Monday, December 21, 2009
This is a my palette after class the other night. It was a newly assembled class and we began a painting of roses by the ocean. My method is to start with a color sketch, an underpainting filled with wild color. For the duration of the class we danced on our palette thinning out paint and applying it to our canvas.
Its a very freeing process. Nothing is permanent at this point, so the fear of mistakes doesn't exist. Its a great way to attack that intimidating blank canvas. Bold color, loose strokes. We find the elements of our subject. Covering every white spot is our goal. Everyone goes home with a bright, colorful canvas which resembles our image, but is far more inspiring due to the creativity of the applied color. When they return a week later, the sketch will be completely dry and we'll begin laying-in thicker paint.
My studio is only large enough for a single painter to work, so I hold my classes in my large kitchen/dining room. With plastic covered tables, this well used area of the house turns into a giant studio. For three consecutive days the transformation stays in place. Easel, paints, brushes and canvasses all remain in the dining room. Its holiday time and my parents are visiting for a week. The next morning Mom called me over to the window. She had me turn towards the table. Yes I know Mom, I left it all a mess, but we have class again tonight. She pointed to my palette which from this direction was upside-down from when I painted. There amidst the swirls of colors, was an angel.
I'm not sure what to make of this. We had worked with such loose abandonment, yet there sat the image of an angel clearer than anything on my canvas. Different people could read many different things into this surprising occurrence. I like to think its a reminder that we have guardians watching over us. I'll let you decide for yourself, but I did feel inclined to share...
Please feel free to leave your comments. I'd love to hear your views on this.