Fresh Paint
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Canvas Tree(s)

Out at the forest preserve all day yesterday working on a big (for me -- 24 x 30 inches) canvas. It took awhile, but I managed to find the only red tree in the entire place just so I could slaughter it in paint. It looks clunky at the moment, not elegant.

This is an awkward painting for a couple of reasons. First, as painters know, is hard to paint complements when you're working wet into wet -- things gray down too much -- like the weeds at the front of the painting, not all of which is oil glare.

Second, I painted this standing at the easel. Usually when I paint outdoors I lazily sit down. This may be why the painting looks a bit chaotic right now.

Third, I've been painting single objects (cars and boats) with only vaguely blocked in backgrounds lately. I know, stupid excuse.

Fourth, I didn't know what I was painting until I got home.

Fifth, I stepped on an entire tube of alizarin crimson. Scooped it up with a leaf and threw it in the easel, but not before getting it EVERYWHERE. If you see a reddish deer wandering down the street, you'll know where it came from. (I assume it was alizarin crimson. The label is in Russian, a present from my model/painter friend Marina. If I ask her what color it really is, she'll tell me the Russian name for the pigment, which will get me nowhere.)

So I present this to you for what it is at the moment. I need to ungray some of the colors and wash my brushes thoroughly. Good thing it's supposed to be gray and dreary for the next few days.

Finally, sixth: I painted it over an old figure painting. If you look carefully you may see a penis somewhere in the trees.

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