Saturday, October 18, 2008

Painting Group

Wednesday we had our usual painting group. I have written about it so many times, I decided to take a picture. Here are Lisa and Sydney having refreshments (wine, cheese, and crackers) after our afternoon labor. I love looking at this because it brings back the feeling I always have there. Sydney's studio, on the third floor of her huge house, is comfortable and welcoming. The lighting is less than ideal for painting, but we aren't really bothered by it. Our camaraderie makes up for any practical difficulties there may be. We paint and talk, occasionally falling into easy silence as we work. Topics of conversation run the gamut......local gossip, politics, personal problems, religion, books, TV shows, art, philosophy....nothing is off limits. Despite the fact that we usually get together only this one day a week, it seems we are the best of friends. Seeing them in this picture makes me realize that I love them.

The top picture is the one I started that day and finished at home. I have liked painting these vegetables and envisioned a series. After this one, the third, I'm not so sure. I'm more intrigued by the idea than the process. Probably I will do one more and then see how I feel about it. I've already picked another arrangement, so I may as well keep going. I am so short on supplies that along with doing without some of my paint colors, I have started painting on a pad of canvas paper that I've had for at least ten years. It's flimsy, so master of invention that I am, I got some vinyl tiles left over from the bathroom floor out of the cellar. They are square, and are sticky on the back--perfect for mounting canvas paper. I am quite proud of my resourcefulness. It amuses me that so many artists no better or more famous than I worry so much about preserving their work. They worry about color-fast paint, archival surfaces and framing materials, and exposure to light. Putting my work on peel-and-stick floor tiles is a defiant piece of performance art, if only in my own mind.

I had a wonderful print-making teacher named Zislaw Sikora during a summer session when I was at school. He once said, as we students labored endlessly over our preparatory sketches, "Come on, hurry up. If you were Rembrandt, you'd know it by now."
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