Sunday, July 19, 2009

And sometimes...

In a previous blog I mentioned the fact that I was going to have a exposition in a restaurant in Coconut Grove in Florida. That was suppose to be in June. Luckily, and I mean that, I was given some more time to be able to create work that is up to par to what I want to show.

I am not the kind of artist that produces a painting per day like your average Plein-Air painter who is forced to paint this fast because of the limited time Mother Nature gives him/her to work on a painting.

Normally I set up a painting quite quickly and with set-up I mean the initial sketch on canvas and the underpainting in two or three colours. I use underpainting because in this way I can block the larger schapes on the canvas without "losing" myself into details at this stage. Also because the colours in the underpainting will deepen the final colours. Nothing is definite in this stage, as I start to observe it. Is the composition the way I want it to be, do I need to change or add anything to make it "work"? In this phase of my work it is very easy to change anything if I want to.

My next step is to work on the background and a little bit on the subject itself. Again I will not go into the fine details but I work on the colours and shapes. I work on the balance between the background and the subject . The background is very important to me because I want the background to enhance the subject - no matter if it is a nude or a pair of apples - not to overpower the subject neither to just let it be a colourfull filler of canvas. This is the part where I look at my painting for hours at a time without actual painting.
This frustrates my partner a lot as to him I am doing nothing and often he remarks: "I thought you were going to paint today..." "I am." is my reply and I see him thinking "Whatever, next time I will stare at the dishes and tell you that I am cleaning them."

In the third stage I am working on the little details and finalizing the painting.

So what are we talking about time wise? I normally work about 2 to 3 weeks on a painting (which includes drying time as I work with oils). Because I know that it takes me time, I usually work at two paintings at the time - not more because of limited space.

And sometimes ... I paint one in a day, from start to finish, like I did yesterday. In less then 8 hours from start to finish I painted Pullo, my red cat, out on the porch.

Just to contradict everything I said before. Oh well, that is life!