After a two-month hiatus, I picked up the paint brushes again. My last attempts in my painting class were such disasters that I decided to take a break...but didn't intend it to last quite so long.
Part of the problem is that painting--especially with oil paint--isn't something you can really just noodle around with for a couple of hours. There's so much involved in set-up and clean-up that if I only have a window of an hour or two, I'll get maybe half an hour of painting time before it's time to clean up. That said, I do prefer working with oils to acrylics or watercolors because I don't paint fast enough and the acrylics/watercolors dry up on me.
Anyway, the first hour and a half was taken up with tweaking some stuff I had sitting around. I have a 30x30" abstract calla lily I've been working on for ages and there were a couple of things about it that were driving me batty, so I fixed them. Of course that means that instead of it being ready to varnish at the end of August, I have to wait another six months...but it'll be worth it. I also have been working on a portrait of Billie
(I started it in my painting class, actually). I fixed a few of the things that were bothering me about that painting and just need to finish it up in a day or so (as soon as the paint is dry enough to so I can work on it some more).
Next up was an early disaster of mine...it actually almost made it, but then I managed to take it way
into the FUBAR zone. So now it's painted over in Mars Black and I'll decide what to do with it later.
Then it was on to a 12x12" canvas that will be completely abstract. That got a background coat of Transparent Earth Red
...my new favorite color (though the photo on the Gamblin site doesn't do it justice!). Soooooo gorgeous...I used it as a background in the portrait of Billie, too. By this time, I'm starting to realise that I'm running out of space to store these wet canvases. Gotta find places that are not susceptible to humidity AND out of the reach of my two resident feline art critics (in fact, the calla lily painting ended up the way it did after Simon brushed by it and with his tail brushed the wet violet background into the wet white flower...so I should probably sign his
name to it, too).
Even though I was short on space, I just wasn't done. I grabbed a couple of 12x24" canvases and decided on a diptych sunflower. I super-thinned some leftover Payne's Grey that was on my palette with turpenoid and sketched in the sunflower. No, it won't have a Transparent Earth Red background...maybe Cadmium Red (Deep) or possibly something in one of the blues. The diptych is now sitting precariously on one of the little table-top easels and the furkids are under strict orders to stay off the kitchen table (yeah, like that's
gonna happen). Hopefully, the sunflower will be dry enough tomorrow to do some more work on it.
I could have gone on painting, but there just isn't any space left to stash wet canvases. Still, I needed the therapy because there are just so many conflicts going on in my life right now. The smell of the oils has now permeated every room in my apartment. I had really missed that "wet paint" smell!
I've just about had it with my digital camera! It's one of those Canon point-and-shoot deals and it is the fussiest lump of metal I've ever had the displeasure of dealing with! Partial shade? It has a nervous breakdown! It has a macro setting, but if I have to get at least five feet away from the subject (and can't telephoto back in for my composition because it still
won't focus), then it's not really a close-up is it? Grrrrrrrrrrr!
So, it's going to sit in time-out and will be relegated to only doing snapshots, since it gets really pissy with me when I try to control any settings.
And, no, I'm not going to upgrade the digital. Not until the technology catches up with the price, thanks. For me, it's ridiculous to spend $1,000 for a "decent" digital rig only to have the next year's model come out with a much better print resolution for the same price (or lower). I can always have my negs and slides scanned someplace with the latest equipment...but I already went through the "pay a few thousand dollars only to have it be obsolete next week" bit with Wintel boxes.
So it's back to film for me. It's amazing how trying to deal with the $500 digital makes me feel like such a failure, but when I get my prints back from my $20 Holga I feel like a photographer again!
Besides, I get so much more satisfaction over a slide or print I get back from the lab where I've really nailed the composition and exposure (and development when I develop my B/W film at home), that I just don't get when I run a digital photo through a few Photoshop filters.
Working on film makes me really think
about the shot I'm setting up. What do I want to say? How do I want the finished slide/print to look? Instead of relying on Photoshop to "fix" my shots, film forces me to do most of the cropping and balancing before
I press the shutter. And that's a Good Thing!
For those of you who love your digital cameras...Good for You! Have fun with them and remember you can never have too many memory cards (or charged batteries).
Me? I'm gonna see if B&H Photo has any film specials on this week...
I'm afraid I may have to stage an intervention and get Simon
First, I caught him trying to nab my cell phone out of my bag. Then, he got into my "pocket change" and nabbed four dollars (in bills).
I think he was planning to hook up with his catnip dealer for a fix.
Does Betty Ford have a wing for cats hooked on the 'nip? Does his pet health insurance cover catnip dependency/recovery?