Sunday, February 14, 2010
I got off on the wrong foot with this painting from an old black-and-white photo I found online.
My plan was to identify three values--lightest, middle, darkest--and paint them. Everyone says values make the painting, but I have a hard time identifying or sticking to a value plan, even when I make a value sketch: color distracts me.
Here, trying to think "value," I chose the wrong colors: starting out with burnt sienna and ultramarine blue ... It was too dark, flat. I was going to chuck it, but having nothing to lose, I started floating brighter colors over top--gamboge, quinacridone pink, manganese blue. The paper got very wet and the colors a bit tired-looking, but it's an improvement.
Time to try again, because I really love this image; the little girl is in perfect contrapposto.
I've been thinking a lot recently about what makes a good relationship, and here's my distillation: A little empathy and understanding, reasonable expectations, and a whole lot of knowing when to keep your mouth shut. (That last one sounds cynical, but I really just mean stopping to ask if it's worth it to introduce that note of discord.)
My Valentine is 250 miles away today, working. We knew we wouldn't be together and yesterday I kept wondering if a floral delivery truck would pull up to my house. It didn't--and it really was no surprise: Peter doesn't like to send, or bring, flowers. I know that and have accepted it and I'm really not disappointed ("reasonable expectations").
Today, instead, I'm remembering one time when I was very angry at him for some now-forgotten reason, and I thought, even though I knew how unlikely it was, When he comes walking up my front path, he better be carrying a bouquet ... And, when he came, he was! He had an armful of roses. Add "Timing" to the list.
I've been getting a few spam comments (in Chinese; I can only assume they're spam) and have changed the settings for commenting on my blog to try to eliminate them. (Thanks to Autumn Leaves for pointing this problem out to me!)
If you experience problems commenting, please email me, and I'll review/adjust the settings.