Thursday, January 20, 2011

Daily 90 1 & 2 - Snow Queen joins the challenge!

Here she is - The Snow Queen!
She brought 6" of snow to my town today.
(In case you didn't know, it's me in disguise.)

The Queen noticed on Facebook that two of her painter friends had challenged each other to paint 90 daily paintings. I've never really been that interested in doing daily paintings, but when I saw Michelle Walker's painting, I invited myself into their challenge -
way back on January 5.

I was already 5 paintings behind at that point!
When I woke up this morning I was 15 paintings behind!
I woke up to falling snow, read an email from my friend Ray who was going out to paint snow in Cincinnati, and with 'the challenge' looming over my head like the sword of Damocles,
I decided to get in the game.

First, breakfast at The Nut.
Second, pay a bill in person, allowing me to do a little driving in the village and see what possibilities were out there. It worked. I found a spot easily, a field of corn stubble with a treeline, and the snow whiting out some of the background.

Here was my studio.
At the right you see my EasyL 12 x 16" easel, poised and itching to get into the game with a 5 x 7" gessoboard panel that has been toned with thinned down Transparent Red Oxide. The snow was falling steadily, and hard, making it impossible to paint outside without the umbrella I'd forgotten. The area behind the steering wheel was too tight to put the easel in front of me, so I sat it on the seat beside me and forced me to paint with my arm extended - just like I should!

I hadn't painted since December 5, 2010 when I did stand outside and paint - in the orchard 5 miles away from my home. Michelle painted that day, as did Jody Hall (the other artist that started the challenge January 1). Ray was there that day, and my friend Edie, and many other painters from Ohio Plein Air Society were sprinkled throughout Lynd's Fruit Farm which was sugared with a light dusting of snow.

Today, I felt a little nervous. You sure do get rusty if you don't paint for even a day, let alone for over a month. So I decided to start by doing my little drawing. Below, you see the two drawings I did for two paintings that I did today. I was parked for the first painting in a safe parking lot looking north across Rt. 16.
For the second painting, I crossed this busy road and
pulled into a farm pulloff heading into the field.

 A policeman stopped by to see if I needed help.
I love it when that happens.
I took further notes to remember this day: here I was painting a great snow storm when suddently I realized that the music coming out of the radio was none other than Gershwin's Summertime! I LOVE that song and used to belt it out in my days as a torch singer.

Okay, I had my drawing. I was nervous. Stalling.
So I decided to mix some colors.
Ray wrote this morning that there were no values out there.
I wrote back saying there were close values,
and now I was faced with them.

I wiped the panel down so that it wasn't so wet.
 And put in some guidelines.
I didn't realize that my shapes were a bit different in the mid-ground. I wish I had, but I was struggling with 'my stuff'. First the panel fell off the easel and into the Thalo Blue!
A good start, the colors were trying to get on the panel.
Next, the brushes were rolling into the paint.
And then, there was paint on the steering column.
Once I concured all of that,
I began laying in the colors that I'd pre-mixed.
 I decided not to second guess myself.
My goal was to see if I could depict falling snow.

This was my palette at the end of the painting.
Eh, Voila!
"Snow Day, January"
#1 - Daily 90

Below is #2 catch up painting - Daily 90
Not what I'd hoped for. The idea was to see if I could depict falling snow with a big brush. The painting was better earlier on. I decided to rework this,
or scrape it and repaint from memory.
If I do, I'll repost it, but not sure I can call it another daily.
Michelle, would that be cheating?
My tools today.
This brush I don't recommend. I bought it years ago on sale,
not very good as the metal part of the brush is loose and wobbely.
And standing in the shadows,
my trusty Lowe-Cornell J-2 palette knife!


Jody Hall said...

Love the dialogue. Welcome to the challenge!

Nancy Hawkins said...

Now you have me all motivated. It is good to challenge one another.