This morning I was up early and in the studio by 8:30am. I immediately went to the painting I started the night before to see how far the drips had fallen. Over all, the drips seemed to have moved quite nicely, so the touch-ups to the blending of dots and drips didn’t require very much in the first pass. I also set up a new big blank canvas on an easel, ready to be painted. And the shirt I wore today matched this painting.
As far as what I was going to paint, I was at a loss. I knew that I wanted to again work and rework using Browns and Sienna’s and umbers, but I wasn’t sure what kind of composition or painting content would work best, without doing the same thing over and over, like the previous 2 brown-and-blue paintings I’ve done. I started first toning the canvas with Prussian blue, and hoped that some sort of idea would come to me if I started just working in this manner.
I took a phone call from Tammy, the artist with whom I’m collaborating on these paintings for our June Italy show. We discussed various things related to her gallery’s grand opening happening the weekend of May 10th. I planned to fly down for the weekend to be present as one of the featured artists. I took a break from painting to make sure that my flight was booked before ticket prices went way up.
After talked to Tammy, I actually had an idea of what to paint: a waterfall amongst a rocky mountain landscape. The rocks would be assorted grays and browns, and the waterfall and pool below would have some blue to it. I immediately got to work plotting the lines for this painting, adding in the underpainting, and starting to apply dots in all the colors just described.
I reached a point in working on this painting that I needed to walk away and take a break from it for a little bit. I had recently heard that the employee strike of Stop & Shop was over as of last night, when both parties agreed to terms that satisfied the demands of the strike. I needed to go get some groceries and vegetables, so I drove to Provincetown to the Stop & Shop supermarket there. I didn’t realize just how strange it was to see a full contingent of cars in the parking lot, since it had been empty during the strike for almost 2 weeks. Walking into the store, seeing people going about their own shopping business was also a little surreal. People seemed to be happy it was open, and I think the the employees were also happy to be back at work under better conditions. Even though the store was open and the strike over,much of the produce shelves were still bare. Today was also the very first day after the strike, so the shipments must not have started just yet of replenishing the contents of the fresher items.
After Stop & Shop I drove around the scenic route, taking in some of the rainy ocean moods. It had been raining pretty much all day. I drove down Commercial Street, but didn’t park and get out so that I didn’t get distracted and not return to the studio in time to finish the painting. I did, however, drive around noting just how foggy it was out, so foggy that the top of the Pilgrim Monument couldn’t be seen through the mist. On the drive to the residency I stopped at Savory & Sweet to get a pesto turkey caprice panini for a late lunch, since I had painted straight through my usual launch time. I worked diligently on filling in more varied dots and daubs on my current plan for a waterfall on the rocks until around 5:30pm.
Around that time Martha and Patty and I all went to Mews, a coffee shop and restaurant in P-Town featuring an open mic night tonight, so we wanted to get there early to claim some bar seats, since some of the other ones required reservations. When we arrived (after walking in the rain), we saw that even the bar seating had been reserved by others.. I thought that bar seating was always open at most establishments. The host saw us awkwardly decide what to do, so he offered us the ability to sit at the reserved bar seats only until the reserved people arrived, at 7pm and it was around 6pm at this time. So we agreed to sit to get one cocktail and Mail see the opening act, and then head home, so we ordered our drinks and enjoyed this brief time at the bar before the open mix started.
Eventually, the people whose reserved seats we were in arrived, and we were displaced to a standing only section, with 2 bar seats stationed at a shelf instead of a table. We agreed that two of us could sit at a time and then we’d rotate who got to stand. The acts started assembling, and we were able to watch a couple good guitar and song acts perform.
One lady at table nearby saw us awkwardly in the corner and let us know that she and her husband would be leaving and that we should take their table. We gratefully obliged, taking the table and grateful for a better surface to rest on. I ordered the pesto pasta for dinner, with the plan to take most of it home for later meals. There was one act by a couple of guys, one on guitar and one on mandolin in which the instrumental harmony sounded awesome, but the vocals were a little subpar. Then one of them stayed up for a standup comedy routine, which amounted to few laughs about his perception of backflips. Then a brief intermission ensued while the main act assembled their set. We stayed for their first song, which was a jazzy bit of trombone, saxophone and percussion and guitar. We left around 8:30 so that we could still get some late minute work done in the studio.
I worked a bit more on this painting upon returning home, and then rained the painting before going to sleep by midnight, which was a big achievement for me during this particular residency where my usual bedtime has been around 1pm.