Monday, April 11, 2011

Window Tree -- early stages

Light tint of Burnt Sienna, Frisket over some elements to reserve white


I’ve spent most of the weekend working on sketches of the redbuds on the tree outside my window and thinking about a painting I’d like to do.  I decided to title the painting Window Tree after a Robert Frost poem – “Tree at my window, Window Tree….” 

Tree at my window, window tree,
My sash is lowered when night comes on;
But let there never be curtain drawn
Between you and me.
Vague dream-head lifted out of the ground,
And thing next most diffuse to cloud,
Not all your light tongues talking aloud
Could be profound.
But tree, I have seen you taken and tossed,
And if you have seen me when I slept,
You have seen me when I was taken and swept
And all but lost.
That day she put our heads together,
Fate had her imagination about her,
Your head so much concerned with outer,
Mine with inner, weather.

I’ve been on a major eBay push this week, listing the last of some stuff I’ve been saving to sell on eBay and selling some things for others.  I’ve also been fretting over a personal relationship with a loved one, so spending a lot of time doodling, sketching, working out patterns and paint mixes while sitting on the couch looking out the window between bouts of eBay tasks.

I’m scheduled to be the chairperson for the next show at my art association which means that while I can hang a painting, it’s not eligible for judging.  I decided last night that I’d put all the recent experience of doodling, sketching and working out a rough idea in my mind I’d do a very small painting to put in the show and who knows, maybe someone will love it and put down some cash to take it home; if nothing else, that’s taking advantage of an opportunity to ‘get my work out there.’

This is a 5 ½” x 7 ½”  painting on Winsor Newton 140# WC paper.  After I did the drawing with BIC mechanical pencil, I wet the paper and worked in a tint of Burnt Sienna.  While the paper was still wet, I wiped it off with a paper towel, then let it dry.  The light and watery tint of BS Burnt Sienna, (not Bull sh*t), helped wash off some of the graphite and not only gave me a lightly toned surface to work on but a clean surface as well.  When that was dry, I went over some places on the branches with Friskit.  When that was dry, I lightly painted in the shape of the pine trees and when that was dry, added spaces for even more buds and light parts on farther back limbs with friskit.  When that was dry, I did the background trying for paint that was thick and dark so as to be in contrast with the tree limbs.

The tone of the painting matches my sense of the tone of today.  When I started this painting the sky was gray but starting to turn blue.  We had a night of rain last night, and a cool and gray start to the day. Blue sky and sun was promised by noon, and there it was, right on time.

The background finished and the Friskit removed

For the past few days, the weather has been cool, so the buds stayed dark red and tightly closed.  There was sun on Saturday and it must have been enough to get these guys going because today, they’re dark red but opening and have aureoles of yellow.  And bees buzzing through….

The sun is shining brightly but the light is still somewhat modified by an opaque sky.  The day is getting warmer and a few minutes ago, the sweet smell of spring air that drifted in was uplifting.  I took a deep breath of it.  Ahhhh, Spring for real.

I now need to go and do more eBay stuff and will continue to work on this painting.

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