...and the livin' is, well, actually quite a bit easier than
getting this picture right
Sorry for the delay, but for what it's worth, I've been gathering material for future Rebi.
Which I like to think of as sort of an excuse.
This entry is Part Two of Two, and just this once, I'd recommend you go back and reread the previous installment,
which explains the whole deal in more detail than I'm in the mood to do right now. If you don't, though, here's
what's going on. I had an idea for a picture called Summertime, an attempt to deal with memories of a summer
twenty years ago, and after a number of false starts, I wound up armed with these --
a pencil sketch of the Man in the Moon and a wash on watercolor paper:
With these two pieces, my masterful job of stalling has come to an end, and in the case of a picture like this,
there's nothing to do but dive right in. Okay. Here goes.
Mm-hmm. Well. In a painting demonstration, this is a step referred to as "filler." Needs a little something,
wouldn't you agree? I'll add more darks. Always a good idea when doing a night scene: add some darks.
I seem to be getting somewhere -- the moon is round, for instance, which is another good thing. I plow ahead with
my chaos-theory, accidents-are-always-good approach to the brushwork, and then I try a suggestion of the face:
Uh-oh. We have just ventured into "Hey, that's going to be a good picture!" territory. Bad news.
Average lifespan of a painting after it reaches this phase: 'bout 15 minutes.
But I'm pleasantly surprised -- it actually survives for nearly three quarters of an hour. Until
I decide to add a foreground. I couldn't resist. On one of the nights that I did pencil sketches, I was standing
between two trees, listening to the stereo cicadas. (They were doing whatever they do that makes that sound
-- and if you know, please don't write me; I'm sure I'm much better off not knowing -- and they would drift from
out of phase into perfect synch, and then gradually back out, like when you're driving in the rain and the wipers
catch up with the song on the radio and seem to be right on the beat for a while, and then they get ahead of it,
and then the song slowly catches up -- you ever notice that? Please tell me somebody else notices that.)
I start to add some trees, with what I would tend to refer to as mixed results:
I do a little more, then decide to quit. Because I like the way the Man in the Moon turned out. He's not there, but I can
see him, and I hope that works for you too. It also catches a little of the feeling of one night from that summer. I don't know
if The Man was up there that night, though I do know for sure that if he was, he was smiling. We'll leave it at that; I don't
want to bore you with the details, and at this late date she probably wouldn't appreciate my sharing them with you anyway.
Now don't get me wrong. I know this thing has its shortcomings. But I know how to fix that. One,
you crop it (the beauty of painting on paper is you can compose with scissors), and two, you declare
it a study. Fixed!
Man in the Moon (study for Summertime) Oil on paper, 14" x 10"
And there you have it: a painting that didn't quite pan out, and a story I keep building up but never tell you.
I don't mean this to be a downer, though. I mean, come on, it's summer.
This is supposed to be a celebration. I want you to have a good time. So:
There. Painting doesn't seem so bad now, does it? Believe it or not, what you've just witnessed
is a segue of sorts -- next week, we're going to reminisce about another nonalcoholic drink...
one that should be dear to the hearts of the locals.
Next: the bottle story begins.
The Picture of the Week Archives:
07.21.08: "Are you drawing?"
07.07.08: The Rebus Returns
11.26.07: Night of the Hunter, Part II
11.19.07: Night of the Hunter, Part I
11.12.07: Hunter's Lake
11.05.07: Deconstructing October
09.17.07: Der Käfer
09.10.07: Straight Up
09.03.07: End of Summer
08.27.07: Knob Creek at Sunset
06.11.07: Forgetfulness and Blasphemy
05.21.07: Guerillas Indie Missed
05.07.07: Cat on Page 2D
04.30.07: Study for God's Linoleum
04.23.07: Pareidolia for Dummies
04.02.07: Regression Redux
03.12.07: She's Ready
02.26.07: Cold as Hell
02.12.07: The Three Faces of Suzanne
02.05.07: Progress, of a Sort
01.22.07: What I Painted
01.15.07: Art Lesson
01.08.07: Mountcastle Drive
12.24.06: Christmas Eve
12.11.06: By Way of Apology
12.04.06: Rodney Hits the Floor
11.27.06: Gondola Car and Busy Ball
11.20.06: Sketch for The Remains
11.13.06: Work in Progress: Lawn Deer
11.06.06: Two Studies for VW