Saturday, January 30, 2010

back and forward

(2x3 ATC)
It's hard to believe I've been back from our trip to the British Virgin Islands for nearly a month. I've hardly had any time to paint, catching up on work I left unfinished and then spending several days in the hospital (nothing serious) and having to catch up again. I checked in to the hospital exactly one month after turning 50: I'm falling apart right on schedule.
Anyway, we had a great trip: lots of sailing and snorkeling, eating and drinking.
On our first full day out I got stung in the face by a jellyfish! I had huge red welts and my lips swelled to twice their size; it took a few hours and many applications of alcohol-based hand sanitizer, but I started to look normal by dinnertime.
I'm sorry to report that the ATC above is the only painting I did on the trip, and that quickly when my shipmates, Peter, Dave and Jan, went off snorkeling (they came right back because the current was too strong): there wasn't much room in the cockpit for painting, and somehow I just never made the time.
When we go back in April, with Mike and Lisa, we'll be chartering a catamaran, which has a much more spacious cockpit, so I hope to paint then. In the meantime I have my photos ...

...And my plan to start preparing for the Charles Reid workshop I'll be taking with my friend Shelby in September. I've pulled out all my CR books--I have six--to leaf through. Since I seem to have been having a hard time getting back to a regular schedule of painting, I'm going to try to work my way back by doing contour drawings: Reid really emphasizes them and I like the possibility of getting something surprising.
The painting below is based on an exercise on p. 46 of Painting What You Want to See. A contour drawing of a simple still life that was supposed to be painted in flat poster-like washes; I didn't really manage that, but since I think the point was just to get comfortable using strong color without fussing, I'm satisfied with it.

(8x11 Kilimanjaro)

There's a beautiful snow-globe-like snow falling, and accumulating. I look forward to being snowed in, making soup and painting.
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