Friday, September 21, 2012

My Left Foot

Thoughts while wearing a disco shoe...

OK, I had some elective surgery a couple of weeks ago on my left foot.  If you are like me and was thinking that removing the knotty little lump that was just under the skin on my instep would be like taking out a small mole; no big deal, then just like me--

You'd be sadly mistaken.

Two weeks of crutches, hobbling and limping had my body an aching mess.  If, like I, you thought it would be easy to come on down to the studio and get to work--

You'd be sadly mistaken.

Nothing proves how much I walk around when I draw and paint than sitting in one spot and trying it with my foot propped up.

I'm almost 100% better now.  My body is still a mess-- that's per usual-- but I can at least walk and stand when I work.  Who knew that a foot operation would be such a pain in the ass!

I have some paintings hanging in a lovely gallery in South Thomaston, Maine named Art Of The Sea.  The gallery is home to some spectacular marine artists, and they are having a show of marine paintings.  I didn't get a chance to make the opening reception a few weeks ago, but recently Ellen and I made the trip to that pretty, quiet coastal town to check it out.  To my utter delight, I have three pieces hanging right next to a John Stobard original!  Mr. Stobard is the dean of maritime painting, and I have been a huge fan of his for twenty years.  His work is in museums and collections around the world.  I had a chance to meet him last year at the gallery reception.  He was surrounded by painters like me, who were in awe of him.  I chickened out, and didn't go up to him.  What was I going to say that he hadn't already heard?  "Hi, I'm a fan, and I can't paint anywhere near as good as you."?

You know, maybe it's a double-edged sword to hang next to such a great artist: On one hand, people viewing his work might notice mine.  Cool!  On the other hand, people looking at his spectacular painting might not even give my stuff a passing glance.

Whatever-- At least I noticed!

These are two of mine hanging next to Stobard:

I'm currently working on a commission of two paintings.  Now, some painters will tell you that they don't like to do them because of the fear that commissions stifle artistic creativity.  I, on the other hand, usually enjoy them because, first-- I don't do them if I can't use some creativity, and second-- they give me a chance to paint something I might otherwise not have done.

The paintings are to hang together as a left and right thing, but should also be able to stand on their own. 

Here they are with the underdrawing showing on the panel, to give you an idea:

The fun with this commission is I'm painting them simultaneously to keep the same feel and color of the scenes.

The hard part with this commission is that I'm trying to paint them both simultaneously to keep the same feel and colors.

I've said it before:  Inspiration comes from the strangest of places.  Our local church has great yard sales.  Along with moldy books and stained sweaters, they usually have interesting stuff.  Last year I picked up an old chair, thinking I could use it as a prop some day.  This year, Ellen's son Luke was staying with us, and I thought it would be fun to take a break from landscapes and such and do a portrait.  So, I put him in that old chair.

 Here is the painting, Luke:

Now, Luke's a nice guy and all, but I really wanted to paint that chair!  I set it up and painted it from life, as I did with his shirt.  I dressed a mannequin to do that:

Yeah, it's a dress-maker's mannequin.  I had to be sure I didn't give Luke too much cleavage...

Boy, the season sure has changed here in Maine!  It's that time of the year when I need to run the heater in the morning to warm the studio up, and the A/C in the afternoon to cool it down.  Oh well, before too long I'll be shoveling a path through the snow to get down here to the studio.

 I have a feeling it will remind me of surgery on my left foot...


1 comment:

Susan Roux said...

Hi Kevin,

Happy to hear you're up and running again, well maybe not quite running, but... Your painting of the boats at sunset/sunrise? is really nice. I'm sure they were noticed at the exhibition.

Nice diptych. It's fun to do two together, but a big commitment. Somedays you're stuck at the easel for much longer than you'd like because you're dealing with a large area and it has to match on both canvases. The day I did the background on my girl diptychs on 28x22" canvases was a very long day...

Keep up the great work!