Wow look at me, back to blog twice in 1 weekend!  Trying really hard to start this week of right and NOT stay up too late (which is what ALWAYS happens when I pick up a paint brush).  So I’m leaving ‘Pluie’ in the garage even though it calls to me.  All I need to do is paint my lady with an umbrella and I can start my search for a frame large enough for the piece.  It’s a full 2ft x 3ft and isn’t one of those thick bordered wrap around canvases that you can just artfully paint the sides and forgo the framing.  It’s another one of my ‘recycled’ canvases, except this one wasn’t a completed piece or a commission or anything like that, just one of those super awesome ideas for a painting that really wasn’t so good once it got started.  It’s probably the oldest dust collector in my basement studio, it’s been down there for about 10 or 11 years half finished.  I’d begun painting a river scene from a photograph I’d taken on a hike (I think it was Mt. Robson, British Columbia but I could be wrong).  About half way through I realized that it made a much better photograph than a painting and the inspiration was gone.  I put it away and kept telling myself I’d finish it when I got the time, blah, blah blah…you know the excuses.  I’ve probably completed a dozen paintings and countless portraits since I put that scene away, if I was planning on finishing it you’d think I’d have done it by now right?  Then, back in the spring, I read about this thing The Paint Spot was doing.  Something about bringing in half finished works to a swap to let other artists take a crack at it while you grab one of their pieces and do the same.  What a fantastic idea!  So in the true spirit of me I promptly forgot about what I had just read about 5 minutes after I read it (more than likely I was distracted by something shiny).  Then, when I was glaring at the painting formerly known as ‘Vegas’ and then formerly known as ‘Sunflowers’ and currently called ‘New Beginning’ (yeah I changed the name, ‘Sunflowers’ felt a little too obvious and I’m trying to be less crappy at naming things), I was reminded of The Paint Spot’s fantastic idea.  Of course it still took more time to figure out that that canvas needed to become host to 6 large sunflowers but that’s another blog (‘Out with the Old’ actually).  Thus marked the start of my recycling kick.  My storage room studio is FILLED with either old canvases I couldn’t resist buying because they were on sale or half finished pieces that lost me part way or finished works that seemed like a good idea at the time…So I’ve made it my new mission to fill every canvas, painted on or not, before I get ANY MORE!  I’m actually doing pretty well, 7 pieces with backgrounds done, awaiting subjects and foregrounds, plus ‘Pluie’ that is a ‘recycled’ piece.  Here’s how it started (bottom left is the photo I’m working from):

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Still unsure of how it was going to turn out, I began by squeezing WAY too much green onto a sour cream container lid palette and pretty much attacked the canvas with it.  I just wanted to erase the earlier painting and start fresh.

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And, impatient as always, I grabbed my darkest brown and outlined the branches rather than wait for it to dry a little:Image

 

It then proceeded to hang out in my garage for a few days where it was accosted by a 1 year who thought it was a chair…thankfully it was just about dry (and textured enough that my son’s clothes were the only things really hurt by this almost tragedy…I think his ‘bum drop’ may have actually IMPROVED the painting).  Once dry I brought it back in for some more details:

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A little more drying time (luckily incident free and VOILA:

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Almost done!  Hopefully completed pictures to come before the end of the week… 🙂

 

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