Saturday, July 10
I have missed an entire day here and lots of today. Early morning yesterday until almost 3 a.m. this morning I worked on a grant I'm applying for. And then from 7 this morning until one when I finished and sent everything in.
I read and rested a bit. I didn’t think I’d have the energy to come over here, let alone want to paint. But, like “SOME GREAT ARTIST,” I am drawn here, to my canvas, to the enormous face I'm the model for—not that I have to make it look like me; I am past caring about that at 68, and this painting is more for the trees. But I want to get the expression right, and I want to paint the skin and the bridge of the nose and along and down to the nostrils today. I am surprised, truly, by how much my studio drew me, as tired as I am.
When I look at her left eye in the painting compared to the blown-up photo of my actual eye, I see I need to change the tilt of the bottom as I did on her right eye, bring it up to show the partial crinkle of a smile there. I want to tackle that first. I say “tackle” because all of this is a “tackling,” a challenge to me. It is hard work, and I am astounded that I am even capable of it.
I see that my brush strokes became much looser as I worked on her right eye, the second eye that I “tackled.” I think I ran out of steam. Let's see how the variation in brushstrokes shows itself as the painting progresses.
OK. Here goes!
I did the nose and the skin....
Well, I did the nose and skin under and above the eyes, but it all needs work. The shadows are too strong, the nostrils are not right. But, hey, after working so late last night and today, not bad.
Tomorrow I want to mix a big batch of skin tone and put it in a covered plastic container. It's crazy to need to mix it on a tiny paper pallet when I need so much paint with these large brushes on such a large area. I'll add Hi-Slo to retard the drying and so I can blend more.
This will allow me to focus on the shading—colors, shapes, blending. We'll see what happens. I've never painted a face this large. I've drawn one even larger with pastels for my “I Can Speak Again” piece (scroll down) from my Earth Mothers series. This is really hard!
I'm finished for today. I want to go have a gentle fire now and burn my Christmas branch for a second and more belated Solstice fire. I don’t have the energy to do a lot, but I’ve been wanting to do this, just to connect with the earth and to pray.
I'm still on vacation for a couple more days, back in the office on Tuesday, July 13. If I'm slow to respond to folks who comment, please know that I WILL, just mostly unplugged, especially these last couple of days. Thanks for your patience!