OK, the colors in Camping and Trees, especially the blues, are starting to work. I really love the wind in this one, especially in the lower right corner where it works its way up from the water and through the trees.
Following my moment of clarity in the previous post regarding the major shapes contained in the picture, now I've moved into chaos. I'm experimenting with various colors, especially the brown reds of the land, and whether to use these colors also in the birds. I've begun the greens of the pine trees and the grays of the rocks that line the waterline. Things are looking pretty mooshy and unfocused at this stage in the work. I feel unsettled. I just have to keep trying different color combinations until I find one that will work. I try not to end a studio day with a carving in this stage of confusion.
It's always exciting to begin painting one of my carved pictures. I start with a yellow ochre background, actually yellow ochre with unbleached titanium.
Then, because I mixed too much of the yellow and don't want to waste it, I add some blue to the remains of the base coat yellow mixture still wet on my paint tray. I brush the resultant blue/green into the areas of sky and water. This allows me to begin to see the major shapes of the painting, the land surrounded by sky and water.
I call this piece Camping and Trees. I carved it almost 18 months ago, but didn't paint it until this spring. Swirls and being able to create a feeling of wind and movement keep cropping up more and more in my work, perhaps because I love to sail.
Wasting paint doesn't just waste money, it wastes resources. Earlier I showed how much paint had dried on my palette over several months despite my best attempts to use up all paint before it could dry.
Below see a great tool for getting every last bit of paint out of that tube of paint. Google "paint tube wringer" to find one yourself. I notice that there are now plastic tube wringers, but I assume they will break quicker than the metal ones, which is the type I have.
The jaw end of the beast! It also works quite well at producing decorative crimps in thin or soft copper sheet.
Cows and Barn, Top of the lake is DONE! I wanted a feeling of wind/winter, with cozy barn surrounded by wild and windy outdoors. I think I accomplished it.
It's that idea again that I'm interested in, of us being so small with the forces of nature being so powerful. Midway down the picture, on the left the cows and on the right the treeline, these details anchor the picture in place. But there's no disregarding the wind that sweeps behind the barn and which for now is prettily domesticated.
Each one of my carved and painted pictures involves many layers of paint. Sometimes it can take longer to paint a piece than it takes to carve. I wanted to show you a "before" and "after" of the cows in the lower left corner of Cows and Barn, Top of the Lake.
Before. Below you can see the cows much as they were in the previous posting of this blog. Although much painting has been done, details are still rather blurry. Note that I decided to move the snow drifts into the outer frame of the piece, thus necessitating me carving down into that area (see the raw wood?, and the few little pieces of woodchips?).
After. After a lot more painting of lights and darks, gold leafing the inner frame, plus adding eyes to the cows, I'd call this lower left section complete.