Monday, May 7, 2012

Some of 'Em Are Sail Paintings!

Things have been busy here and I have not painted as much as I would have liked lately, so after getting the mirror up in the studio, I needed a painting break.
I had haunted Kirkland's the last time I was in San Diego county, until their nice big mirrors went on sale. Friday was spent getting the mirror mounted to the wall behind my large easel. That was to provide a view of my work in reverse, the better to spot problems with 'new eyes'.So that I could just glance and not have to stop, adjust, turn and twist a hand-held mirror to view the work. It is on the wall with nice big hinges, courtesy of my ever supportive husband. He was very concerned that we get it right because eye level to him (6'1") is not eye level to me (5'5") and  he needed to get it level so that it would not swing out on its own and clock me. How wonderful is that? I can now turn and just swing it open and there it sits, ready to give me my new eyes.  So of course I had to go out and paint on Saturday. 
New Swing-out Mirror
Where to go? Mimbres Valley is one of the sweetest spots on earth in the Spring. Lovely valley, pastures, cows, ridges, houses and that glorious NM sky. So did I paint that? No, I painted the other direction, where there were two distinctive ruins of a house and small barn. The light was so pretty and the shadows so intriguing, that it seemed to me a simple choice. Now I shall have to go back to paint the San Lorenzo pasture scene and several other spots in Faywood that had blooming Apache Plume and that acid green of spring set against the backdrop of Cook's Peak. It won't last long, so it sounds like a mini road trip this week. It's that priority thing again, isn't it?

San Lorenzo pasture, Mimbres Valley
Well I shoulda painted the cows. Why? Cause every now and then you get a 'Sail Painting'. A painting that does not necessarily have sails in it - its one that should go sailing, all on its own. Right through the air.  I tried all morning to salvage it, but some things are just not worth the effort, and this was one of those paintings. But I think I learned more from that painting than I have from the last 5 or 6.

I have a thought here that applies to painting folks. I know a lot of artists consider a viewer an intrusion. I never do. You get to meet the nicest people when you paint outdooors. The trip out introduced me to a lovely couple, the Songs of San Lorenzo. By simply accepting that I was invading the area around their home and being appreciative of the fact that they did not mind me there, I was given an invitation to visit again and to by all means use their land for a better view. So the lesson here is that you never know when somebody will open a door or in this case a gate for you. So don't be a painting curmudgeon. Invite people in and you will be surprised at the payoffs.

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