Friday, January 11, 2008
I've been painting every day lately, and it doesn't always go smoothly. In particular I am working on a series of paintings based on old family photos, like the one I posted recently of my grandparents in bib overalls. I have another one that didn't work as well for me, although I think it has real potential. The newest one is of my great grandmother, who died the year before I was born. Maybe the painting isn't going well because I never met her, or maybe because it's larger than I usually work. Or maybe I just need to get some guts and go back into it and make some major changes. For me, the scariest part isn't the beginning of a painting, it's when the darned thing is getting close to done and I get frightened of messing up what I already have finished. My problem painting may just need to sit for a while, until I decide what to do.
Yesterday I decided I wanted something completely different, so I did a watercolor of the EDM (Everyday Matters) challenge. The challenge was to draw or paint something wrapped in plastic. I drove out to The Cracker Barrel and looked over their selection of old-time candy. I ended up with a Bit-O-Honey to eat, and a couple of these wrapped peppermint puffs to paint. I photographed the candies, graphed out the photo, and drew them the best I could, considering the maze of wrinkles and reflections in the cellophane wrappers. I used frisket to save some bright whites, then I painted fairly fast, with a bigger brush than I usually employ. I splattered, and worked wet for much of the basic underpainting, and tried to not get too picky with the sharper details. It's a little too abstract and wild for my husband's taste, but it was just what I needed to release some of the frustration I built up over the grandmother portrait.