Some weeks are so full of reportable stuff that I have trouble choosing my topic. Other weeks, I have trouble scaring up a single decent topic. I could save up half of the good-week stuff for a dull week, but who wants to plan for dull weeks? Not me. On the other hand, I don’t want to bore you either, and really now, wouldn’t you rather hear about struggles? This week I can report on a bit of a struggle and its accompanying triumph so that’s what I lead with.
Part I. Alpaca Love. You remember the alpaca farm/ranch from last month?
This was the plein air painting from the Bartlett weekend, to which, I announced, I would be adding an alpaca closeup. I had one good alpaca closeup, so I went with that, even though I’d have preferred the animal to be facing more towards the viewer. My closeup did not include the legs either, so I was winging it with regard to the posture and thickness and general shape of the legs.
Pretty awful, right?. I wouldn’t even show it to you before–I couldn’t let it sit out there as if finished when I was going to have to repaint the red alpaca closeup. First, I had to find a better reference photograph.
As it turned out, when I got around to searching my own photographs, I had plenty of good alpaca poses. Thanks to my powerful Nikon SLR camera, alpacas photographed in the way distance still gave me enough enlarged detail to paint a loveable blond alpaca in just the right pose, in just the right spot.
Part II: Supercyclists. Earlier this evening, I delivered two paintings to my son in celebration of his birthday. One of them you have seen already.
It depicts him right after finishing the race up to the top of the Rockpile (Mt. Washington). Paint still wet on the second one delivered, is my painting of his friend Kori, from the same time, same place.
I love the foreground in Kori’s painting. Strange that where the focus of the painting is the figure of the cyclist, what I love most is how I painted the ground. I would have liked to paint the face more expressively, but I didn’t really have room for that. The two paintings are each 12×9, so the faces are quite small. I wanted to get the likenesses as close as possible, so I had to be careful. Andy’s worked out better because I had only light and shadow anyway, but Kori’s nose, mouth, eyebrows had to fall in the exact correct places, and no smearing please.
My major painting plan, for which these two 12x9s have served as studies, is still on, but the faces in the big one are not going to get any bigger since the plan is to encompass the entire rockpile. I think I need to reuse this scene in a longer painting so as to include more of the shadow, and larger overall, so as to allow more of a slapdash face.
Part II: Lovely Nudes. Finally, for a change of pace, how about a collection of lovely nudes from Saturday Life Group? My best from two weeks ago, and all three from this week:
I am wondering if I am getting too heavy-handed with the charcoal. The “Leg on Blue Draped Pillow” has more charm to it, I think, because I had the pose for only 20 minutes and had to keep a light touch. I would like to know if you agree. Or disagree. Either way, it was a good week. Here’s hoping for another one coming up!
Tomorrow (Monday) I pick up my painting from The Rockport (Mass.) Art Association. Unsold. They invited me to apply for membership, and I thought I would if my painting sold, but it didn’t, so I didn’t. A bit far to go for the sheer joy of exhibiting. Although I do hope to get in a plein air painting day tomorrow, which makes a trip worthwhile. Also tomorrow, paintings are being changed out at the Sage Gallery in Manchester, 70 Lowell Street. Please visit this new gallery.
My old website, with multiple painting galleries yet to be transferred to this WordPress location, can be accessed at this address: www.paintingsbyaline.com. Also there are all the images attached to earlier blog entries. Eventually I will move everything here, but it takes a lot of time.