Sunday, July 11, 2010

A two month process, with interruptions.

"Giving way to Light"
oil on canvas 48"x48" (This is the second largest canvas I have painted..The other was 48" x 60")

 The process goes something like this:
1. choose photo to work from
2. grid photo and canvas and transfer as an underpainting in a wash of raw umber or something similar. This is often the most exciting part of the process as I watch the image appear on canvas. I also love the loose "drawing-like" slightly crude quality.
3. Start applying color.
4. agonize over I want it to actually look realistic? This so far has been impossible, but it keeps driving me.
5. Mom visits from Maryland. Spend time with her. I paint only sporadically.
6. Daughter graduates from college, spending time at home before and after before she disappears to Papua New Guinea for the summer. Time to be with her. I paint only sporadically.
7. Life quiets down. By now I seem to have lost my momentum and can't remember what colors I used and where.. I start plugging away, but with none of the intensity of the beginning.
8. Painting too big to see properly in my small studio.
9. Take painting outdoors where I immediately see all the spots in it that need adjusting. Fix them.
10. Finished! Take photos for blog.
11. See in photos all the spots that don't work.. I am impatient.
12. Fix the spots.
13. Proclaim it is as good as it can get without ruining it. Take new photos, which NEVER depict the true color.
14. I am SO DONE!
15. Blog time

This process took place over about 2 months..I wasn't painting all the time and I try to keep track of my hours...but once the process gets interrupted, I start to loose interest or just forget to do it. (People are always asking how long it takes to paint something like this..

I am planning on updating my website as soon as I have a good day for outdoor photos and a good camera. Soon I hope!


Joshua said...

absolutely brilliant!

xola said...

How cool to see your process so specifically expressed - with emotional waves included! Thanks for the glimpse into the creative unfolding of a work of art.

Your finished piece is, as has already been noted, "absolutely brilliant!"

ji said...

Hi Mary:

You say you wonder whether to make the water more realistic, but I think your "unrealistic" style more sumptuosly(?) expresses the profound hold that big deep bodies of water have on us humans. When I gaze upon your paintings (as compared to looking at a photo) I get more of a sense of the tremendous weight of water and more of a sensation of what it might feel like to be drowned by it.