Monday, September 24, 2012

A painterly weekend to myself

I have deliciously sore muscles in my legs, back and arms from weeding my Mum's lawn on Saturday morning. She has a weeding device which is supposed to pull dandelions out easily without you having to bend down, but some of her dandies were too well-established so I was bending and pulling and yanking for an hour and a half in the spring sunshine, until I felt too sweaty, my hair dripping with salty sweat, and too thirsty too. I'm surprised my muscles aren't complaining more, but then I do try and do stretches most days (when I think of it).

Last weekend was a computer-free weekend aside from social media updates and chatting online with some friends. And oh boy, was it good!  G was away until last night so I had the luxury of a weekend to myself with my own company and no interruptions.

After I'd done the lawn I did some cleaning at Mum's house then came home and got stuck into more drawings. I had a scene in mind of the view from Mum's house, across the river to the great school which graces the top of the hill on the other side. It would be the view from my childhood, before the trees grew and obscured most of the building.

I also tried a scene from Paris. I had taken a photo of a languid Parisian girl with a red-lipped, bored face toiling up the steps at Montmartre, and decided it would make a funky landscape with the buildings leaning in and out, and the curves of the handrail exaggerated.

I got stuck in.

My paintings didn't turn out quite as I'd hoped, so late in the afternoon I gave up and treated them as drafts. I was tired though - I draw/paint standing up and I'd been on my feet most of the day. After a hot bath I sank gratefully into bed at 9.30. This is the time that 20 years ago I'd be setting out for the evening - how times change!

On Sunday, after getting a couple of loads of washing out on the line and cleaning the house, I brought out the pastels again.

The second attempt at Mum's view was better, but I think I buggered up one of the jacaranda trees I'd placed in the foreground. Now I definitely know what I'm doing with that scene; one more attempt should see it as I intend it to be.

My sulky Parisian girl turned out better, too. On Saturday I'd painted her with too subdued a palette. This time I went mad on gold and oranges, taking the soft sandstone and hyping it up into summer colours. I'm much happier with the result.

These two paintings are both the same size: 9" x 5" (don't ask me what that is in centimetres, I can work it out... eventually!). This is specific as there is a class in an art show I have entered in the past in which all the entries must be that size. They can be any media or subject. This dates back to the Heidelberg School in the early 1900s who held an art show where all the paintings were that size.  The art show isn't until next May but heaven knows I need some practice!

I'm buoyed up as my nudey rudey and Parisian building both made it into the art show in the area I'm living in at the moment. I'll be going to the opening this Friday night. I'm stunned and delighted as I really didn't expect to make the cut, I'm so out of practice.

So now all I want to do is draw and paint. Work is an invasion when my fingers are itching to grab hold of a pastel!

G is home again so that intrudes on my creative space a bit, particularly in the evenings when it's my only real chance to paint during the week. But don't knock the muse, never knock the muse...

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