Monday, April 25, 2016

New Work in Progress

The larger painting, of a girl on horseback, is new, and I can't decide whether to fiddle more with it or not.  My original intention was to paint something quite flat and simple.  I experimented with drawing first in red paint and letting that show a bit, then really simplifying both figures.  Neither ended up as stylized as I hoped, but when the girl had less of a face I was very uncomfortable. I used an old snapshot of my youngest sister as a point of departure, but I didn't want the final painting to be a portrait of a specific person, but rather a more generalized image.  Poor thing - her face has been painted over several times.  I think she'll just have to hang out in the studio until I decide what to do next.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Complaining Cow

8x10 inches
pastel on paper

Who knows where this came from?  Maybe just from a desire to play. I know I want to do a whole series of small cow portraits in acrylic, and that it generally works better if I do some warm up drawing first. But this bawling cow just got away from me. 

Maybe she is my alter ego - complaining loudly to nobody in particular: No more robo telephone calls!  No more ripped up streets!  No more nincompoops!  Enough with the gloomy cold weather, already! 

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Sketchbook - Mary, Riding

8x10 inches
graphite, colored pencil in sketchbook

My voice is slowly returning, a little stronger every day.  In general I feel a bit better each day, though I'm appalled at how how this bronchitis has held on.  

I've been doodling and noodling in my sketchbooks, and tried a little more formal one from a snapshot of my late sister Mary, from the 1970's.  I didn't take this picture - I think Mother sent it to me. I was away at school, and my youngest sister was turning into a lovely young woman. 

Life took a hard turn for her not long after this.  Our father became sick with cancer, and the world revolved around him for about five years.  Then she got very sick too, spending weeks at UW hospital in Madison.  She never really recovered her health.  Mother used to say she had twenty good years, and twenty not so good years.  

But the photo is drawing is based on shows a healthy and apparently happy girl, looking forward with hope.  I may want to try some different versions of this, maybe a larger painting that is less a specific portrait, and more a general image of a happy girl.  

Working on it made me happy.