I have several oil paintings in process and they’re reminding me how much fun studio work can be. I confess, when I paint I can listen to the same music over and over (sometimes even a song on repeat if I’m really into it) and lately it’s been the White Stripes and Jack White’s band The Raconteurs. They’ve been my driving beats to a new painting that I’ve just started: a 5 foot by 3 ft tabular iceberg from Antarctica. I’m quite excited. It’s the largest I’ve ever worked. The past week I developed my composition and yesterday I gridded out my canvas and sketched in the underpainting. It’s such fun working big. The act of painting is uses my whole body and I love scrubbing and working colors on the canvas. I generally do my underpaintings in complementary colors to the final composition (complements are opposite each other on the color wheel: for example, blue and orange) and enjoy how neon and vibrant the colors can be. Ideally my underpainting will contribute to a unified light of my piece. We’ll see! Right now the pieces is vibrant with orange, cool yellows, and blue green shadows. I’m leaving the canvas to dry for a few days before I add any more paint.
Another painting I’m excited about is an image from Mt. Baker for my North Cascades portfolio. I’m exploring the shapes of rock and ice (I love how abstract they can become) and today painted a small 6” x 6” study and prepared the 24” x 24” board surface I plan to paint the final on. With the study, I did an acrylic red/magenta underpainting and then took about 30 minutes to sketch it out. I used a timer which added incentive to work quickly and find the big ideas.
I’m planning to focus on these paintings others for the next few weeks and will post updates of how they develop!