Today's plan was causing me great consternation than usual, simply because Deb and I needed to make a trip to Brockville to exchange paintings at a location that exhibits my work regularly... pick up our new vehicle licence permit for the van/studio. No permit... and the van's a no Van Go! W also want to share time with Deb's aunt and uncle in Prescott, located about twelve miles east of Brockville along the St Lawrence. This painting fool needs a haircut as well to round out the errands... and Deb needs a colour cartridge for her ever working printer. All this said... my quandary was simple. How do I make a painting after getting home every late in the afternoon?
I arose this morning extra early at 4:30 am... that happens with regularity when I have things on my mind. I poured over digital images... hoping to find an "idea" to kick start today's challenge. I became more and more discouraged because I wouldn't have the three hours that I invest in most small pieces... no matter the dimensions. That is my process. I paused... as I clicked through my deep freeze adventure last week to Ivy Lea Park when I came to a fairly nice and simple to translate composition focusing upon a Canadian span the International Bridge... which links Canada to the United States. There was potential there for certain... but was there time... even to complete a small 8x10 panel?
I decided no... but out of the corner of my eye I noticed my original pochade bx... the smaller one which carried 6x9 inch panels. Then the idea struck me. Why not take an 8x10 inch panel and break it into quarters ... thus creating smaller 4x5 inch formats... which maintained the ratio and scale of the larger format? Why not "let it all out'... and aim for a simple and "painterly" miniature? Isn't that a new take on the Challenge? I took a pencil and lightly divided the 8x10 into quarter spaces. Then I taped off the area I was going to paint on with Frog brand painter's tape... isolating it from the other three spaces. I chose three smallish brushes... including two small flats and my rigger for finishing details and brought my paint box to my computer area. I isolated the Bridge format on my computer screen... and jumped into the painting part!
As is my custom... I record my process at various intervals of finish. I then gather those images into a file and whenever I want to... I can view a slide show to see how I'm doing... and believe me... those jpegs REALLY do reveal weaknesses that you miss while engaged in the painting process. These files become ... "the third eye"... and guide re-evaluation and changes to consider. I have used that to finish this miniature work today. I think it best for me to cease talking at this point... and let the images do the talking and explaining. A picture can indeed be worth... a thousand words... and with "Me"... maybe three thousand! HA HA!!! Enjoy the rest of your morning trip!
Digital image selected
Division of 8x10 panel into quarters using painters tape... masking in a 4x5 inch sector for the painting area
The painting at the lay in stage. Note haphazard... loose application of basic shapes
Progress after an hour of "play" using two small flat hog bristle brushes... and just a bit of rigger at this point. In this second to last version... viewing of the piece shot and viewed on my computer monitor indicates a strong need to correct the too similar tonal values of the oak leaves and some tonal punches here and there around the whole picture plane
"Bridging Winter, Ivy Lea, Ontario" - miniature oil on panel 4x5 inches.... Just a few pushes n' pulls to tidy up a few values in the sky and water areas
Good Painting... to ALL!!!