Spring Cleaning in the Studio was not as awful as I thought it would be. Finding more space for art books meant I had more room for all of that “little stuff”. And when I found more space for the “little stuff” I had fun arranging the items that inspire. My favorite new painting is a small watercolor of Camille Claudel that I painted a couple of weeks ago. The novelist and art critic Octave Mirbeau described her as “A revolt against nature: a woman genius”. Her early work is similar to Rodin’s in spirit, but shows an imagination and lyricism quite her own. Add to that a new asian inspired brush vase in a lovely green.
A fashion photo of a woman wearing a large hat (that was a work of art in itself) was my inspiration for this painting. She became this woman who is a version of her and after I completed the woman I started playing with her in relationship to other watercolors that I had done. It turned into a fun collage project.
Sometimes changing a completed painting can lead to serious trouble. I have done this in the past and the painting ends up being painted over or a throw away. Portrait of a Woman was originally a spontaneous painting using primary colors. It was a “painting moment” if you will and I was happy with the painting. But this week I decided to take the “wild side” out of “Portrait of a Woman” by changing her color palatte and face. You can see her before and after. Two very different looks. Definitely an exercise in learning something new.
A spontaneous painting in oil on canvas. This painting was painted over an old painting that I had struggled with an I simply wrote off as a “fail”. An exercise. Homework perhaps. When I started this I simply laid color in with a palatte knife. I discovered a wonderful yellow from the original painting and I worked from there. It became a glowing moon. And then the subject matter just came to me. I like the colors, I like the painterly feel of this piece.