Monday, September 06, 2010

nuttall class countdown

My workshop with Ted Nuttall in Rehobeth, Del., will begin in less than 10 days. (There's an interview with Nuttall in the summer 2010 Watercolor magazine, illustrated by several of his paintings.)
My weekend company, Peter's kids and their satelllites, are all out at the beach. The breakfast dishes are done and dinner's all prepped. Painting time.
I was working from a soft-focus black and white photograph, which, along with the young girl's naturally rounded and smooth face, led to some indecision about modeling ... and about what colors to use.
I went as far as I could in the first stage. Then took a break and came back and added a few darks, mostly around the eyes.
Poor kid looks awfully grim, though in the photo, she looks very sweet.
(ps: I rephotographed this: though I took the picture outside in daylight, it was too blue; this is more like it!)

(first stage)
Then I messed around with mom and dad some more. My mother looks like Yvonne de Carlo! And my father's mustache isn't readable, but the more I mess with it, the worse it looks to me. May be time to abandon this and chalk it up to experience!
Another summer gone. And I wish, like Joni Mitchell in my favorite song of hers, "Urge for Going," that it'd stay around for just another month or so.

I awoke today and found the frost perched on the town
It hovered in a frozen sky, then it gobbled summer down
When the sun turns traitor cold
And shivering trees are standing in a naked row
I get the urge for going but I never seem to go
I get the urge for going
When the meadow grass is turning brown
Summertime is falling down and winter is closing in

I had me a man in summertime
He had summer-colored skin
And not another girl in town
My darling's heart could win
But when the leaves fell trembling down
Bully winds did rub their faces in the snow
He got the urge for going
And I had to let him go
He got the urge for going
When the meadow grass was turning brown
Summertime was falling down and winter was closing in

The warriors of winter they gave a cold triumphant shout
And all that stays is dying and all that lives is getting out
See the geese in chevron flight flapping and racing on before the snow
They've got the urge for going, they've got the wings to go
They get the urge for going
When the meadow grass is turning brown
Summertime is falling down and winter is closing in

I'll ply the fire with kindling and pull the blankets to my chin
And I'll lock the vagrant winter out and bolt my wandering in
I'd like to call back summertime and have her stay jut another month or so
She's got the urge for going and I guess she'll have to go
And she get the urge for going when meadow grass is turning brown
All her empires are falling down
Winter's closing in
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A Brush with Color said...

Love these, Laura! You're going to do well in that class. I hope you like it--I really liked him a lot. Your little girl is lovely! I'd like to try some more portraits--I'll be glad to be done with the sketchbook project commitment. It's been fun, but the paper is definitely not conducive to portraits!

I'm a huge Joni fan, and love these lyrics, too. I DON'T have the urge for going, but I head out tomorrow just the same! Enjoy the class--I'll try to check in on your blog as I trave, to see how it goes!

Charlene Brown said...

Your ability to 'imply' details in watercolour portraits is stunning! And your mother really does look like Yvonne de Carlo! ...I take it the resemblance is not quite as close as the painting would have us believe...? Be thankful she didn't turn out like some equally beautiful MALE move star!

Barbra Joan said...

Laura, I'm so glad to see you painting , inspired again... This is wonderful.. You've passed another down time...
but I think you gave it to me... Cannot get it together!

Watercolorist said...

Lucky you to be doing a workshop with such a talented portrait painter. It is also so much in your style of painting too. Can't wait to see your watercolors from the workshop. I Like these portraits too. Admire your skills in portraiture.

Sparrowhawk said...

brilliantly unique style. The soft washes are lovely!

Barbara M. said...

Bravo Laura,

I love the painting of the girl, and the exciting developments with Mom and Dad. Mom is luxuriously beautiful, and Dad a complete sweetheart.

And I always love it when you include poetry. So moving.

It is going to be 90 degrees Fahrenheit here tomorrow, and I find that a bit hot, and summery. Just a trick I know. But I'll take it for now.


AutumnLeaves said...

Wow, Laura. I think these paintings are both exquisite. Truly gorgeous work. Your mom DOES look like Yvonne de Carlo!! And I didn't realize your dad had a moustache either, but I have to tell you, I think it is a stunning portrait, truly!

Carol said...

The mood in this portrait is great. You really know how to use your colors. Love that Joni Mitchell song, too.
Are you in Marge's class this weekend? I'm trying to paint all this week to get ready for those intimidating houses!

truerecord said...

You've got the essence of your Dad perfectly. And I admire mightily the washes and wet you've used; as usual, so comfortable and easy. And nobody has a better summer lament than Joni Michell.

Carrie H. said...

Nice job on the 'Rents'. I like all the soft edges combined with cast shadows. Good Stuff.

Jennifer Lawson said...

These are wonderful, Laura. I am looking forward to seeing the results of your class. Have fun!


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