I gave my first painting lesson yesterday to a couple of little girls I met while subbing at a Montessori School in the Sierra foothills. We started with three primary colors, making a color wheel and added a tint with white paint. I told them next time we would work with shades of gray. I learned from northern California artist, Gary Pruner how to use gray paint in a scale of one to ten. So today when I went to the Placer arts building to paint, I decided to work with only gray to start with. I like to go to the Placer arts building where I am resident artist. I sell my arte prints there and have found the environment to be very conducive to my productivity. Sometimes I go down on Sunday when no one else is there. I bring my easel out to the front window, (it's good to paint in different light now and then) and unlock the front door, in case people want to come in and walk around.
So I have been working on this long narrow horizontal painting that started out from a sketch I did of Angie's daughter at figure drawing. I got frustrated with it repeatedly even though the figure and basic composition was good, it wasn't great (or potentially). Then I turned her into a sexy nude Salome in an erotic Roman setting. I struggled with that quite a bit, also, but I know that getting rich tonal gradations often takes layering, almost sculpting. So I went in there today to paint with steps of the gray scale. I worked for about five hours, immersed in the work, (or play) painting only with gray, and I can see I am getting "there". I know where "there" is, I will know it when I get it. I can't express the sublime satisfaction that painting brings. It's like, you feel sometimes in this life that you can't seem to get anything right. Work, money, relationships, investments, so often I am banging my head against a wall. Even painting, most days I just can't seem to get that right either. But, today, it was flowing, for hours!!! That is the gift... not thinking I have talent or anything like that, just that I can find it now and then, that special quiet place that allows you to put aside your heartache for the time being, and just do the work that only I can do. No one else can make my paintings, and that is my gift, the gift to me. How lucky I am, when I have that for my work. Will post painting in progress soon.
red hat paintings at fine art america