Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Fireside Chat

I don't know about where you live, but today was a nasty one.  A cold, angry rain has been falling almost all day.  Tough day to warm the old studio.  I have windows on three of the four walls, which on a sunny day can be tough with all the light pinging around, but on cloudy days like today, I miss the solar heat.  To make it worse, while the window panes are really cool, being old wavy glass and all, they are very drafty.  You can't keep a candle lit next to one of those bad boys.  But, I'm nice and toasty now.  Champ and I are sitting next to a roaring fire in my old-fashioned parlor stove.  Well, I shouldn't say old-fashioned.  When it was new, it was the fashion.

I have alluded to the painting I have been working on in a few posts, but I have yet to show anything about it, so I thought I'd update you on its status.  You may recall, it's rather large, coming in at 3 feet by 4 feet.  After doing a few hundred 11X14's and 14X18's, that's huge to me.  I also wanted to see if taking my time can make a noticeable difference in the outcome.

This is it drawn out in pencil on the canvas.  From here, I went over the lines with ink.  Sounds crazy, but I didn't want to lose the drawing when I washed the paint over it.  On smaller pieces I spray charcoal fixative, then I give it a spray of retouch varnish.  This was too big for that method.  Remember, my concept was a sunrise in the back, work in the foreground.  Kind of like a lobsterman mullet:  Business up front, party in the back!  But I digress...

                    So, that's me posing above.  Below is the painted version of my pose.

Tons of work left to do on the boat, sky, various objects-- you name it, and this part isn't done, either.  I have to keep focused on just the part of the painting I'm doing, and not get overwhelmed by how much I have left, or I'll stress-out!

Here's a close-up of that figure, so far:

The background under painting is really just to remind me of what I want to do later.  I am also using a combo of knife and brush for the entire painting.  It seems that for several paintings, though, my initial attempts have been lousy, and I've had to struggle to get what I had originally envisioned.  I think that's one of the reasons I like to work fast.  I simply don't want to forget what I was doing!  Now, I know there are tons of painters who like to let the spirit move them as they paint, and just see what happens.  I'm not one of them.  I get enough of that in my golf:  I go where the ball leads me.  I don't "hit and hope" when it comes to my painting.  I work toward a pre-determined end result.

Well, the beauty about tomorrow is that it promises to be a better day.  My studio should warm up nicely, and I'll continue to peck away at this piece.  But for now, it's time to put another log on the fire.


martinealison said...

Yes kevin you must put another log on the fire if you wanted me to come to visit you, because i'm a chilly woman!!!
I like the painting you're creating... The atmosphere of this hard work... (i think your dog would like to be in the staging... but when i look at the photo i see it likes the heat of the stove!)
I hope to see this painting soon finished... Thank you to show the evolotion of its.

Susan Roux said...

So sorry to say the weather isn't much better than yesterday today... Still more rain, but predicted warmer temperatures. Hopefully you can get your studio warm. I was wondering about that. It must be a problem in the winter. Do you ever have to move your easel indoors?

Your painting is off to a very good start. Good luck keeping your focus!

Kevin Mizner said...

Hi Martine-alison, yes, it was a good day to warm up by the fire, and if you're ever in Pittston, I'll put another log on for you. I hope to show this painting when it's done-- if I can get it done in my lifetime!

Kevin Mizner said...

Yeah, Susan another rainy day. Darn! It's not tough heating the studio up. By noon it's nice and toasty! But I only have last winter to go by, and you know it wasn't much at all. We'll see about this year...