At the time, I thought of these small books as a short step up from mere doodles. After several years, I realise they contain the essence of place and have value to me. So here’s more sharing.
Reminder of long gone Canadian Airlines and airport user fee
What tweaks my interest? Idle doodles in my book reveal simple lines quickly capture people interacting with each other. No digital gadgets so constantly enthralling these days. Today I sat on a bus watching two girls using their phones to check their make-up, comb their hair and look at pictures (of themselves?) – so self absorbed that a simple comment from one elicited no more than a quick cursory glance and a grunt from the other.
Tidying my studio, I have been looking at my travel journals. These small books, holding quick spontaneous sketches, bring back in an instance those particular moments of “seeing” something new.
It’s been several days of studio chores: final small touches to paintings, varnishing, hardware and naming the pieces.
“Do the names come to you as you paint?” “Sometimes,” I reply – but other times I need to think;. giving the show a co-hesive quality and maintaining the fun, particularly with my Feather series.
Thanks to help from good friends, the pieces are now hung and initial reaction has been positive. Postings on this blog should now become weekly updates on studio life. Spring is quietly stirring so I turn to Flora.
The painting is finished. I’ve adjusted the smaller flowers, added some dots to the pin-cushions and tweaked other details. I’ve struggled with its name eventually opting for simplicity: Kew Proteas as it was there that I was inspired to do this. Now it can go to the exhibition which I’ll be installing on Thursday February 28th at Van Dusen botanical gardens in Vancouver BC. It’ll be coated with a layer of clear acrylic, then after two days, allowing for thorough drying, it will get a final coat of removable varnish with a UV filter, to allow for cleaning later in its life. (I must remove all traces if I decide to work on it again). Varnish feels so final – but we have had a fulfilling journey together. It’s snowing here today so I’ve photographed this in my studio, – that makes the top appear darker.
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.