I’m sharing with you this week a magnum opus WIP (work in progress) that has been in progress for over a year now. It’s not that I’m lazy, at least I don’t think so. Or that I have too many other projects going. I just stopped working on it for many months, waiting for my desire to finish it to return. I explained this in my blog of a few weeks ago, here if you want to read it.
Usually, I am fast to paint and perhaps too fast to declare my painting done. I don’t have time to get bored or the scope to get intimidated. But I almost always have one big painting in the works, and it usually takes me a month or two to work out the problems and declare it finished. This one has been a totally different experience. It has intimidated me with its scope, size and complexity. I now have barely got all the canvas covered, and am only beginning to try to pull it all together as a whole.
No smart aleck mountaineer (my son) has yet asked, but perhaps I should make it clear that I am not going for accuracy in the configuration of the mountain ranges depicted. The people are, however, based on real people whom I observed at the 2011 Race to the top of Mount Washington. From the hundreds of photos that I took while waiting for my son to finish (33d–that’s really good!), I picked out some vignettes to incorporate in this panoramic scene. I have drawn and/or painted most of them before I started on the present mammoth. (OK, it’s 30×40, not really mammoth, but quite big for me.) Here are my studies, in no particular order:
A Very Special Guy
These small paintings are more faithful portraits of the mountains and the infrastructure at the finish line. The two portraits are of my favorite cyclists, the ones I was there to cheer on.
Mount Washington is often referred to, fondly and respectfully, as “the Rockpile”; if nothing else, my painting does give the viewer a sense of why that is. Despite all my practice paintings, I’m still not satisfied with my technique for depicting rock piles. I also intend to enliven my landscape with many more spectators and cyclists. If you examine the distant road, you will see, you might see–some indistinct blobs of color; they are supposed to suggest more cyclists on their way up with spectators along the route.
I would not want to leave you without a nude this week. For the past month or so, I had been sticking to 8×10 and 9×12 canvases for the Tuesday and Friday sessions with live models. Last Tuesday, counting on having my model in her pose for two straight weeks, I brought a larger canvas to work on–16×20. I was using a piece of oil-primed linen from a Centurion pad. If I don’t like all of it when I am finished, I can always cut it down. So I started large.
So far, so good. I have high hopes for this one, but am a bit perplexed by the color of the background. I think I would prefer something that more closely echoed the colors in the turban. Or perhaps a much darker background to set off the figure and the turban. Stay tuned!
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 Stella Blu American Tapas restaurant in Nashua; at her law offices at 41 Brook St in Manchester; and at her studio by appointment.