Thursday, October 24, 2013

Practice Makes Perfect

I was on Nantucket for a painting class almost four months ago. If you click on "Nantucket Adventure" above, you can read all about it. My professor always said that he was "addicted" to painting. He spent his two weeks on the island teaching us, getting his show ready and painting. He would spend a few evenings a week with the easel set up in his makeshift living room, painting by whatever light he could get. I actually think that one of the paintings he completed in his apartment, went into the show. I enjoyed a couple of evenings painting in the aprtment too... the screen door open, the sound of the locus, some music and solitude... I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to paint on Nantucket.

I realized when I got back just how "addicting" oil painting is. I've managed to make some time for myself here and there to keep painting.

I started with this "exercise" in glazing. I went to the library in September and the Children's room was buzzing with energy from the 10th anniversary of The Dot by Peter Reynolds. I LOVE that book and thought to myself that I could start with dot, like Vashti, and see where it it takes me. I added another layer of dots tonight and plan to keep going until a get some more depth, like water on a windshield at night.

This painting I have wanted to start since day one of my class on Nantucket. The first weekend we were there, before class officially started, a couple other girls and I went to the field station. We walked around the grounds in the fog and mist and tried to start something... anything. Before tracking the grass and mud in the field station, I took my sneakers off and left them on the front porch. Not knowing where to start with a painting, I was sitting in our little studio thinking, looking around. My sneakers caught my attention and I immediately went outside to photograph them.... Notice the name of my blog... I love my shoes. My students have come to know me as the teacher who wears Chucks. My photograph didn't really fit in to the theme of my work while on the island. Once I took the "plunge" getting back into painting with the dots, I figured now was as good as any time to try out my chucks painting. The original photo is on the right above. The straight lines and subtle value changes have proven to be a great and exciting challenge.

And finally, I have challenged myself to work teeny tiny compared to any other paintings I have done. The canvas above is only  5 x 7. All my other paintings have been at least 12 x 12. I have been working from the photo that is at the top of the second image. This inlet is called Black's Creek and on the other side of that sliver of land in the background is Quincy Bay. It's one of my favorite parts about living where I do; I am so close to the ocean that I can smell the tide... and see the Boston skyline.

Hopefully by Christmas I will finish!

P.s. the opening image is the view from my classroom window! How can I not be inspired when I get to look at that everyday!?

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