Monday, January 24, 2011

Birthing Pains

I got to my studio today to find that a fire had broken out in Glen Leven, the historic mansion where my plein-air painting group had planned to meet this weekend. The living quarters in the back of the house were damaged, but the rest of the place will be all right. Thank Heaven for that! The news stations made it sound like the place had burned to the ground. Grr!!

Much of my work time was distracted by that, but the main reason I didn't get any painting done today (and I didn't, and here is the excuse) was that none of the florists in town are carrying Monstera leaves this week! In fact, they really aren't carrying tropical greens or flowers at all. They're involved in forcing branches just now. How can I be so totally out of step? Honestly.

So here are some creative possibilities: forget my perforated-leaf and perforated-vase theme; forget my tropical theme; paint this picture when the leaves come in, and paint something else for now; go to the botanic garden and do drawings of tropical leaves and use those. Why not just use photos of tropical leaves? Because I need to have a mental understanding of how light falls on the structure of the leaves. Once I get that, I could refer back to photos. But for the painting to look real, I must actually study the real leaves.

Which of these options will I choose? I don't even know just now. In the morning, with the light on my vases again, I will have a better feel for it. You know... we do try to be businesslike and professional, but sometimes we artists just need to feel the light.

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