As long as I still own a painting, I will return to it and try to improve what I don’t like. I almost completely repainted the head of Bust of a Girl on a Red Chair (see June 5). I also repainted parts of the plate on Soile’s Sinful Chocolate Cake. Here are the results.
I’m working on a large piece right now, a scene inspired by Phantom of the Opera, and actually the most ambitious composition I’ve ever tried. It’s taken two photo-sessions with three models and my so much more camera-savvy photographer friend, Jesse, (who is also possessed of a great eye for emotional nuance and a good picture story), the purchase of a large mirror, the borrowing of a wonderful black-velvet and pearl encrusted dress, an encounter with a Photo Nazi at Walmart which almost caused me to burst a blood-vessel keeping my temper and remedied jointly by a much more rational employee at Walgreens and a vodka tonic to complete the cool down, a lot of consideration over which photos to use as reference and an entire day of drawing and composing the figures to fit the canvas (24×36). I’m about ready to start laying on paint.
…However, the Fall Art Tour, a three day event where hundreds of people — I hope (!) considering the economy — flood the community every year and visit the studios of working artists, is only 2 1/2 weeks away. The sixty hours or so I may need to complete the painting is entirely hypothetical at this point. My loving, duck-hunting hubbie is waiting for me to join him in Eagle River at our cabin for our yearly vacation. I’m trying to figure out how I can transport a large enough easel and lighting equipment to keep painting and be on vacation at the same time. Meantime my car is unfit to drive. Whatever it is that makes the back wheels respond to steering is broken. It will hopefully be repaired by tomorrow.
The Fall Art Tour is my big art event for the year and if the Phantom project even semi-makes it, it will probably be sporting a sign cautioning, “WET PAINT!”
Here’s a poem by Emily Dickinson that expresses (pretty well) what it’s like to be “my” Brain lately:
I felt a cleavage in my mind
As if my brain had split;
I tried to match it, seam by seam,
But could not make them fit.
The thought behind I strove to join
Unto the thought before,
But sequence raveled out of reach
Like balls upon a floor.
Bust of a Girl on a Red Chair, oil on canvas, 12×16, Private Collection
Soile’s Sinful Chocolate Cake, oil on canvas, 5×7, Sold