These are the three little paintings I managed to finish for the three little girls - there is a surprising amount of work in them, but I ended up being quite pleased with them. I very rarely do such semi-realistic flowers but somehow the fact that they were meant for three little very adorable four year old girls - who love pink - seemed to require that. What kind of flowers are they? I have no idea except that an image of either roses or peonies played in my head, so that is the closest I can get - they are entirely imaginary.
I ran hopelessly out of time and was unable to produce new paintings for the three boys but was fortunate enough to have three of the little turquoise abstracts from November - and they were just perfect. In fact I showed one of them to my youngest grandson (age seven) a few weeks before Christmas and he was quite impressed with it and in fact said - totally without prompting - that he would really like to have one like that for his room! He is a very honest and thoughtful little guy and there is no doubt that he meant it.
Looking back I am very glad that I did this as this is something that they will have and - hopefully cherish as they get older - for years to come. I had a little extra thing for them that totally disappeared in an orgy of gift opening - it was actually hilarious - and their parents will sort everything out and organize things in a sensible way in the days to come. Their parents were very pleased with the paintings and my son-in-law actually said, that he wished that he had something like this that HIS grandmother had given him when he was a kid - something to remember her by.
And now Christmas is over with all the family get-together as well as the lovely traditional foods and stuff, and I can say that I really enjoyed it, but that I have needed a few days to recover! All this activity leaves me exhausted - and now I am looking forward to picking up my brushes and paints and getting back into the quiet of the studio again - with my favourite music playing softly. Bliss!
I'm very happy to say that this painting is finally finished and that I am very pleased with it! It is 30" x 30" and it belongs with my other Boundary Bay Paintings: "#23" - it can be seen in a larger format under the Boundary Bay Series.
My next project is now under way - and in high time, too, as it consists of six little 8" x 8" paintings that I am planning to use as Christmas gifts to my five little grandchildren (3 boys and 2 girls) and their cousin. They are all from nine to four years of age and I'm wondering what they will think of them? But I started thinking that there was no point in buying them anymore toys, books or clothing as they already have absolutely everything - and then some - and maybe they won't really appreciate the paintings right now, but I hope that they will later on and will then use them to enjoy and to start their own collections of original art! The idea is to get to them when they are young and impressionable!
Well, so much for that - I should have known that it wouldn't be that easy!! It rarely is, but one always hopes. I lost my way well and proper, but luckily I think that I've found it again - one good thing about going down the wrong track is that it will show you what you should NOT do; and thereby indicating what you should have done.
Anyway, thanks to the photos I took of the earlier stages I was able to see what the problem was: I lost the light - so back to work and now two days later I think that it is starting to look promising again. And the new extra layers are actually an improvement, adding to the depth of color as well as building texture. Now I just hope that I can keep to the straight and narrow and not loose it again!
The second session is now down and I am starting to get excited about it! I have the feeling that it will work out quite well and the charcoal lines are ready for the next session - this is already underway and I'm still happy with it; I think this will bring it to the level where all the major parts are settled and the rest will be detail work: value adjustments, finishing edges and adding touches of this and that to make it the best that it can be, to bring it "home". This last part can actually take quite a while as it requires a lot of contemplation and trying out things that may or may not work - but it is also quite enjoyable as I don't worry so much about composition and structure anymore.
Here is the very first early stage of my next painting - it has been careening around in my head for at least a week - and is really only an under painting that will change many times as I go along. At this stage I start with just a few colors and work mainly at trying to find a light/dark balance without thinking much about it. I usually don't do any preliminary sketches as I find that they limit my freedom of expression - and as I change things around so many times anyway I don't see the point - but I generally have a subject and a color range in mind. The next day I used charcoal to start picking out some initial lines/shapes that will serve as a starting guide for my next session. Right now I feel quite encouraged and think that it may have some potential, but the next session will be crucial: it will either find its way fairly smoothly - or I will loose my way or it will be a long struggle. So I need a few days of free time to work consistently on it - and that is not easy to find at this time of year! And I also have to work up a little courage for the next step: it will be very easy to loose the good parts in it. Hopefully I won't and from then on it should be easier. I will post updates as I go along.