Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Things went pretty smoothly yesterday, I'd say. I spent awhile deciding on colors and then it took me some time to get used to using different materials like the larger brushes, and to having things set up differently. I am not quite sure when I became such a creature of habit, but it was nice to mix things up a bit, even if it was a bit unsettling. And I still can't get over how much paint, medium and cotton cloths I went through! I am usually so thrifty with my supplies and am accustomed to using very minimal amounts of paint so it was kind of shocking to use a half tube here, a half tube there and a large portion of my last bottle of medium just to cover the panel! Doug will be visiting Pearl Paints when he is in the city this week for an emergency container of Liquin.

The lighting issue turned out to be a non-issue. I put a clamp light at the top of the easel and Doug set a light stand up high so I ended up with about the same kind and amount of light that I normally have.

I struggled with the color of the foreground on the first piece that I worked on, the barn on the 48x60 panel (left, in above photo). I must have painted that foreground five different colors before I finally settled on a bluish green color, which was quite similar to the color I had applied in the first place. hmmm. Well, sometimes you have to go in circles, I guess. I am not completely satisfied with the color so I will be trying another glaze on it. Also, I feel like the image is a bit stiff at this point and so I need to try and loosen it up a bit. But it is close to working, I think.

The second piece just painted itself (pictured below) and honestly I felt like crying afterwards, I was so relieved. There are still a few minor things to be done, like lightening the foreground a bit, but it is essentially finished. In this one I didn't add color to the trees, instead leaving them the color of the underpainting. I feel as if the painting would really be dragged down if I were to add color to the trees, by not doing that the piece is lighter and more energetic.

I will have to work on them on Wednesday however, because I applied some of the paint rather thickly and I also worked into the evening on Monday so the paint isn't completely dry today. I will spend today working on several more paintings that may included in this show if they turn out. Um, before Saturday.

In talking with Doug at the end of the day on Monday, I realized that the move to working at a larger scale went fairly smoothly despite my initial trepidation. No new problems appeared really, the things I struggled with here are the same things I usually have difficulty with in my work which are color harmony, spatial issues and edges.

We also figured out that if I were to sell twenty 48x60 paintings, I'd have about enough money to build a new studio. No problem, right?! ha


James Wolanin said...

Tracy, it's always good to move out of your comfort zone once and a while. It helps you to grow as an artist! You're going to look back on your smaller paintings and say, "Geez, how did I ever work that small!"

The paintings are looking great!

Tracy said...

You are right of course, it's always good to move out of the comfort zone, but the stretch here for me was the all of the stuff around the painting, not the actual painting part, so much. I wonder if that still counts:-)

I am already wondering how I will do the two 6x6 pieces I have to do for a holiday small works show!

Melissa said...

Wow! Beautiful!
I'll bet that those 6x6 paintings will practically paint themselves.
My largest painting was a 50 x 80 tryptich. I remember how shocking and scary it felt to be using so much paint on one painting. I'm back to the 24 x 24's now.

Ed Maskevich said...

Now for real fun, alternate back and forth between large and small, and maybe throw in a miniature for good measure. When I did abstract work in the 1970's I did paintings on average that were 8' X 10'. I did about 4 paintings per month and used about 10 gallons of paint. Ahh, to be young, naive , and ambitious.

Lesly said...

Oh Tracy ... these are looking GOOD! Moving up in size suits your work really well.

You will know if you are on the right track to continue painting big when these are exhibited (and no doubt sell).


amber said...

Bravo! they look awesome!

meno said...

Since i have been reading, you have really grown and taken on new challenges. I feel as proud of you as if you were my own invention. But you are not. It's all you.

I want to eat these colors.

Tracy said...

Ed and Melissa, Yes it will be interesting to go back and forth, I already am a little bit as I am still working on a few 18x24's. It wasn't so long ago that 18x24 seemed mural sized to me. Ed, 8'x10'? Holy cow!

Thanks Lesly, it will be interesting to see how they go over in the upcoming show. I am always getting requests for large work and so here we are. They better sell because if they don't I have no idea where I will be putting them after.

Hi Amber, your large paintings inspired me to go for it. Thank you!

Thanks Meno for the very lovely comment. It's always nice to hear that others notice changes that can be very subtle. It's hard to see on inside sometimes. I know what you mean about wanting to eat the colors, I often feel like"jumping in."

Paula Manning-Lewis said...

Love your work, the feeling the colors give me is so warm and comforting!

Paula :)