The happy news is that building layers of glazes also builds patience; I spent my life rushing around. There never seemed to be enough time as I hurtled from one responsibility to the next. So choosing to build a large painting by means of a slow layering is actually luxurious. It always surprises me to find that I love establishing the bones of the structure by means of a value study. Full colour is a long time off, but that is okay. As usual the lights were easy to locate yesterday while today’s dark values are subtle and elusive. Hurrying would be counter-productive as the background trunks and branches quietly reveal themselves. I can begin to foresee the layers of transparent primaries but feel no impatience about getting there. This stage is mainly about looking carefully and feeling my way in by dint of heavy-duty brushwork.
So it’s demanding physical work but pleasantly meditative at the same time. Now that I’m in the dark values, I’m listening to the score from “Gettysburg.” It’s sombre and full of loss but faithful to the hope of meaningful sacrifice. The perfect quiet inspiration to practise patience.