January is next week. A New Month, New Year & New Decade ALL AT ONCE! Whew!
Hello Everyone. So, I've been thinking about this blogging idea for some time this past year and while I certainly don't see myself as a writer, and it usually takes me ages to write even a paragraph, I have a sneaky suspicion that sharing my art and taking a little time to write about my process is probably a pretty solid way to strengthen my own voice and vision as an artist. And with any luck, it will also help you gain more insight into my inner world, my work and why I create. As the days progress, I'm sure you'll get to know a little bit more about the how's and the why's that brought me here, but for now, and for my first post, I'll just launch in to today's work and how it unfolded.
With the holidays behind us, I feel like today was actually the first day in a number of weeks that I was feeling 'at home' again in my studio space. What a Great feeling! I have been working on mostly smaller paintings in gouache for the last few months in between some larger oil paintings, and slowly falling more and more in love with this very versatile and economic medium. I chose to look through some of my 'inspiration' photos that I have taken on many walks in my own neighborhood. I'm always really excited to paint the houses or local scenes that are familiar to me and that I've already created a visual and kinetic relationship with. Although it's early winter, this mornings inspiration was actually from a summer photo of a house down on the corner that I thought for sure would be torn down very soon, but to my surprise, I am pleased to recently see that the house has been covered in plastic, with scraping, renovating and re-painting taking place on the outside, and I imagine the inside as well. It looks beautiful. Although, I also thought it looked perfectly beautiful when it was all peeling and weathered looking too, that's mostly likely why I wanted to paint it! When I paint houses, I try to go for the character and the feeling, or charm of a place, imagining the many families that have lived there over the years and all of the stories and lives weaving their way in and out of the doors, the windows and walls. Each window in this particular house is different! Really different. Different glass, different windowpane layout, even different sizes so I'm sure the windows are a big part of the story for this particular house and I wonder with all the recent renovations if they'll replace them all? How boring, if they all end up the same size again! So, with this painting, I started at the top with the sky. I didn't do any drawing in, which I often do, but sometimes I just have to jump right in and eyeball through it. I have more often than not an impulsive approach to painting. It doesn't always work, but it is what is. I worked my way down from the sky into the tree-line and then painted the house starting with a vague outline drawing and then blocked in those wonky windows! My main objective was to try capture the light and shadows on the white house and the feeling of my summer walk home at the time. How nice to take an hour or so this morning imagining myself back on that warm early summer days walk.
"Rehab" 5x7" gouache on Canson Cold Press Watercolor French paper
The gouache is lovely to paint with, and once it dries, the darks are lovely and rich and the lights get a little brighter. They offer a real 'pop' as I look at them now in my studio, but when I photograph them, and post, they often loose their sparky-ness. I scanned this in so it's reading just a little bit differently than the actual painting. They always look very different on a computer screen, which I'd sometimes like to call a computer 'scream'! It's so backlit always which lends itself to some paintings and not to others.
The gouache paints I've been using are a mixture of DaVinci brand and Holbein Artists brand.
I'm grateful for the opportunity to live more fully through the process of painting. Hey! I've finished my first post! Yay! We'll see what the next days bring. Thank you all.