I’m having company for dinner tonight but got the cooking done this morning and gave myself permission to paint this afternoon. We had a lovely snowfall on Tuesday and on Wednesday morning, I looked out at the nearby houses with snow on their rooves and the day dawning. One of the things I love about snow is how light it is compared to everything else, even when the light isn’t on it. So the pattern of snowy rooves was what excited me, along with the muted colors of the houses (white in shadow), and the bright colors of the tangerines. Filming this was useless, so I did a sketch. I’ve been wanting to work more from sketches anyway, in an attempt to achieve more style and fewer details. The bowl of tangerines and the pitcher were there. (John said I really should have had a cat where the pitcher is! But, alas, there is no longer a cat, and when there was, he never sat there.) I liked the flat dark shape of the pitcher and tried to balance it with the same dark purple under the bowl. I wasn’t trying for reality here, but more for shapes and interesting color, as well as a balance of color. I did the three chimneys in dark purple, then added some of the red orange on top. The distant house may be too bright. I found a Ludwig soft grayed violet and used it on the nearer houses, over shades of warm and cool greens. This may have dulled them too much? I put the tree in carefully, not wanting it to overwhelm, but it needed to be there. (The position and shape are completely different). The last thing I did was to add lines with a pastel pencil to indicate softly the divisions in the window (there aren’t any in real life, but it needed something!). The painting was done using direct application on gray Pastelbord. I find this the perfect surface for this type of immediate painting, where one doesn’t want to get into an underpainting. (It’s snowing again now, but no where near as pretty as it was on Tuesday.) For any of you who know my gallery, the bowl is Scottie Allen’s and the pitcher is Ann Leonard’s. They are original members of the gallery and wonderful women, so having both of their pieces in the same painting is fun, even if I didn’t render them very realistically!
It’s snowing here and I’m going to stay home and enjoy it. My gallery is giving a champagne and chocolate “private” party today, but I’m afraid the turnout won’t be good. We bought our Christmas tree this morning and will decorate it by the fire this afternoon instead. It’s December! I always have mixed feelings. I love the music, the lights, the spirit of the season. But there is so much to do, to buy, to eat, cards to write, presents to be bought. And NO time for art! I wake up at 4:00 am thinking about the projects I’d like to be working on, but they fade away as soon as the day begins. But I just “finished” this small painting that I began several weeks ago so I’d have something to share with you. We were in Johnstown, PA in mid-Nov. and it was foggy in the morning and I got some great pictures of the old iron works and other buildings in the fog. Want to do a series of 11 x 14 small towns and cities pictures, including the one of Frederick that I shared. But … I’m also keen to try out the square Fisher boards again, perhaps trying out some abstracted landscaps in advance of a workshop I’m giving in January in my studio. No time for that either. It’s no wonder why I LOVE January so much! People think I’m very strange to love January, but really, having guilt-free time to spend painting inside is one of the things that January brings us. We’re back to healthier diets and real work. But for now, it’s December and Christmas for many of us. John and I will be travelling to Massachusetts on the 20th, returing on the 27th to host New Year’s Eve gathering here. I look forward to being with friends and family this month and hope that many of you will also be doing the same. It’s good to take time out from a solid diet of art (I guess!). Happy Christmas, Happy Hannukah. Enjoy!