Monday, April 3, 2017

Getting Up to Paint Morning Glories in the Morning Before the Chickens

This colorful guy has been perched on my easel for WAY TOO LONG!  I had initially started this piece almost a month ago and even had it listed on my inventory sheet to be part of my "Down Country Roads" library art show but ran out of time with all the distractions and obligations that sprung up on me in the past few weeks.

It also didn't help that I really struggled with the background composition.  Oh I had the rooster nailed down right away but everything I tried for the background, sunflowers, tall grass or a mottled paint treatment just didn't seem to make me happy.  I actually painted over it 3 times.  And that isn't easy when you have a giant feathered chicken in the middle of your canvas.  Honestly, I came upon this idea of having a very colorful and almost pop art feeling background just yesterday.  Combine that with my normal style and I think it really makes this guy pop!  I even woke up earlier this morning than I needed to just to start working on those morning glories.  

I guess at this point I need to make one more confession about this painting. I'm sure I am the only artist that makes glaring (no pun intended) mistakes and paints the sun in the wrong location.   I had the background perfect and was so excited in how it was looking when I took my normal position across the room where I can take in the whole painting from a distance when I realized that silly me had painted the sun in front of a much larger row of beautiful purple mountains.  The sun was actually rising between the grass and mountains and I hadn't even thought about how impossible that would be.  For just a brief moment, I considered leaving it and chalking it up to artistic license but mixed up some more pthalo blue and purple and so my mountain range shrunk to half its original size along with the bottom portion of the sun.  Pop art or not, it still needs to make sense.

This past week I had the amazing experience of seeing the whole of my "Down Country Roads" collection on display at the Whitney Library.  Here is a picture of me taken the night of my artist reception standing in the middle of all my focal pieces.  Even with the Pop Art background, this piece stays true to the rest of my collection and really shines with the bright blue morning glories finishing off the foreground.  I can visualize it right now hanging right along side the rest of them.

As my usual practice, I do a sketch in preparation for starting a new painting.  This helps me greatly with understanding the details I will be trying to achieve even before I grab a paint brush.  My sketches are usually in colored pencil and ink and are often available for hanging.  I matte them and hang them right along side of my other artwork.  This particular sketch I called "In All His Morning Glory" and I found it especially helpful when it came to painting all those tail feathers.


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