I was eager to gain from the momentum of my 2015 watercolor classes, so this year I planned to dedicate to study and experiment (along with many hours spent studying Czech for our planned trip in April/May), rather than an emphasis on entering shows and selling. A torn rotator cuff was a complication I hadn’t expected, so slow and steady was my goal. I was also eager to make more use of my brand new printing press, so I took a short course in Printmaking at School 33. Two of the results:
April came and we headed off to the Czech Republic, only to return after a week when my mother-in-law became ill and subsequently died. Another hard time which caused a gap in painting. This time, though, I dived right back in with a still life class, and despite the rotator cuff issue, I painted obsessively through June and July. The class required using acrylic, not at all my favorite medium, but I was happily surprised by the results:
The Flowered Chair
These came out okay, right? So what’s the problem with acrylic paint? It just feels “wrong” (I’m an oil painter, after all); it dries incredibly fast, even becoming tacky in the midst of applying the paint; and it is a major pain to clean up! I’ve heard so many people say they use acrylic because the clean up is easy. Don’t believe it.
I haven’t abandoned oil of course. Here are my most recent two.
Looking over Vineyards, Croatia. We had a marvelous time last year in Croatia, and this view in the morning, just after rain, had a lovely, hazy atmosphere. I made a few pencil sketches while there in addition to a photo.
In a dream I saw a city invincible.
This painting was in fact inspired by a dream I had last year. I awoke with the dream still in my mind; a dream of a large, square painting, yellow ground and dark purple stripes of varying lengths. I quickly made a sketch, and then bought square canvas, plenty of yellow paint, and began working.
sketch and preliminary paint
Somehow the idea just didn’t work. I painted, and considered, and painted and considered, for many months, adding an orange square, changing the stripes subtly, until one day, all at once, the vision came together for me and I saw the whole painting I wanted. The Whitman poem, a favorite, seemed to fit so well what I wanted to express that I used part of it as the painting title.
I Dreamed In A Dream Walt Whitman
I DREAM’D in a dream, I saw a city invincible to the
attacks of the whole of the rest of the earth;
I dream’d that was the new City of Friends;
Nothing was greater there than the quality of robust
love—it led the rest;
It was seen every hour in the actions of the men of
And in all their looks and words.
So what’s next?
I’m working on these,
Study for Morning in the Paddock
and I have numerous other paintings to complete, a lot of study and experimenting, more oil, watercolor, and even acrylic paintings, some printmaking, and possibly even more blog posts!