Dozer Dog Done

No matter how many times I photograph this and play with the image settings, the hues on the right side of the face come out stronger (brighter) than they really are.  Gr.  Once it dries and I can move it around more easily to shoot in different lighting, I will repost with a more accurate image.

For now, I’m just happy that Dozer is done.  I did enjoy painting him, and found that I did about 80% of it upside-down. Although I’m always turning the canvas on the easel to get a better angle on the area that I’m painting (and this canvas is almost as tall as I am), Dozer just always seemed to be upside-down.  I like that, by removing the “image” from the brain’s interpretation, I’m working purely on lines and proportions and colors, not ears and nostrils and eyes.

Dozer almost done

Oops. I owe Rupert an ice cream.  I did paint for a couple of hours yesterday, but then kept painting…  and painting.  Guess I finally just hit the groove with this one.  [Yea!]  Just need to do the nose and then finish up with highlights and other little details.

It’s funny how paintings evolve.  Though rare, I’ve had one or two  spill out over the course of a week.  Others, I find myself trying to draw out of the canvas (ironic that the word draw has these two meanings?), spending an hour here, an hour there, mixing paint and staring at the canvas and dabbing and blending and undoing and making faces.  I always try to invoke the personality of the subject (er, not literally) while working on them, and maybe Dozer is just that slow-pokey kind of guy…

…and this why I will never set fees based on number of hours worked!

the fireground

So, I haven’t been painting, lately.

Gearing up for Somerville Open Studios, I was so happy to have finally gotten into the groove of painting all of the time.  Almost every night, I would make a pot of tea, turn on the lamp at my easel, and throw some paint on the canvas.

A month ago, my father died.  It was somewhat unexpected – the speed of it, I mean.   I thought for sure that there would be just a little more time.

My father was probably my greatest supporter, as a painter.  When I was a teenager, he asked me to paint a fire scene for him.  He was a Deputy Fire Chief  (eventually being a Chief, as did his own father), and he loved firefighting like nothing else. It was he who instilled in me the belief that you need to do what you love, and exemplified that ideal.  I do regret that it took me so long to find the courage to do it, myself, and I wish that he could have seen my work exhibited in the cafe.

Anyway, I was dragging my feet on this painting.  I was a young teenager and it was summer and I suppose I was being lazy.  He would occasionally ask how it was coming along.  Never pushing; just gently nudging.  I continued to work at a snail’s pace, preferring to spend my days lounging in the sun or reading or whatever it was that young teenaged girls did to wile away their time in the summer instead of being more productive. I suppose the basis of that avoidance was really the fear that it wouldn’t be good enough.

I did finish it, finally.  Even if it was truly horrible, he still would have thought that it was a great painting.  He had it framed and hung it in his office at the Fire Academy. In his later years, he kept it in his man-room at home.  Now, visiting my mother on weekends, his room is so empty.  But the painting glares out at me.

I have a commission to do, on which I’ve been dragging my feet.  This week, it will be good to get back into the habit of making a pot of tea, turning on the lamp at my easel, and throwing some paint on the canvas…

Silly Cece in Sepia

I wanted to finish one more painting for Somerville Open Studios last weekend, and figured I could use a different, messier approach with the paint, and – oh, just whip this up on Friday night.  I was delusional.

It was a reminder that we have styles all our own and my style is not something I can just switch around, like a color (like sepia, here!).  Rrrrrgh.

Still have lots to do (eye creases, lashes, and brows; forehead and hair), but will finish tonight.  Really!

I’ll practice my faster, messier painting another time…