Slow going today as I blend and meld together H, 6H, 8H and 9H to achieve the tonality in the column and other parts of the drawing. It's a matter of hatching and circling and softly going back and forth with one and then the other to achieve a soft, relatively smooth looking surface with the slight nuances of shadow and reflected light that I want to 'shine' in the finished drawing. Will I get there . . . hmm, stay tuned.
I've been wanting to do this piece for over three years and finally pulled out the reference and dug out the original sketch idea I did way back when . . . modified it slightly . . . found a frame to suit (I HAVE to force myself to do that these days to try and use up a tremendous inventory of frames in the basement) and decided that this summer was the time to get to it.
A quick dissertation today on an old war-horse of a compositional convention that has been tried and true and around for a long, long time . . . that long and winding road! Relying on a strong use of perspective and focusing on depicting distance, the old idea of painting/drawing a road or path disappearing off into the distance, sometimes mated with a nice fence line or row of buildings or trees, never grows old.
When handled as sublimely as in the accompanying images from the likes of Corot, Van Gogh, Monet, Sisley, Cezanne or any of the others who have made use of this convention over the decades, there is no cliche or lack of viewer interest involved.
With so many variations possible within the context of this simple format, I would imagine that at one time or another, every artist has tried their hand at coming up with their version of the long and winding road at least once, if not over and over again like Monet and several of the others shown here.
With that, here is my latest version of making use of this old standby compositional idea, 'Country Lane, Autumn', completed a half hour ago. The image is 9" x 9.5" and is another work earmarked for a special invitational show this October.
It did not take quite as long as I anticipated so was able to finish this one up yesterday and still have time for a pleasant late afternoon hike along the creek. So, at 9" x 12", here is My Little Chickadee. A long way out, but will hold till October for an invitational show this fall.
Board time will begin shortly . . . here is where things stand as of now. I hope to have this one done tomorrow and ready for framing.
I've been thinking a lot, lately, about my conversation/talk that will be presented in September at the Woodson Art Museum when presented with this year's Master Wildlife Artist Award at the opening of the 2013 edition of Birds in Art. I have devised a sort of plan for what I will say and how I shall approach talking about what it is that I do, how I do it, why I do it, etc., etc., etc. As I have been making notes and amassing ideas and pulling diverse thoughts together about presenting the A, B, Cs of My Life as an Artist, I've actually been rereading a lot of my posts to this blog page from the last six years; what better place to go to find out about why I do what it is that I do than where I've written about it all over the last half dozen years! Also, in working on this piece, which relies heavily upon the depiction of strong textures, I've renewed my awareness of just how heavily my medium relies upon the depiction of various textures, or at least how I have devised to use that medium within the range of my subject matter over the last twenty plus years. So, 'T' will be standing for Texture when I present my talk on September 7th at the Woodson Art Museum after they've medal-ed me!
Opening this evening just north of Seattle, Howard/Mandville Gallery's 23rd Anniversary Show will hang through July 7th. Lots of wonderful new works from the gallery's stable of artists, including yours truly, will spotlight the newly renovated gallery. I am pleased to have my works hanging alongside those of so many other outstanding local and International artists. Stop in during the next month and pick out something to add to your collection!
A 'discovery' this morning while loafing on the Internet . . . 19th Century French Barbizon School artist, Antoine Chintreuil. A wonderful landscape painter from the later half of the 19th Century and an artist with whom I have not previously been acquainted. He was one of the cadre of Barbizon School artists, like Theodore Rousseau, Camile Corot and Jules Dupre who were some of the forerunners of the Impressionist movement that was yet to come. His landscapes are stunning, I think, reminding me of many of his fellow time-frame painters and very evocative of what was happening in the French art scene of the mid century; beautiful compositions, soft yet vibrant palette, remarking on every day life, and a plein air feeling of light and shadow. Further exploration of this wonderful painter is certainly warranted and on my list of things to do.
(I am especially fond of the central painting in the above montage, his 'Path Through Apple Trees' . . . just stunning)
After an early morning start at digging and planting in the garden, putting up a trellis with twinning clematis, and before the real heat sets in this afternoon, I'm taking a break and posting the finished work. I was able to complete it yesterday afternoon and get it photographed before the light faded. Image on this one is 7" x 18 3/4". It's earmarked for a special showing in October.