Here is an update on the new series. The painting has been renamed, Women. This shows the changes: January to April.
I was at the AGO [Art Gallery of Ontario] today to see the Alex Colville Show [http://alexcolville.ca] & am extremely happy. Great show – lucky for us no school groups or crowds. Recommend this show – to anyone. His artistry, insights and connection to animals [especially dogs] for their emotional and spiritual comfort is compelling. I was very moved by the gathering of personal images and paintings. It is an emotional show – which may be surprising to some who may only see the quiet and ‘bloodlessness’ in his presentation. He offers a dream-like quality. His war paintings are so somber and he layers these images into his later works to remind the viewer of the past. A must see.
It all started with my students who are hooked on realism. I had to get back into it myself. I have worked on images that were straight from my head but I noticed that for me this wasn’t working very well. I took some life drawing classes this winter/spring and really had a good time. I was lucky to get a few people to pose for me so I could work on some figurative pieces.
Working from photos can be tricky in that they take away from the depth you see when working from a study. I took many photos to remind myself of how the person looks in 3D.
I have finally started my summer paintings – yes I know it is mid July! I prepped my canvases – all dark [for my students in the Fall – please think to prep your canvases with acrylic now – especially for those working in oils, this will allow time for your canvas to be dry and ready]. Prepping canvases beats wondering what to do next if you have canvases that need a background colour. I used black and Crimson for most of them and tried black and green for one. Use whatever colours you are inspired by. I used a dark colour to contrast the pale image.
Even though I am working in realism I have a few abstracts in mind as well. For the portraits I am using a limited palette – Rose, Yellow Ocher, Black, White and Naples Yellow. I did a few sketched versions beforehand – using white Conte [looked like chalk on a blackboard]. When I took photos of the piece yesterday I saw it was all wrong so I worked on it until 1am. It has to dry now – the arms, hair and shirt are all going to be reworked – a bit. I think if I work on the face any more it will get overworked. Of course I will not be able to resist but I am giving it a break and am starting another one. I am considering leaving the background as is – although I did sketch in a pattern.