This is a work in progress, an oil painting of my friend Paula and I in the Hall of Mirrors, on the left, and a bunch of tourists. The work is progressing slowly, I'm holding back on a heavy handed brush with this one.
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it was hot, last summer. the gardens, dusty, the winds out of Africa. You have to see the Hall of Mirrors, You have to see the Hall of Mirrors. We did. It was crowded. It glittered. We took pictures. A document. We were hot. We were thirsty. We sat at a dainty table. ordered some polite afternoon refreshment. Versailles closed. I was within 30 feet of that brown giant of Napoleon taking the crown from the Pope. just 30 feet. and I really wanted to see it. to glean something. Josephine, I had seen. maybe that's all I needed to see. I cried to Paula, I get it. please, no more brown paintings. Rubens had turned into a pasty bore. My potato nosed lover was not a consolation. Do not remember the Vermeer, other than to say 'it is very small.' and the walls were red. or not. too much, too much.
the photos haunt me. how to turn this delicate drawing into a 'something' is on my mind.
a tornado hit Revere this morning. just a spit across the water.
i was supposed to be drawing. it is I. and Paula. and a bunch of ghosts...err..tourists.
It was '98 or '99 when Fred Kepler studied with me. We both painted when he came for his lessons. My paintings were used as 'training' paintings that i used to demonstrate various techniques, color mixing, approaches to composition, etc. as the painting developed. The Cezanne phase painting above is the result of Fred's visits to the studio over an 8 week period.
The still life above is 26x32" . We set the still life up in the cener of the floor under studio lights which were staggered warm/cool/warm/cool in overhead tracts. Cezanne was the compositional reference. I did not use Cezanne color theory in my work; I needed to learn how to use black and white gray. That was my lesson. Fred's lesson was composition with warm/cool color theory and drawing thrown in.
Today Fred visits the world's great paintings with his dear Lenore. I have seen some terrific paintings that he has done of Lenore, of other people standing in front of the masterpieces. He has learned to teach himself by copying the best paintings, while sharing his love of art with his wife and having a great time. He has even come to know the joy of selling some of his work!
So glad I did not throw this painting away. I was tempted to over the years, but some of those creases are just too awesome to not be admired. oh, the braided rug is one of the Willis family treasures. I sure hope I didn't get too much paint on that beauty.
best and onward,
i'm getting over a nasty head cold with the double whammy of seasonal allergies. i've taken care of business today, and looked at my garden. i'll have more energy tomorrow. then, back to the paint.