27 August 2009

A Joy

Regular visitors (i.e. me) may have noticed that the trend for clocking in at (some-minutes-past) 9am every week has well and truly been bucked. For a short while there was a fixed pattern, I’d get in as soon after 9 as I could, switch on the computer, go and make some tea, and then sit and ramble on for a while instead of painting. These days I usually leave the computer off until after lunch. These days I’m far more productive.

Alas, today I’ve had to power up the old workhorse to look at some photos of SPQR to inspire me for top-secret painting number 2. I need it more or less finished by the close of play.

I’m pretty happy with how it’s looking at this stage, if I’m able to add an extra coat of white to the numbers next week, it should hopefully meet my standards.

Number 2 is safe inside the house, awaiting my scrutiny this evening. Number 3 is up on the easel, awaiting my attentions.

I paint another white layer over the numbers, I add more white to the immediate glow and feather it out. I emphasise the shadows with a B-grade pencil, knock back the shadows with more white paint and then add more graphite hatching to give the darkness a shimmering surface that catches the light from certain angles. Not much more I can do on this one today. I have 2 weeks to get it finished. I wish I could snap my fingers and it would be dry…

Back at the “rock face”, trying to werk up the magenta neon glow. It’s just not doing it for me. Another layer goes on, I make it loose and flowing. Still no joy. Press on… JOY!

That’s better. Everything is more under control now.

It’s amazing what a little distance can do. I haven’t werked on this painting I like to call “three and eight” for quite a while, but with SPQR finished, ‘SMILE’ in limbo, and the top-secret paintings werked to the full, I decided to pull it out and give it some time. The fact that I’ve not spent the past few weeks absorbed in every brush-stroke on its surface liberated me to just leap in and paint without too much thought or deliberation. Yes, it was a joy.

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