No more class on painting the contemporary portrait. No more Saturday life group. Both are victim to the school calendar and to the need of the graduating Bachelor of Arts students at the NH Institute of Art for space to exhibit their senior projects. (This is a wonderful exhibit, by the way; if you can get there during the run, you really should go.) Even my Sunday morning ad hoc group was cancelled. I had no organized artist activities for a whole week, and I had two whole weekend days with no workshops. In short, I was on my own.
First I chose to clean up some paintings in waiting. I went all the way back to my Florida trip in March for this one:
The main focus of this plein air painting was the reflections in the big picture windows, and I was happy enough with how I portrayed them. But the painting was unremarkable, dull, boring. I thought I could jazz it up with new treatments for the tree and the grass. Better now, right?
Next I turned to last week’s painting of our model in the brown recliner–painting No. 4 of her in that thing. I did a little bit of this, a little bit of that, refining some areas, blurring others.
This might be Stage 2 in a multi-stage painting. I’m thinking I would like the arm on the left more in the shadow, and perhaps all of her shadows should be darker. I don’t care for the Barbie doll look of her features, but I’m not quite sure what to do about that. What I do like is the new treatment of the aqua drape and the background.
Another past painting touch up victim was last week’s “Iris Interpreted”. I hope you like what I did to her face and the lower right corner.
Finally, I struck out for new territory. But it was territory based on last week’s drawing of the black and white couple. Here is a glimpse of my set up as I copied the drawing into paint:
Try as I might, I could not make his skin less white and her skin more black. That happens sometimes–the painting refuses to be what I want it to be.
I discovered the magic of a brayer on this painting. The brayer is a roller of soft rubbery material. It picks up and removes paint. If you don’t clean it constantly, it also lays that paint down again somewhere else. (I think it was actually meant to be a printing tool–and not one that comes in direct contact with the ink.) You can see the effect in the background. As I become bolder, I might even obliterate my carefully drawn figures in this way.
For the figures, I tried to keep the paint thick. I was working on a slippery panel, so that was difficult. Maybe that’s why I couldn’t get the effect I wanted. Is this a good painting? Good enough to forgive the flaws that I find so frustrating?
Aline Lotter is currently exhibiting:
at the Gallery at the Sage Gallery in Manchester; at the Hatfield Gallery in Manchester; at the Bartlett Inn in Bartlett; at the Library Arts Center in Newport; at the NH Institute of Art in Manchester; and at her studio by appointment.
Link to website: www.paintingsbyaline.com
P.S. Honey is recuperating from her surgery, and is getting back her spunk.