I had several subjects for this painting, some were planned for a long time. But that one evening, right before I was to start a new board, Lou decided to make an omelette and as we know – you cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs :). He threw the eggshells into the sink. When I picked them up to toss them into trash I marveled at how perfect they were. Out of the window went my planned compositions, I couldn’t sleep that night waiting for that morning light to hit my precious eggshells.
Now that this one is finished I am taking a much deserved break. The house got overtaken by entropy while I painted, I abandoned my sketches, a portrait promised to a friend is still in pencil… I am going to be busy doing all that :).
And then I am planning something new :)! Stay tuned!
The second painting for the second show I am painting for. This one in California.
But let me tell you a story. I have this church down the block, I am sure many of you have heard of it by now. Every year they have a rummage sale, and every year I go to hunt for props, and every time I hunt I score. A winning proposition :).
This year I went again and found a basket-full of mismachted bone china, bent silver spoons, a large shell with an ocean sound inside, and a set of 16 prints by Toulouse-Lautrec. Every object was a dollar or two. The fun started at earnest when I went to pay for my loot. The nice elderly gentleman was a singularly wrong person to manage the cash box! He decided to do the sums in his head and kept making mistakes in my favor. By the time he had 9, I had 11 and corrected him… by the time he had 14, I had 16 and corrected him again. All the while he wanted to talk about Lautrec, American realism, painting in general, and modeling for life sessions. In the end he got 18. I no longer believed him and gave him 20 – God bless!!
Here I have for you the three cups from the rummage sale… Plus the two dollars difference in our sums.
This was supposed to be the last of the three paintings for the Buck County gallery show. After this one the plan was to relax, go sketching, catch up with planning the USk Chicago Seminar, maybe do laundry… But while I painted it I heard from Randy Higbee about his spectacular 6″ Squared Show in December. I managed to miss it last year and promised myself to make sure to be in it this year. And so I need two more paintings to make it into two different shows. Pressure! Stress! Deadlines! I thought I left that kind of stuff behind when I left the corporate rat race – LOL!
I am rather pleased with this painting. The idea occurred to me in early summer, when Rainer cherries were in season. I composed my setup, but wasn’t sure of it. So I sketched it first and showed the sketch to my Sketckpack buddies. They liked it. With that I felt better and painted it :).
So many things were happening in the last weeks that I nearly forgot I had a few more sketches from Every Day in August project! These are from around my neighborhood – Edgewater.
The little red tractor-beachcomber is busy combing our beach every morning along with two others – one blue and one green. It makes a nice summery buzz-buzz-clankedy-clunk noise to wake up to.
Our beach looks just like Miami with these ultramarine umbrellas. We call this area Michigan Riviera in summer. You don’t want to know what I call it in winter.
In Chicago we only get two seasons – Winter and Construction. It is Construction now, I had a choice of three different backhoes within 2 blocks of my building.
And then the project came to an end. Here’s the whole concertina pack – 31 sketches – just before it got into the mail to go to Cape Town. I already heard from South Africa that it arrived (whew!) and is being installed in the exhibition.
The earlier sketches can be seen under these links:
The second painting for Buck County 6 x 6 show later this fall. Two down – one more to paint. I had fun with new textures I had to play with – leather, suede and velvet.
Being curious I Googled John McCormack and The Trumpeter and to my delight found a recording – from a vinyl – of John McCormack singing The Trumpeter in 1915 – 98 years ago. It is so good – it gives me goosebumps!
Here are a few more sketches for the wonderful Sketchpack Project 2013 out of Capetown, South Africa. The first three are fun classic cars from a classic cars show we stumbled upon in Stockholm – an MG, a Ford, and a Buick. And a delightful garland of kids I caught walking down my street a few months back. I let myself use my Artistic License painting their clothes, and had to nearly completely invent the leading boy because he walked out of the frame while I fumbled with my camera :).
The earlier sketches can be seen under these links:
The next 6 sketches for the wonderful Sketchpack Project 2013 out of Capetown, South Africa. The first 6 can be seen here – Every Day in August.
We have a Facebook group for members of this project where we post our daily sketches and chat away about sketches and everything else. It is quite amazing to say this – but I seem to have a few new friends in Capetown and Johannesburg area. Some even invited me to visit – an amazing feat considering the distance – 8494 miles - and amount of jet fuel needed to get there from Chicago. But you never know… if there is a will – there is a way!
It seems that every realist painter worth his or her salt paints eggs at some point. It is almost like a rite of passage. Can I or can I not?!… I noticed this phenomena some time ago and knew that I too would have to paint eggs sometime.
And now I have. It was damned hard, just as expected. They have to be perfect, I discovered, and curve perfectly in the light or they will not look like real eggs – and that’s the whole point!
Eggs are an excellent assessment of one’s current skill as a realist painter. I know I will paint eggs again in the future – to see my progress if nothing else.
I was invited to participate in The Sketchpack Project 2013. My friend Di Metcalf from Cape Town, South Africa organized it. I got sent an accordion sketchpack and am doing a drawing a day, every day for the month of August. The sheets are really small – 4″x3.3″ (10 x 8 cm), so the sketches do not take a lot of time. I do them in the evenings, after I finish painting and teaching.
I decided to use this opportunity of daily sketching to try out ideas for future paintings. I have a list of ideas, let’s see how they look as images. When the month of August is over and the sketches are finished, the sketchpack will fly back to Cape Town and will participate in a show.
Above are six sketches from the first week. I will be adding more when I have time.