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It’s never where I want it

My first week back at the Art Students League and although I returned with a locker’s full of supplies, I still managed to forget a key paint color (or two). Now, back at home getting ready for a two week vacation to Sicily (getting Covid tests, deciding what to pack, packing, throwing out stuff I’d forgotten I had), I was getting twitchy because I wasn’t painting. All my stuff was at the League. Somehow, it’s never where I want it.

Except of course, for the tubes of paint and palette knives I’d left at home. Oh, and among the things I’d forgotten I had were some 4×6 and 5×7 blank cards left over from a long ago printer. Well, waste not want not. I decided to use what I had.

Three little minis later …

Gold 4×6 Acrylic on cardstock

Storm Song 5×7 Acrylic on cardstock

By now you’re starting to figure out what tubes of paint I had left at home …

Returning Sun 5×7 Acrylic on cardstock

Maybe waste not want not isn’t such a bad idea. And who says everything always has to be where you want it?

There’s really good news

There’s good news. Not only did our massive rainfall only last one day, not only did the flooding in our basement only come from ground run-off (not the City sewer system), not only were our elevators out for less than one day… There’s really good news: the Art Students League re-opens next week for Fall classes (Yay!), AND I’m back to painting on raw canvas (for awhile stretched raw canvas was hard to come by).

Of course, nothing is ever perfect, and it turns out that I had forgotten some hard fought lessons about how to paint on raw canvas. Basic lessons like always check the jar is tightly closed before shaking it up to thoroughly blend the paint and water mixture (mistakes are excrutiatingly hard to correct on raw canvas). Basic lessons like keep your canvas horizontal until the paint is completely dry (unless you DO want those drips).

I’d expected to have to remind myself how much water to use, how long to let it dry before adding the paint for wet-in-wet, and what to do when you do make a mistake. Ah well, if this were easy, anyone could do it.

So here are the two paintings…

Peaceful 16×20 Acrylic on raw canvas

Painting Peaceful was anything but peaceful. I propped what I thought was the final version on my easel to take a photograph, and then forgot that it was still wet. Hours later I had two dark blue drips that took many, many efforts to fix. And, of course, every time I looked at the latest version, something else had to be adjusted. But the end result does look peaceful and reminds me a lot of my early childhood winters in Canada. Whew!

Flying High VI 16×20 Acrylic on raw canvas

Whenever I used to get on a plane, I’d try to take pictures of the clouds out the window. A few years ago I did a series of paintings of those clouds. This is the latest one. Unfortunately I ended up with a decent sized drop of Ultramarine Blue right where it didn’t belong. Blotting it up didn’t work, of course. And just painting over it was doomed to fail, though I did try. A thin layer of matte medium and then more paint did the trick, though I’m making it sound far simpler than it was.

But all’s well that end well, and next week I’ll be back at the League painting on raw canvas. That’s the really good news.

Not Flying High

Just as I was about to feel good about dodging another climate change bullet, a major storm hit our area: tornado warning, thunder and lightning, rain and wind buffeting our windows. AND, we just found out that for the second time in two months the city’s sewer system backed up, we have flooding in the basement and we have no elevator service (I am on the 16th floor). So, even though I just finished a painting (Flying High VI), we are decidedly NOT flying high. A once in 100 years massive rainfall in a very short time frame just hit us again.

There IS actually some good news: we don’t live in Louisiana (Hurricane Ida); we still have electricity; the new flooring (to replace what was damaged in the July flooding) has not yet been installed; and all my paintings had already been brought upstairs, so I won’t have any more damaged by the water. Yay!

So, just for the hell of it, here is my painting.

Flying High VI Acrylic on raw canvas 16×20

I’m glad I finished this painting today before the storm arrived. Otherwise it might have looked much different.