Day 4: My Golden Apple Art Residency (Wednesday)

A foggy day at the studio…


Now that I had started a painting that was dripping overnight, there’s an urgency for me to awaken early enough to brush up that painting (pun intended) and even get started on another painting. I actually woke up at 5:30am with the daylight, but stayed in bed for another half hour then got going to the studio.

The painting from the night before, Painting #1 inspired by the first sunset I saw here in the harbor, had continued dripping a significant bit. I was pleased with house the pastel blues and slate grays had blended down into the pinks, purples and even oranges. Then I worked on the painting for an hour or so, blending more in some spots, removing drips in other spots, delicately removing small brush hairs that had settled into the surface of the painting.

After that, I spent a little time on updating my blog posts from the first 2 days. I felt like I was falling behind on my daily blog posts about the residency.  I am blogging about this experience to give others a small view into what types of discoveries, experiments and experiences that I have in my artwork (and life) during this time. (BTW if you’re following along with these posts, please comment to let me know you’re with me!)

It was a very foggy, overcast and slightly drizzly day — it made the view out to the harbor look as though there was no water or sky or horizons, just a flat white-gray backdrop like the kind in old movies. The fog was thick, so the land across the harbor wasn’t even visible. It was also rather humid, and everything just felt very sleepy, relaxed, and quiet. I found it hard to motivate myself to start in on another painting right away just after lunch, I had the canvas ready and everything. So I took a break and went down to my cabin to take a break. I called my family and checked in with them to chat about the time I was having at the residency so far. I even face-timed with my parents’ dog, Ruger. He’s the sweetest little rescue dog with the bluest eyes I’ve every seen on an animal. When he heard my voice on my mom’s computer, he started howling along. After that, I made a small snack and some tea and felt recharged enough to go back and tackle the new canvas in my studio.

I processed some of the images from the second sunset, and I was eager to paint the sunset of the glowing orb of sun. Since I already had a palette laid out  from  the similar sunset colors of the first painting, so doing another slightly similar sunset painting seemed to to me an efficient use of paint already laid out without wasting any. I put the first mark, a small dark purple horizon line, followed by a big gob of white paint with just a hint of yellow, which I then swirled into a glowing circle  just above the horizon line. Everything else after that was just intuition, as I felt which colors I would place where in accordance to the reference photo I was using as inspiration. I should note that even though I’m using a reference photos, it’s mainly as a starting point, I may not paint everything I see in the photo dot for dot or line for line. As I go, I sense which colors and composition I want to keep and which I want to modify from the photo. Here are some of the photos from the process.

We were invited to a Happy Hour in the sunroom of the main house by the residency hosts Shelley and Greg, with homemade margaritas, nachos and fajitas. I had attempted to salt the rim of my glass, and failed. I tried a second time, this time with the wrong glass. The third time around I finally properly limed the rime and then dipped it in the salt and this time the salt stuck to the rim. We sat later for dinner at the big table, and since it was so foggy outside, I didn’t rush to excuse myself from the table to go catch the sunset — the fog was so thick and cloudy, there was no sun to set! It was nice to sit with the other artist and our hosts, talking about our lives and experiences. We lingered until about 9pm, which was the longest that I had lingered at dinner. Usually I’m in a rush to go and get raining on my painting. M

My last studio session for the evening, I worked on finishing the last few driops of sky color on this painting, and then I applied the stand oil to drip all over the canvas, and then I proceeded to dip my brush in stand oil and smear the painting from top to bottom one column at a time, one stroke at a time. This time the brush I used wasn’t quite as wide as the first brush I used for Painting #1. With this minimum large brush I felt like I had a little more control than with the giant brush, although I had to use more strokes. To cover the same area.

I touched up Painting #1 just a little bit, and then I said my goodnight to both canvases and planned to see them in the morning. Tomorrow I am excited to go on a whale watch/puffin/dolphin tour of the bay. I really hope we see some wildlife!