Many years ago when I was attending the University of Florida getting my fine art degree in studio art, one of my personal projects was a portrait I did from a slide taken in Austria some 10 years prior. The subject was a fellow missionary in the Austrian mission, in my district at that time while we were working in Steyr. Our district, consisting of four missionaries, took a little scenic tour with some members of the branch one Saturday. We went on a train to a small valley and climbed around the hillsides and had a picnic lunch that day. I took the pic of Michael Arehart in front of an old barn. Years later, I pulled out my slides and found the picture to be a perfect reference for a painting project at Florida.
At some point in the last 20 years, I removed the painting from the stretcher bars and rolled it up. Then I forgot about it. Recently, as I was moving items and old art work, and materials out to my studio space, I came across the rolled up canvas. I decided it was time to bring Arehart out of the moth balls and re-stretch the canvas. I ordered some stretcher bars from Blick and yesterday I managed to get that old painting back on the stretcher bars and ready to hang up somewhere. I wish I knew where he was so I could give the painting to him!
While waiting for a shipment of paper from Blick art supply to arrive, I have begun tying up a couple of loose ends hanging around the studio. In all fairness, this place has always been and will always be, in a fluid state, constantly evolving into something different…and better. There are at least two spaces on the front wall in need of more built-in shelving. That’s one thing I’ve been doing today. Building one of those remaining shelves that will slide into the wall space to make use of that 12 inches of gap between the stud walls and the insulation of the metal building.
I’m sure, if I studied it for a few more months I could identify other such spaces where I could add sunken shelves, but for now, those 2 on the front wall are all I need to get done.
I keep saying to myself that I will drive over to Daphne and visit Home Depot or Lowes so I can but that darn bathroom door! And I really need to do that. I had tentative plans to do that today, but got sidetracked with that shelf project. The doorway has been covered with a makeshift towel hanging there to give a semblance of privacy when I take a shower in there, and since there is never anyone else around, the building locked doors suffice to give me actual privacy. But a door there would be nice. Another reason for having a door there is to create a totally dark space for doing light sensitive processes in the silk screen and cyanotype works.
The final loose end will take a while longer, and has been a loose end for quite some time, but it still is classified as a loose end because I planned to do it a few years ago and still want to do it because I think it will be a really nice painting. Its the large painting of a child wearing a hat, done in the same style as the self portrait I did some years ago. I at least have moved it onto the easel and take a good look at it several times a week trying to get up the courage to dig in and start painting. One day I will.
I got the Painted Bunting bird painting done! The 4th in the group of four, and it took forever to get this 4th one done. This colorful little bird only has this color in its second year of life and then its gone. The yellow background highlights the brightness of the bird itself and makes for a more varied grouping if the 4 paintings are hung together. This photo doesn’t even come close to what the painting actually looks like. The yellow is brighter. The bird is more colorful and the branch has so much detail I really enjoyed doing that small part.
Well the “Anti-Muse” is gone. Vamoosed! Runoft! She found something better and no longer is with me. My 4th divorce was finalized on July 9th.
I suppose I can credit that event, and the ensuing emotional trauma attached thereto as something of a motivation to get back to work, but in reality its just all the free time I now have to think about what to do. Summer is here and its hot out in the studio these days, limiting my work hours to early morning before about noon. But I decided I had to finish the work I started.
The last few days I’ve been working on that last small bird painting, and its coming right along. It is the 4th in that series. This one is the small Painted Bunting seen below. 12″ x 12″ on stretched canvas.
Once I have it all done, I have another grandchild who is now 11 and been waiting on a portrait since she was 8…or maybe before. Everyone knows I am slow, but often it seems like I have forgotten. But if you read this Ellie, I have never forgotten! I just have to decide what medium and how big to do her portrait.
That’s all for now. Progress is progress! No matter how slow. Right?
I added a new completed bird painting to the oil painting gallery today. It’s been in the works for a while, but now its done. The Great Tit painting. If you get a chance check out the whole gallery. The plan is to do 2 more of these birds for a set of 4. Right now I have begun a new portrait for a commission. That one is taking a bit more perseverance but it is well on its way. No pics of it yet as it is not at a point that is presentable yet.
Another project that I am beginning is my idea of painting on masonite panels using unfolded store product packaging, like crackers and cereal, as reference. I have saved numerous sizes and shapes of those boxes for the last 5 years with this idea in mind. We’ll see how it goes. These will be done using several mediums; oil paint, silkscreen and possibly pencil as well…color pencil. Below is the first panel I’ve built for one of those pieces. It is taken from the unfolded cereal box beside it there. Lloyd says I am eccentric. This might just validate that theory.