Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Cat painting in progress

A dreary wintery rainy day -- just the kind of day that makes me want to curl up with a French vanilla coffee and a cozy mystery of the Agatha Christie kind. 

But a French vanilla coffee and a sleeping cat painting is the next best thing, and way more productive.

So I took this one down from the fireplace mantel where it’s been sitting since Christmas eve, set it on the easel, and sat looking at it for a while, sipping my hot coffee. I wasn’t exactly sure how I was going to go about depicting the texture of the cane chair back. I enlarged my reference photo on my computer to study the texture in extreme close-up. I walked across the room and studied the actual chair. I turned around and sat in the chair, sipping my coffee, closing my eyes and imagining that cane pattern. I walked back over to the easel and stared at the painting, sipping my coffee. I reminded myself that it’s impressionism, not photorealism, so I just need to suggest the pattern and the viewer will fill in the details from experience and know it’s a cane back chair without even giving it a second thought. I’m thinking that’s about when the caffeine started kicking in, because I suddenly knew just how to begin, and I jumped right in. Once I got going my painting time went so smoothly I could hardly believe it when I saw that it was time to stop. I feel like I’m getting the hang of this alla prima thing, and I’m incorporating it into the way I like to build up the color layers loosely over the deeply saturated colors of the underpainting. By the way, the blanket in the painting is a soft multicolored plaid with fringe, so tomorrow should be fun!

24 x 12 inches • oil on 2" deep cradled Gessobord

1 comment:

Kim Ratigan said...

I love this whole piece and I think what you did with the cane chair; working perfectly! Can't wait to see it finished!