It is easy to forget how much I enjoy painting when I get distracted with other activities. The holidays came and brought good reason to focus on other things. And perhaps before that, I had reason to work on other projects and life issues as well. Although I kept sketching throughout the year, I put up the paints and brushes for a bit of time longer than I usually do.
This week I decided that I would bring out the oils and paint. So rolling out my paint box, I showed up at the Markos Group determined to get the oils out. The sketch pads remained in the car.
You’ll remember that two weeks ago I sketched this model with conté on paper. I got a half figure featuring her face and blouse. This week I wanted to focus on the face and see how much I could do in the two hour session I planned to spend at the studio.
It was like putting on an old glove. Everything fit just right. I prepped my canvas, drew the outline, blocked with darks and lights, made a couple of corrections and added more color.
This day I took more creative liberties than I usually do in these sessions. I used the model as inspiration for a more expressive painting than focusing on pursuing a likeness.
The feel of the paint as I modeled the features was delightful. I played with simple texture and focused on creating an impression of color with efficient strokes to give it shape.
My fellow studio mates recognize my style. We all typically recognize and acknowledge each other’s work as our own finger print. My work is familiar to them. It is more obvious, particularly since I haven’t been painting with the group in a while.
At the easel, it is just me at work but my studio-mates see a canvas with characteristically strong and dramatic use of stroke and color. David, one of my friends has always been impressed by my use of the color red. One of his typical comments is, “that painting could use a little more red”. So this week, after an extended sojourn from the group, when I was busy focusing on my canvas, I distractedly heard David’s dry humor remark and I looked at the painting to see if I agreed with his comment. Then with a grin I realized, it was just David and his self confessed “fear” of red.
I had missed the paint from my palette and so had they.