Friday, December 10, 2010

Photos for Friday and the Latest Work

Back at the dining room table again.  This time I decided to use three small rocks as my subjects. I had to laugh because I sent the last still life to the blog of The Twenty Minute Challenge and one commenter thought I could finish that painting with line around the egg.  So I was thinking, what egg?Then I realized that one of the rocks I painted certainly did look like an egg! I had such a good laugh that day.

Here is the beginning of the latest work. I thought I could try to make these rocks look like rocks instead of eggs! I am still laughing, can you tell? Anyway, this is what my start looks like. I am still using too much water on this Arches paper. Rats! I'm not going to get twenty minutes out of this. More like two days!  (Still laughing!)

After a little bit of drying time, I try again. I don't know how I remembered to take photos of this!  Besides, my granddaughter was asleep and I wanted to work quickly so I could be done by the time she woke up.  Not a twenty minute deal. Nope.You can see how I try to sketch out the subjects. When I work, I try to move around the whole surface so that most of the painting is moving together and evolving at the same time. I usually work this way so I'm not surprised by having one element fully developed before the rest comes together. Because if I do that, it never works for me. That one element ends up standing out or floating in space. It's very action oriented even though I'm stationary. My painting arm is moving around alot and sometimes I stand, then I sit. If I do one or the other too long, I lose my focus. But then I lose my perspective, I can't help it.

How did Monet paint the same scene at different times of the day? Did he paint a quick twenty minutes, an hour, and do another one of the same scene a few hours later? Or did he come back the next day, but later, or earlier? If you sit there and paint a landscape on the scene the light and shadows change with the hours. This is what I was pondering as the afternoon slipped away.

By this stage in the painting I had very little natural light left. The whole painting time was maybe about an hour. I began later than I wanted, mainly for the light. Drying takes time and I couldn't move on until it dried. My mantra was 'Less water'. I wouldn't listen.

I must figure out this water thing. The longer I take on my work, the more details I see and want to add. It's my opinion but, I think the paintings lose spontaneity if I go too long. Not good, not bad, I don't know. This is not the finished work.  It looks done, but that's just because it got really dark when I took this photo and I had to edit it to see anything! Do these rocks look like eggs?


  1. The masters painted their subjects at the same time each day with the same environmental conditions, ie: rain, clouds, sun, etc.

    For example, the painting Carnation Lily Lily Rose by John Singer Sargent (2 girls lighting a lantern in a garden)was painted at twilight every day. He wanted the perfect light where it is day and almost night but you can see the lighting of the lanterns. It took so long that the little girls, his models, grew to become women. He was very frustrated by this and wrote about it in his memoirs. It was my favorite story in art history.

    I have a link for you but I didn't read the story with this article so it might be different.

    So you see my dear friend, what you speak about is true for all artists, even the masters.

  2. Very mouldy eggs! :lol:
    Don't try eating them - they'll be rock hard :)

    Silliness aside, they look like rocks to me :) xx

  3. Wax Beach-Thanks for the info and the link. I will do some investigating!

  4. Pat, I'm glad they look rocky to you! ;-)

  5. Thanks Brigitte! I'm happy you stopped by.


The Latest Work With Permission

©Dora Sislian Themelis, 11x14 Watercolor, Patmos Sunset Available for purchase The latest work is from another person's photograph...