Having re-adjusted the composition, done research into protea flowers and learned their proper names, I move the almost completed painting somewhere I can see it as part of my daily life: on a phone call, or coffee break – or simply looking at it in a different light*. Now brushes are put away, palette cleaned and I resist any temptation to do anything to it for several days. It’s all too easy to lose freshness by over-working a piece at this stage. I go to work on a smaller painting. *In my student day, I found looking at it in a mirror gave me a good critical perspective for finding flaws.
Once a painting is born there’s no way to rush it; I paint consistently, addressing problems, maintaining the rhythm. Music helps me start every session. Thinking time is my investment; especially as I underpaint in contrasting colours, meanwhile tweaking the drawing. Though I start with a clear idea, once it’s on the canvas, parts needs adjusting … and changes will continue to happen right up to the end. I rough in the underpainting, creating a chaos that challenges me to continue. Sometimes I’ve given up by now if it’s not coming alive. This painting has passed the test and I am building layers towards a finished result, covering the cannvas in colours add a subtle vibrancy.
-apologies. This post was taken down to edit errors and is simply re-posted- I’m fine with paint … not computers – Jo
Watching paint dry has me working on two or three canvases … after several months of tweaking, changes and more changes, I can say “finished” to a piece started a year ago, and varnish it to send it to my next exhibition. Now I’m gazing at shadows thrown by protea leaves, which are twisting as they dry. The protea painting is off to a strong start as it takes on a new life, already diverging from my original concept. I liken it to writing, the when characters take on a life of their own.
I hate styrofoam (see photo) but free range eggs occasionally arrive it, purposely re-cycled … it makes a great paint holder, easy to pop into a plastic bag (another hate!) – I mix on glass palette; the mini one pictured above (I have three). I try to keep my palette clean as I work but occasionally one dries “dirty”. Hand sanitiser cleans dried acrylics like magic, then that palette is well washed and put away for several days.
Feather & Flora- March 1st – April 10th 2019
Van Dusen Botanical Gardens, 5251 Oak St. Vancouver BC
With the date for a new exhibition set, I am gathering the pieces I want to feature along with my medieval and earlier birds, most of which are small images (8”x10” – 10”x14”. By medieval, I mean to my pieces, inspired by my research in museums and libraries.
A new piece requires moving it from rumination to reality. This piece started last September, when I visited Kew Gardens and again was fascinated by proteas. Intense study often means looking, then drawing then painting. Between initial looking and eventual painting, some pieces lose their passion and may never become a final painting.
I know it will happen when the piece takes on a life of its own, immediately morphing into something other than initially imagined.
This blog will take you through the process ….. though perhaps earlier than the posts go up, it will be at the same pace.
I hope no-one is attempting to paint along as I make radical changes to my painting . You are welcome to try! I never really show the full canvas as some years ago I was pirated by the Chinese. It was disconcerting to view a site all in Chinese; my pieces complete with prices and shopping carts. Awful because most of the paintings on display for sale already were owned by private clients. Now I have a Google Alert on my name …
My book: “Carved in Oak -drawings of medieval pew carvings in English churches” – began my study of medieval designs in UK and Europe in 2010. For many years, I had devoted my art to raising awareness about built heritage in Vancouver BC, a city I have loved ever since moving here from South America.
While at high school in Ottawa, ON I first thought of becoming a painter, starting studies in Lima, Peru where pens and paintbrushes immediately made my thoughts tangible.
In 2001 I moved to the Okanagan valley, winning an award from the City of Kelowna for my submission to their call for am image of their emblem flower: the arrow leaf plant.
From 2006, I spent part of my time in England, where I had earned my art degree, drawing medieval pew ends. This led into my work on birds and leaves. … read more at: https://joscottb.com Jo Scott-B December 2018