I only painted thrice last week, and it’s thanks to my Tuesday and Friday morning life drawing sessions and the Saturday Life Group that I accomplished that much. It made me realize how little time I have been putting in on studio projects, and on painting in the great outdoors. I used to be a pretty decent, very enthusiastic plein air painter. Without actually counting, I would bet I produced over 50 plein air paintings in 2011, compared to 25 this year. I miss it. But so much of my artistic energy has been absorbed by the figurative and portrait sessions that I haven’t been carving out time for plein air outings. Now the weather is getting nasty outside. My New Year’s resolution, adopted early, is to find more opportunities to get outside to paint–starting with our first ever Bartlett Artists Winter Getaway in January, followed by a visit to Mary on Marco Island, probably in February.
Meanwhile, the story of this week: Since our Tuesday model and our Friday model and our next Friday model is the same person, those of us who do both Tuesday and Friday decided to make it a repeating pose, enabling a total of 9 hours on one pose for those who wanted it. I will probably the only one of us who will use all three sessions on a single painting, although I expect not to use the entire final session on this painting.
One of the more interesting aspects of this painting is the background architecture. I had recently watched a video, part 1 of Dan Thompson painting a figure, in which he recommended painting in the background, at least temporarily, in order to use it as a roadmap. It works. Before I drew in the Exit door on the left of the painting, I had drawn the figure’s arm too close to his body. By situating the frame of the door where it intersected the body, I uncovered the drafting error in the arm. The cubicle on the right (it’s the bathroom) helped me with sizing the figure’s left leg (leg on the viewer’s right).
Because I knew about the extended pose, I started this painting on a 16×20 sheet of primed linen. I intended it to be a whole body pose, but allowed my impulsive first blocking in to change my mind. What you see is the product of two sessions, and it is almost finished. Some tinkering with the facial features and decisions on the background are needed next week. When it is finished, I will roll it up and stash it away with so many other paintings on which I have lavished hours of time and effort. And love. Paintings that, unlike landscapes, no one else is likely to savor.
At SLG (Saturday Life Group) I continued the experimentation with compressed charcoal that I had started in Larry Christian’s class at the Institute. Here is the final pose of the session:
Yes, I do like backs.
There is another drawing, from a 20-minute pose, that I wanted to include today, but for some reason, the photo I thought I took of it did not turn out. Too bad. It was a good one, and different from the one above. I will include it next week if I can work it into next week’s topic, whatever that might be. I hope next week’s topic will include work in my studio, inspired by the successful completion of my reorganization exertions. Yes, that’s my excuse for no studio painting: I have been laboring on moving stuff, and removing stuff, to create more space in my bedroom/studio for the studio portion. Books, heavy books, had to be carried downstairs to make room for just art books on the studio shelves. Underbed storage units had to be emptied to make room for clear bags, saved drawings and such art-related, seldom-accessed items. Dust bunnies had to be captured and disposed of (sneeze!). Furniture had to be rearranged and some of it relegated to the guest room. Today, I ache all over. Well, that’s nothing new. Arthritis. Really slowing me. Down.
Aline Lotter is currently exhibiting:
at the Hatfield Gallery in Manchester (Langer Place, 55 S. Commercial St., Manchester, NH); at the Bartlett Inn in Bartlett; at the Red Jacket Inn in North Conway; at the Soo Rye Art Gallery in Rye NH; at her law offices at 41 Brook St in Manchester; and at her studio by appointment.