There’s an elegant arch I have been wanting to paint for years now. It belongs to the back of Leslie, my favourite violinist. Trouble was (Already you are tensing up, aren’t you?) was that the reference shot was, predictably, only about two-thirds of what I wanted, which was her whole frame. No kidding. I found another shot of her legs out by only two cardinal directions (thank heavens, she has a terrific stance and set foot placement); all I had to do was flip it, size it, stitch it and draw it. Done.
You are thinking” Phew, that was easy.” Not so fast.
You know that painting ideas lurk relentlessly, hiding under bridges in my brain. Well my inner troll also demanded that Melody be included in this “French scene.” So who is Melody? Do violins have first names?
She, Sweet Reader, is Leslie’s adoring yellow lab. And naturally she didn’t appear in any of the shots I had of Leslie practicing her violin. There was only one photo reference and in it Melody was looking across rather than up -- out almost 90 degrees from where I wanted her attention fixed. Double dog damn.
Then began the search for a primer on yellow labs. Art group to the rescue again. Thanks, Sue. Eventually a Melody-ish sketch emerged in correct position, from which I cut out a template to shuffle around the canvas until I had created a diagonal linking Leslie’s bow and Melody’s worshipping gaze.
Surely that should do the prep work. Remember that no brushes have had to die to get this far. But the stained window I wanted as background was arched at the top and I wanted the top curve to swing through the upper right of the scene, this time echoing the arch in Leslie’s back, the cursed arch which had started this epic journey. Some work with a geometry compass on the prep sketch and finally I was ready to begin.
Now all that remains is to paint. If I can still remember how.
BTW: I fully intend to update my gallery website, you poor souls who keep hoping I will. Thank you for your patience. It's on today's to-do list. So think Wednesday.
It's now Wednesday, I have come down with the plague, aka Jon's cold, am missing art group AGAIN (God is surely not a painter, because we have been iced, snowed, or struck down by viruses for the last three weeks) but at least the "Works in Progress" category on zannekeele.com/More About is up to date. I am waving a tiny flag.