Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Work in progress 18x24"
by Susan Roux
I received Don Hatfield's new DVD in the mail the other day. Its titled, Fantasy Portraits In the Garden. Mike wanted to watch it with me, so we saved it for that evening. It was already late when we got started, so we planned on only watching about half of it.
That didn't happen.
Though it was early get-up in the morning, we stayed up until nearly midnight finishing it. We just couldn't stop. All night I dreamt of painting. (Don't you just love nights like that?) I thought about Don's method and how it differed from my approach. Completely opposite, actually. He begins with grays and adds color over it. I begin with pure color and gray it out...
Nonetheless, it was fun to experience his process and see how he maneuvers the paint around. I feared I'd be stuck in the mud, if I tried his approach!
I haven't been painting, as you well know. Gardening has consumed my every free moment. My body has been absorbing the gifts of nature and as I predicted, at some point I would want to explode on canvas. The following morning, soon after getting Jesse off to school, I was down in my studio. Between Don's instructional movie and dreaming all night about painting, I couldn't wait to pick up my brush!
It was 8:30. I was so inspired. Paint flowed readily from my palette to my canvas. (Yes, Luka was serenading me through my nano...) It was one of those moments when you get to do exactly what you wish to do. I felt happy and blessed and the paint wanted to sing! I didn't even try to paint like Don. Pure color. Saturated color. Nice, juicy, delicious creamy oils hit the canvas as bright light. Each stroke invigorated me even more.
Its close to heaven, when your muse is fired up and moving through you!
I poured all I had into this canvas. I felt myself exhausted. I stopped for a break. It was now 9:30. How could only one hour have passed? It didn't make sense.
Have you ever poured so much of yourself that exhaustion hits so soon?
I knew I must pace myself. I returned after a short break. I didn't want to stop. I worked for two hours more and the painting sits at this stage. I'm not sure if I'll get back to it today. Commitments fill my moments. Perhaps I will find some time...
I was really loving working wet in wet. I hope it doesn't set too soon... My mind continually analyses where I'm at and where I want to go. These forced breaks in painting time can sometimes be a blessing in disguise. It gives you time to reflect on the work you're done and hopefully allow you to see those passages you want to preserve. Overworking the canvas is a downfall of many of us, myself included. I see so many values, its hard not to put them all in...
If you haven't seen Don's DVD yet, I highly recommend it. It takes place during a workshop. I really enjoyed seeing the artists work around him. It made me feel like I too was there painting. Funny how we find similarities of ourselves in other artists' work. I found myself wondering how I would have approached this subject if I had been present.
Enjoy your painting time. Let yourself be swept away with delicious color!