I studio by making sure I’m physically comfortable, enough sleep the night before, that I’ve had some healthy food, and that I’m not too cold or too hot. I’ve also got to be wearing something comfortable, sweatpants and a t-shirt are frequently chosen. Clothes that I wouldn’t be bothered by getting a few splotches of paint on. The early morning is best for me, and my times are usually roughly scheduled, not to the minute, but that I know I’m going to paint that morning.
On a particular studio day I decide what I'd like to paint, and mentally decide where certain parts of it will be on the canvas. Starting with the vase, I make sure I have all the colors I’ll need, usually an assortment of grays, along with radiant white and titanium white. Linseed oil and turpentine, along with all my detail brushes. I’d place a little of each color I plan to use on a palette, maybe 1/8th of an inch of each, and fill two wells, one with turpentine and the other with linseed oil. Working relatively quickly, going back and forth between the two darkest grays, a medium and medium light gray, I’d paint the dark shadows. Then I’d clean my brush and move between a light gray and a light gray/white mixture (to create a very light gray) I’d paint more detail and fill in areas. Then I’d clean my brush again and add pure white highlights. It would be roughly eight inches tall, and three inches wide, and would take about ninety minutes to paint. By the end of that ninety minutes, my hand would be a little sore and my eyes would be tired. I focus in on the vase, on its form, and highlights. Nothing else enters my mind, and the ninety minutes passes as if it were only one. Yet when the time is done, and the vase is complete, I feel the full weight of the passed time in my sore hand and tired eyes. The flowers and background will need to wait for another day.
I’m working on a painting of a red rose in a crystal vase on a yellow background.
A typical day for me is to wake up at around 7 a.m., make sure Sakura cat has food, start coffee, eat breakfast, drink coffee, and check my phone for the news, usually yahoo.com and msn.com. Then I’ll paint for a while, have lunch, take a nap/do some shopping/chores, eat dinner, watch a movie, and go to sleep.
I don’t consider myself a professional artist. I’ve only sold a few things, the last one being about 17 years ago.
Yes. The painting I was working on was still very, very wet, there wasn’t any way I could bring it without it being ruined, and the next step requires the yellow to be completely dry. I’m planning on painting the ground the vase will sit on purple, which means I need to paint the ground white, then purple (so the yellow doesn’t show through the purple, that would give it a muddy brown cast, since purple + yellow together create brown).
Week 2, MFA 5630