was too large to wrap, so when I saw a big bright bow in a store I snapped it up. When we were cleaning up after Christmas I just couldn't throw it out, so, like many things do, it came to live in my studio. In the following months I found that it cheered me whenever I focused on it, and one day when at a loss as to what to paint, it caught my eye.
I love this painting and may not give it up. It describes the complex shapes of the shiny ribon without becoming too careful. I have photos of my easel next to the set up with the bow under studio lights that I 'd share if I hadn't just returned from a holiday party… Instead, I will wish my beloved family and friends, who have been so receptive to my work, a big wide merry, happy and all the best. I love you and hope that the new year brings you the joy that you so richly deserve.