Sunday, February 16, 2014
A Clean Studio and Backyard Miracles
I have a skylight in my studio which gets northern light. It is lovely, even light--the perfect light for painting. In the winter though, my skylight is sometimes covered completely with snow and, on those days, there is virtually no natural light. The skylight is my only window. My art lamp is good. I've had it for decades and it combines fluorescent and incandescent bulbs to approximate natural light. But nothing can compare with good daylight. I am grateful for the days when I get that.
I have been painting in past weeks. If you follow my Instagram feed, Facebook page or Twitter account, you may have already seen these paintings. I took these photos one evening, hence the dramatic lighting. :)
Young Hare that I have kept for years. This is my first painting of a rabbit. I am so proud of how this little fellow turned out. I am going to paint more. I know that many people detest the rabbits that visit their gardens and ravage their plants. To date, the rabbits who have visited here have only looked cute and pruned my plants lightly (and driven Meeko slightly crazy). All is well...for now.
This is another painting that I worked on most recently. I slept very badly for a few nights this past week. About four hours each night. Because of the very tired state I was in, I didn't want to do final details on a painting I loved or to try to start a painting that might be complicated. I have a stack of paintings in one drawer--paintings that were either intended as studies or were meant to be more but didn't quite work out that way. I figured I would spend time on one of them. If it worked, great. If it didn't, back in the drawer. This is the 'after' of the one I decided to work on. I should have taken a 'before' photo. I am so happy with how this painting has turned out. This was a sweet, unexpected visitor in our yard about two years ago. I had to look it up at the time. It looked like something between a large sparrow and a fluffy bunny. A google search showed me that it was a 'snow bunting'. The study in my drawer seemed awkward and had many hard edges. I scrubbed the hard edges out and adjusted the parts that had bothered me (around the beak and eyes). I really like how it has turned out.
A lesson. Perhaps a life lesson. Don't give up on your paintings. I have learned this over and over again. Maybe every now and then there is one that definitely deserves to end up in the recycling basket but for most, put them in a drawer. On another day in perhaps another year, there will be hope. Oh yes, and be open to the appearance of miracles in your backyard like snow buntings. :)