Half Way to a Dozen- Fill in the Blanks
This mural is 350 square feet or so. A couple of weeks ago it looked like a whole lot of white space but I was either too dumb or too bold to be intimidated. So I just started painting. All was well when I painted in the stars of the show. I was on familiar ground- detailed views of animals I had studied for two months. Once they were in I still faced about 330 square feet of white space. Then the rains hit and I was driven under the tarp and forced to work on a small portion of the Cretaceous . The rain left me only a small area to work but I took that particular blank and worked on it until I had filled in as much white as I could.
Here is what it looks like. (The color is a bit off because the tarp is still covering the area.)
A lot of this work I did with sponges- great tools to create abstract texture like distant vegetation. As I work into the foreground adding close-up views of ferns and mosses the mid-ground areas I have recently painted will move back. Your eye will naturally fix on the dinosaurs and the foreground elements but the work I have been doing, filling in the blanks, will serve to create the illusion of depth.
I am really enjoying painting with no time to think. All that white space will only get filled if I paint full time at full speed. At this point my brain needs to get out of the way and let the hand and eye do the work. I think about the painting for an hour or so before I get up. While it's still too dark to paint I plan my day and visualize the section I am going to work on. By the time I actually put paint to concrete I have done my thinking and what I do then is sort of like paint-by-numbers (though with a little more sophisticated blending).
Every morning there is heavy dew on top of the Jurassic wall. Today I figured out how to stop the drips that were plaguing me. I had been having streaks running down through painted sections- a real pain- but today I lined the top of the wall with paper shop towels. Problem solved. Bit by bit I am figuring out how to maneuver around the challenges presented by painting in this place in this season. With no time to spare I am painting more loosely and with more confidence than I ever have. Ten hours a day feels like no time at all and I am only driven away by the onset of darkness.
Can you tell I'm having fun?
Tiny moose of the day:
She was strolling along on top of the hill above me as I strove to recreate the late Jurassic.