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:
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,
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!