Tuesday, March 3, 2009
How Dynamo Got Herself Into the Picture
This the Violet Hour:
Probably the last (for this season) of my series expressing the changing colours of the forest at sundown. I find that I can't work on things out of season; I just couldn't do 'summer' right now while the icicles still hang from the eaves. If I have more to say about winter nights, it will have to wait till next winter as I no longer walk in the evening dark.
This is a familiar scene as I round the last corner of my evening walk through the Hollidge Tract. The time is somewhere around 6:45 pm, late January. One night, under overcast skies, all the woods turned violet in the shadows, yet full of hidden colours. I tried my best to memorize and was not entirely successful. After many aborted thumbnail sketches, I packed a small sketchpad on my next walk (it was still too dark for photography) and as I rounded the corner and pulled out my pad, and stopped to draw. It was almost dark and I could barely see the squiggles that I laid out on the page. Dynamo, should have had better things to do, but I guess the squirrels had all gone to bed, so there she was taking up the lower right hand quadrant with her big hulking amorphous shadow. So of course I had to sketch her in.
Unfortunately, by daylight, my sketch was a hair next to useless, and although I tried my best to develop it into something, it never transformed. By the time I was ready to give up, the sun was hanging longer in the sky; a photo was vaguely feasable, so the camera was packed on my next walk. I had just enough light for reference photo of silhouettes and sure enough, 'guess who' loomed large in the lower right hand quadrant with her big hulking amorphous shadow. Since she insisted twice around to be in this piece I couldn't decide against it. Regardless of any ascetic considerations, here she is, a big hulking amorphous shadow in the lower right hand quadrant of the picture. This is the first time I've let a dog decide on the artwork.
PS. Dynamo seems to be better, and she'll be allowed to run again soon.
Image: Strathmore 300 series bristol, acrylic gel medium, watercolour, oil pastel. In this case, I stretched paper, painted thickly with gel medium coloured mauve/grey with watercolour & let dry. I used oil pastel for the image. I had to use the torchon a lot to fill in the details; I think I overdid the texture. I would love to try something similiar but use a crimson background with the oils on top. Maybe next year.
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