The last two weeks have been fairly productive: I finished this painting this morning and have two more on the go. Here is a shot from the beginning in the studio when the three canvasses have just been blocked in:
The long thin one on the easel is finished and the other two are well on their way. One of them is an abstract and I'm quite excited about it - it looks very promising right now, so the challenge becomes how to continue working on it without destroying it, easier said than done.
But the other one is a different story and I shake my head and wonder what in God's name made me decide to take this on? It is an image of a Snowy owl - I have always been fascinated by owls and spent many hours as a child exploring the forest floor looking for owl pellets to add to my collection of birds' nests and eggs as well as all kinds of other things that one could find relating to wildlife.
It was the Estuary theme and the memory of the sheer number of snowy owls that came down for the winter about two years ago in search of food - it was amazing to see them sitting on the driftwood, stumps or other objects in plain sight during the day. So it is basically a study of a snowy owl, but made difficult by the fact that I don't have a snowy owl on hand to study!!! I couldn't get close enough (one is not supposed to disturb them - nor would I want to) and I don't have a powerful zoom lens on my camera so I have had to rely on other peoples photos as well as my own memory and general knowledge of birds, incl. owls - and that never works as well. So I'm having all kinds of trouble, especially the eyes - I never got close enough to see tem clearly - I know what they are like, but I would like to get a typical "owl-expression" in them if that is possible??? And photos flatten everything ------------------------------ and I don't like it!!! I doubt if any zoos around will have snowy owls on display?
Below is a quick very basic sketch as well as the painting as it is now - I need to do something more about the eyes in the hope of finally getting a result that I can accept - if that is at all possible. We will see! Or I may give up and do something more abstract with it - we will see.
I will post the result later - as well as the other work in progress as I go along!
The last few weeks have been a time to catch up with a lot of projects that have been on the back burner for far too long as well as dealing with some medical issues that unfortunately will not go away, but can be managed - they are not new but until this Winter I have almost been getting away with simply ignoring them. It has become obvious that that will no longer work and that has been a little hard to accept --------- but there is little choice, So There!
Most of the projects (even the odious tax return - almost!) are now done with only little pieces left to do as time allows; but it has also been a time to step back and reflect on my work and what changes I will have to make in the way I have been working for the last 7 years or so: no more placing the canvas on the floor and bending over while walking around it, which is the way I prefer to work as it works best for me - I feel that I can be freer that way. I will have to get used to using an easel/ table/ wall - horror of horrors - and even worse: try to learn to paint sitting down, at least some of the time - and that will be the most difficult.
Another consideration is, if I am happy with the work itself and whether a change is needed there as well? The last few years have been a period of trying out different ways and by doing that kind of experimentation, I do think that I more or less have found out which way to go, so we will see how that works ---------- one thing is certain: that it will continue to develop and grow - so I don't really know what the result will be, except that it will continue to change somewhat.
The two paintings above were done about three years ago and are some of my favourites - they have both flown the coop - as have most of the others in that series, but it has been good to look back. Looking back and taking stock is always of benefit, as is looking at other artists' work, either On Line, in art magazines or in galleries or shows - I think that it is important not to work in isolation for too long, and as I have had to leave the Fort Gallery due to the long drives and the work needed to be part of this great little artists' co-operative, it is something to pay attention to now. But I will sorely miss the gallery and the feeling of being part of a group with similar interests and working together towards a common goal - not to mention the individual artists doing great work that I respect and feel inspired by.
Now hopefully things are looking up and I have just started work on three canvases of medium size, so I'm all excited and it will be SO good to be back in the studio again.