Saturday, June 25, 2011


I have not painted since we moved in.  Sigh.  No time, no energy, no room !  But trying to get back into it, and make space, make time, make energy.  Plus painting is relaxing for me, so an excellent outlet and foil when the brain needs a different direction or is tied in knots solving some work thing.

So today I got  out the one easel I have here (others in storage still) and moved it to the Dining Room, which has very nice light for painting over by the windows.  I put put some Brazilian music CDs on, got out my paints and set up to paint  a simple painting inspired by a book of old vintage sheet music I have acquired.  Vintage sheet music often has beautiful covers and I have a number of pieces (most in storage still).  This one is a piece I bought locally here in the Barossa Valley at a fave place to check out, Bowsers of Barossa (they have a great collection of old records on offer I hear, for anyone on the hunt for that).  Lots of cool old stuff there and I just stumbled over this sheet music, with its title Couleur de Rose, or Colour of Rose.   It has lovely lettering in an old deco style, done in a soft teal blue that is really pretty.   I have meant all along to paint this one (actually will paint the others too, when the emerge from storage---some day !)  And we need some artwork to put up in the bathroom, and this might do nicely.  So, this lovely sheet music cover was a perfect subject to get started painting again.

Today I got the canvas all blocked out...Sketched what of the subject I would paint.  I am taking a bit of liberty with actual composition of the floral bit, but using a similar layout and definitely using its inspiration and influence.  I have edited out a lot of the text, which I think works fine.  I painted in my background, mostly.  Doing the fussy part of background around the lettering, which is a job I won't want to do later...though touch ups will be ok.

Then using the soft teal I made from cerulean and a bit of raw umber and white, I painted some outlines of the stems and leaves.  Then a bit of green and raw umber to add dimension to the leaves.  They aren't done of course, I will return to them.  But they give me good navigation points and punctuate the composition nicely.

And then the last bit for the afternoon, pinks.  Alizarin, Rose Madder, Quinacridone Violet, Napthol Red and more, sometimes mixed with white, sometimes not.  A bit of vivid yellow for centers of flowers, again, just navigation points.  Tomorrow I will paint in some dimension and detail to "carve out" the detail and shaping of the  flowers, working into the blocks of color I have set in today.

I could not even find my palettes for I used plastic plates (good sub in when in the field or when not fully moved in !).  I had them neatly on a drop cloth on a chair.  Seemed to work quite well.  Cats settled in on their cat tree perch nearby and watched me paint.  When time to call it a day came around, I cleaned up.  I was literally walking to fetch the "palettes" when Pookie and Winston got rambunctious and Pookie jumped onto the palette plate with all the pinks.  And not with one paw either, he managed to get alizarin crimson and napthol red ALL over both his hind paws, on one foreleg, and on his belly fur too.   Looking more pinky Burmese than Lilac,  I had to put him in the sink and clean all the paint off him (he did not like this, not a bit).  Never mind that I was still wearing an apron, by the time this was all done, he got crimson and red paints all over me and my clothes too.  (but hey, I now have a new studio cardigan !)

drop cloth with Alizarin paw smudge marks

I guess cats need more supervision if I am to use the Dining Room as an interim studio >^..^<

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