Today I prepared for the final sprint to the finish…
This morning I slept in until 9:30am, which mean that I slept for a solid 12 hours after going to bed around 9:30 last night. I needed to catch up on all the sleep I missed from the night before because of getting up at 2:30am to go see the sunrise at Cadillac Mountain. I’m not complaining — it was totally worth the initial sleep deprivation. It was also worth it to let my circadian rhythm catch up with itself. I took a relaxing morning, opting to stay in my cottage and have breakfast and tea instead of going to the main house for breakfast.
I took a few hours in the morning at the cottage to go through and process all the hundreds of photos (maybe even up to a thousand) photos that I had taken from the long day at Acadia Park, from sunrise to dusk. I organized the photos by folders and location so that I can more easily access them later as reference paintings. After processing and editing the photos, I turned to catch up with writing two days blog posts, since I was too exhausted to write one the day before (I try to write them the night after the day’s events, then post them online the next morning).
As I was writing the blog posts, I realized that there was no Day 4 blog post in the listing on the main page for My Golden Apple Art Residency! Where did Day 4 go? It was in my drafts folder, but I hadn’t yet inserted photos into the post, so I took care of that while I was already in blogging mode. With all this taken care of, I got ready for the day and went to the main house for lunch.
I had lunch out on the patio with two of the other artists, then turned into the studio to try to get something productive done today. I realized that today is Day 10, which leaves just 4 (really just 3.5) days left in the residency to get my artwork completed. In this frenzy, I took all the four previously completed paintings, took a hammer and nails, and put nails in the long wall of my studio to hang them on the wall. I had put little pushpins in the back of each corner, so the painting’s wet edges don’t directly touch the wall, making a mess of the wall. I put these paintings up on the wall to remind me of what I have accomplished so far, even if 5-6 paintings is all I’m able to do, but I’m still determined to do more. So I set up three more easels fitted with blank canvases, including one with a strange arrangement.
On the third easel, I affixed three 12″ x 24″ canvases, using hand clamps recently purchased from Amazon for another project. I structured it so that instead of being set up like a triptych, with each of the narrow panels side by side, they instead appeared stacked on top of one another. I created little gutters to catch any of the paint dripping, and I used my nifty keychain level to make sure that they weren’t set up to be crooked. My goal for these three paintings is to paint three different times of the sunset, but working on them each all at the same time, as though I was doing one big painting. We’ll see how it turns out.
For the time being, my priority was to get paint on the last big canvas I had (sized at 24″ x 36″) because the big paintings I did on my last residency took much longer to dry, and it becomes hazardous (to the paintings) to try to transport the bigger ones when they are sopping wet. I decided to do a painting inspired by one photo taken at Acadia National Park, in which the far ocean scene was entirely muted blues of the sky and the ocean, and even the islands in the distance were slightly blue because of the atmospheric perspective, with the furthest islands even fading into the sky color through a fog. I wanted to experiment with just a simple palette, as all my previous palettes this residency have been a little more complex. I painted this painting for most of the afternoon, breaking for dinner.
Dinner was make your own pizza night, so we got to put some artistic flair into our food. While we waited for our pizza, there was “happy hour” in the sunroom, with a little sangria and some nuts. We were pleased when the pizzas were done. Over dinner the topic of conversations ranged and fluctuated widely. For dessert we were able to make our own ice cream sundae — it was all delicious! After dinner I returned to my studio, only to find that in the very, very short time away for dinner, two — yes, two!– bugs had gotten stuck in two of my paintings hanging on the wall. I don’t know if they were just curious why the paintings were on the wall instead of on the easel, but they sure did get too close for comfort. So I add to add pest removal to my list of tasks for the evening!
I went back to work in the studio on the blue islands painting, using predominantly Prussian Blue, with some accents of a mixed ultramarine blue and cobalt blue. For the ocean water, I mixed Prussian Blue with some viridian green, then mixed with white for 4-5 different shades and saturations to accomplish the highlights and dark spots in the harbor water, and to account for the reflections of the sunlight from the angle I took the photo. I worked to finish up putting the daubs of paint on the canvas, then I was able to get to smearing the drips to make it “rain” as part of the next phase in the process. By the time I had finished up everything and was only starting to feel drowsy, it was 1am! I went to sleep ready to start on the three stacked paintings the next day.