My first oil painting after a long break. And it went well, didn’t end up as yet another reject, which is a very good way to start back. These days are days of new beginnings, of new life, which I now realize is not an assured thing or to be taken for granted.
This painting marks the birth of our new Young at Art calendar too. It’s based on a photograph I took of a magnificent tree in the car park of the printery on the day I was signing off on the final version, after many tweaks and minor adjustments. I was heading back to the car, and as I’d just begun teaching a new block on Trees, I’d been looking at trees in a sleuthing way, looking for good ‘models’. This one really stood out, and was inspiration incarnate! So absolutely magnificent, a magical being right here in our midst. I took a few pictures of it, and thought I’d try to paint it myself.
When I got home the only surface I had ready was a 4′ x 4′ board, and so out it came, and I got to work. I applied much the same principles I’d been teaching for approaching trees, and so it went pretty well; all that presenting of shapes and interesting rendering paid off. And of course I had to work with yellow, as that’s the colour I’ve been consistently drawn to ever since I got my new lease on life; again, new beginnings.
The woman was so enjoyable to draw, and I love that she’s walking into the light with her arms full of work, engaged and productive and financially independent. I’ve incorporated the collaged newspaper technique that I was using for the Starbucks murals, and had to search through a pile of Gleaners to find the crosswords as my mother-in-law takes them out to do them – I was lucky to find a page with two grids still remaining!
I love the combination of Kingston life and The Gleaner. This same technique came in very handy for the motorbike, which I found very difficult… I’ve never painted or drawn a motorbike before, and it was so challenging. I had to repaint it numerous times, and so pasting over a bike that simply wasn’t working and starting again on fresh newspaper became part of the surface, and I like it. Keeps it from becoming overworked and stagnant.
It’s good to be back.