But the recent spate of organization around here has coughed up both thises and thats - sometimes lacking only a wire or a simple frame. With these prodigal children finally returned to the inventory, I am sincerely surprised by how predictable I am. Dimly aware that I love owls, I am nevertheless surprised to find five paintings titled "Wise". So too do I not only watch squirrels daily, but apparently paint them quite regularly. You already know about my affinity for irises and pears and morning glories and waterlilies, not to mention males engaged in fishing and little girls in tulle but it seems I am also apparently attracted to houses perched on hills. So too, great old trees, long views from high above, summer river studies of blue water, and autumn landscape tapestries. If I were to go to the trouble of identifying all of the series, more than a dozen would report in.
And therein lies my problem as an artist. Instead of dedicating a year to painting variations of similar subject matter in the same style, I behave like a dog running through a meadow — doing sharp turns to follow scent trails. At best, my body of work is a crazy quilt.
Though my method remains quite consistent (agreeing to ignore last week’s post), when it comes to subject matter I am a slut.
Jon thinks I should take myself firmly in hand and focus on portraiture. And, he added, he is also just plain tired of being my favourite sitter. So consider this a shout-out for volunteers. I will feed you tea and crackers. Please help. It’s either you or Theodore, and Skye terriers all look alike so there’s not much challenge — you paint short legs and long black hair crowned with Mickey Mouse ears and voila, a Skye.
So listen to this offer: I am prepared to give you the colour, length and style of hair you crave and a choice of eye colours. Just be specific about what you want to weigh, for heaven’s sake. I did a commission for a husband who mentioned in passing that the photo of his wife had been taken when she was heavier and that she had “lost some weight” since then. That was as specific as he could manage, although I pressed him for a little more guidance. I finally decided that taking off about twenty pounds would be a safe guess, and that’s how I painted her, but when I finally met this charming woman, it was obvious that she had lost quite a bit more and was absolutely sylph-like. She loved the painting but was just sorry that it showed her before her weight loss.
I didn’t have the heart to tell her.