Friday, February 11, 2011

Free Thursday on Friday

Being free to do other things this Thursday doesn't mean I got much done. It just means I'm kind of free. Kind of. There's always things to do. How do regular people do it all? There's just no way to have everything done the way it should be. Houses always need some kind of cleaning, picking up, straightening. If you want to eat healthy you have to cook food at home, every day, couple of times a day. What's with all the eating? And how about the food shopping? My refrigerator is always missing something someone here wants. I can't keep up!

So a free day means cleaning, food shopping and the other errands that are my job here. My day with the Princess is exactly that: my day with my granddaughter. There's no stuffing her in a car and running here and there. Not yet. I'll wait to drag her around with me for when she gets a little bit older. Right now I'm enjoying my days watching her grow, smile, laugh, and try to stand. It's fun and I'm not missing a thing! A few days on and a couple days off. It's great.

Thinking I have all of Thursday to myself, I tried to plan what to do once the errands were done. I hadn't really given myself an Artist Date in a long while and I thought I might try to do that.

There are so many things I wanted to do, but once I headed out I couldn't decide. It's cold here after all. That means I have to be indoors if I want to be comfortable. I thought I might go to a garden nursery place, one that has a big greenhouse with indoor plants. Bright and warm with lovely greenery that I could look at and maybe photograph for a painting. Sounded good when I thought of it. Then I thought I could take myself to lunch at a quaint bistro nearby in a cute town. Maybe I would make believe I was in another country on vacation. I also threw around the idea of bundling up and going to the beach to walk on the boardwalk and look at the ocean. Nahhh, I nixed that idea.

What did I do? None of those things. I did my food shopping and went home. Once I was back I decided I had to paint something. It's not an Artist Date, but I was too lazy to go anywhere special. I thought of all the things to do and didn't do them, so back to the dining room table I went.

From the grocery bags I grabbed an apple from the ones I just purchased and set it up with the usual suspects: shell and pebbles. Yay! A new subject! Yes, very exciting. Anyway, I got to painting in my usual fashion of sketching with the watercolors.

Now, remember, I have all day to myself, and I thought I would take my time with this piece. Instead of work for only twenty minutes, as has been my recent habit, I would slow it down. Why not? Take my time, day dream while I paint, do a good job. I don't think it worked out like that. I was not impressed.

I worked on this until I realized I added paint where I didn't want it. Where are the highlights on this apple? Okay, the shell I know, the pebble I've painted before, we're well acquainted. I've painted apples plenty of times, but the striping on this one got me as well as the bright, white highlights. And I was taking too long on it. So I left it alone and waited for the paint to dry. I was well past the twenty minute mark and not at all thrilled. I signed it with the idea that I was done. Finished. Over.

I propped it up to look at it. I thought I could have done better with this apple and went back to rub out some of the color. After going in with a wet brush to lift some paint, I still wasn't happy with this. I love the shell and the rock. The shadow is fine. The apple looks sad. I think I should have left it alone and be done at twenty minutes. Or thirty minutes, tops.

I know. I got all sassy with myself, thinking I had all day free for me. What did I do? I messed with the twenty minute rule. That'll show me!


  1. I know days like that, Dora. You've got my sympathy. Coffee and a croissant is what I do, before starting a new sketch!

  2. Pat, you are right. That's what I should do next time. All I have to do is get some croissants!

  3. Hi Dora, I'm new to the 100 Paintings Challenge, and I'm enjoying your writings here and your artwork. The account of The Apple in that painting was charming. I know just what you were going through!! Thank you for sharing. Often I, too, feel that some area of a painting could be improved if I were to do just a teeny bit more... and more, and then more ... and before I know it I want to just scrub it all out. I think that, for me, this behavior comes from being unsure just where I wish to be on the realism-to-abstract continuum. Often I work an area more because it seems "not realistic" enough. But on the other hand, I'm not trying to be a representational painter(usually). And the more I try to "perfect" some aspect, the more it becomes a burdensome, self-judgmental process. So I'm trying to teach myself to say (aloud, even): "Don't you tinker with that!!! Leave it until tomorrow and see what you think then!"
    Cheers, Lorrie

  4. Thanks for commenting here Lorrie! I have come to the conclusion that if I want super realism I'll just take a photo, so I've come a long way! Now I want to be in the process of painting no matter the end result. This mind set has given me wings and in a short painting session I'm seeing pleasing results. I know I will go back to longer and larger work, but for now this is my mode! Good luck in the challenge, we're going to have fun!


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