Labor Day came and went and suddenly my calendar is full. It’s not as if I haven’t been hard at work in my studio all summer, but it was mostly time by myself, between me and my painting. Suddenly I’m needing to pay attention to the world at large again.

How did it happen that I didn’t get my workshop schedule for the Fall together until a few days ago? Well, yes, part was procrastination, part was being really busy painting, but the other part has to do with a Golden Artist Educator Workshop program I was accepted in that will happen in late October. Golden acrylics are the paints I’ve been using for years and I think they are the very best . This is an exciting opportunity for me and it will benefit my workshop students as well. I’ll probably devote a blog post or two about this after I’ve gone to the training. So the delay has been partly due to my thinking about ways in which I’d like to adjust and improve my workshop offerings. At any rate, the schedule for September through December is now up on the workshop page, if you’d like to have a look. I’m excited about getting going–I miss teaching and I miss the excitement and activity other people bring to my studio.

Another thing I’ve been working on is a commission for a 36″ x 60″ painting for a company in Houston, due to them by November 1.

I’ve been trying to remember to take photographs of my progress. I’d like to have a record of how my paintings keep changing as I work. If only I managed to be consistent about taking these snapshots. Here’s what I’ve done over the last few weeks. Below, a rather large blank canvas is lurking on my easel.

Commission, blank canvas

Here’s the canvas, stretched with GAC 100 on in 2 coats and 3 coats of Golden gesso, all set and ready to go.


What I accomplished on the first day of work on the painting

Here’s what I accomplished on the first day of work on the painting.

First days are almost always exhilarating and aerobic for me. It’s a lot of work and takes a lot of paint to completely cover the surface of a new canvas. My aim is to get a rough base of colors and textures but without worrying about whether what I have done is “right”.

Commission after more work

After a day or two more work

Gee, doesn’t look like much has changed–but there are quite a few more layers added.

Commission after a few more days

I don’t remember how much time elapsed between the last snapshot and this one.

I’m guessing this was probably the result of close to an additional week of work.

Another image of the commission in progress

At this point there’s often as much going backwards as there is progress!


This is where I'm at now on the commission

I took this snapshot yesterday.

You can tell I was feeling bold between the previous photo and yesterday–quite a few changes appeared, both with the color and oh, look, some reeds showed up in the upper right. There are also some new passages of blue ripples in the foreground. On the other hand, it doesn’t look as detailed as it did before and what happened to the color?

Does it sound as if I have any control over the whole process? True confession–I do and I don’t.  For me the fun and mystery is in the fluid interaction between the canvas, the paint and myself. Sometimes I take control and other times it feels like I just follow along.

Taking photographs of the progress may be my way of trying to spy on myself to figure out the logic behind my process. Not that I think there is any logic.

If only I could remember to take the photos on a regular schedule!