Vacationland (detail)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Finishing up a painting, especially a big one, sometimes drags on for quite a while. Add to my usual difficulty putting a piece to rest, a stint at jury duty and all the business of summer in Maine and....well, you get the idea. I'm just now finishing the piece for which I did that the greenish study of my son from my last post. I did stick to a very limited palette, though I did not paint over a greenish tinted ground color. (Though I do have another painting on the docket that will hopefully explore the gray/greens more fully). There have been times with this limited palette that I've been about to scream; for example, there's no blue pigment, so the best I can do is mix violet with chrome green and bit of white. It's surprising how blue that mixture actually looks, but I've had to be very strict about not just squeezing out a bit of cobalt blue. If I were to open up the blue range of tones within this already tightly controled color arrangement, the whole painting would crash.

This painting has been more of a narrative meander than I usually allow myself. The initial idea was based on the feeling that this winter had been endless.  I had envisioned one of my sons cutting out paper snowflakes and covering the floor and the model?/babysitter?/mother? with them.  Life intervened, and so one afternoon a few weeks ago I was busy making a wizard hat for my younger son, when I knew I just had to put him and the hat in the painting.  Corin can occasionally be a very inspired, obsessive organizer, so when I suggested that he bring some of his toys to sit with him while he posed, he brought all his stuffed animals and a huge pile of other things along. He arranged his animals (aka the Codys) such that they looked like a mini-audience for whatever was going on --which seemed about perfect to me.
The painting is just about done and the frame is in progress. I don't have a title yet, but here's a 98% finished view.....

36 x 48 inches, oil on linen