Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Glorious imperfection

I started a self portrait the other day, and it was fabulous. The painting of a portrait, that is, rather than the painting itself. I've been working on still life after still life for so long now, I was dying to work on something else. And as hiring a model isn't in the cards for me just now, I went for the self portrait. I was so excited to be working on a figure again, however, I neatly skipped over most of the requisite beginning stages. That is to say, I started full-out painting without ever having solidified the drawing. Day two will be a headache of cursing my own impatience and trying to rework the drawing. C'est la vie. I also have a decided reluctance to show my in-progress paintings, or even the finished work for that matter, when they contain people. And as I'm very much in favor of ridding myself of irrational fears, such as the fear that the painting may be such a terrible failure I'll lose the ability to paint forever, I'm making myself post the following image, in all its glorious imperfection.

Block in of a self portrait:

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Out of darkness

It was rather dark and dreary today, which in some ways is ideal weather, or light really, for still life painting. Except, if it gets too dark, as it really did today, one ends up squinting into obscurity, trying to make out anything of ones painting. I started a new painting anyway, but you'll have to pardon the images, as many are slightly blurry; my camera did not like the darkness either.

Day one, block-in:

Friday, April 15, 2011


Tonight in Alexandria: the Spring Still Life Invitational. Click here for a catalogue of images.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

a travelin'

Today I packed and shipped two paintings to Principle Gallery for their Spring Still Life Invitational. The show opens April 15th in Alexandria, Virginia.


Close-ups of the mouse a travelin' with Sebbie:

Monday, April 4, 2011

adventures on panel

In continuing with the in-progress bits, I have yet another painting in stages. This one is on panel, however, which I've seldom used, so it presents a new challenge for me in that regard. I'm enjoying it; I think the panel prevents me from resorting to the bad habits I've developed when I get frustrated, as the materials don't work the way I'm used to, and I'm hoping it will force the better painter in me to the surface. It's also a very small painting, which means I can focus on it in my current, scattered state. The white painting with the elephant has rather been laid to the side for now. My scatteredness is my own fault. I've moved often, but somehow I always forget the long period of adjustment that is the beginning of living in a new place. New routines, new homes, new jobs, new grocery stores, new banks, new public transportation systems to lose my temper with, the whole effort of trying to make new friends. It's exhausting, even if it is exciting. I started a new job last week, at a string instrument shop. Roughly, I get to take violins apart, clean all the bits and pieces, replace any broken bits, and put the whole things back together again. It's a job that fits well into my resume of odd jobs. Not all the instruments can be fixed though, and I'm hoping one of the lost causes might make it into one of my paintings one of these days. But in the mean time, my painting hasn't been going as well as I'd like, but things, I'm determined, are looking up. So, without further ado...

Day one:

Day two:

(not finished)

I found this little guy at the Christmas market in Leipzig. I'm such a sucker for little toys with big noses and wooly beards.