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Serendipity: Peony

4x5, acrylic

Jim put in a request for a pair of abstract paintings for the living room. So far, I have spent two days working on them. It's physical work, whether I'm standing before them or hovering over them. And it makes a considerable mess. A heavy vinyl drop cloth covers the whole room. On top of that is an absorbent fabric drop cloth. Depending on my "activity," some drop cloths are strategically hung on the walls. I wear two aprons to cut down on the possibility of transporting wet paint to the rest of the house. My uniform includes socks that have to come off before I head for the stairs. (I once transported paint footprints into the kitchen.) It's a completely different environment and mindset from when I'm painting a room. I don't even tape things off when painting interiors because my hand is so steady and my edges are so straight, but put a blank canvas in front of me and I'm like a child on sugar.

I was pleased with the first abstract painting but decided to start over again with the second one. At one point I thought I had solved it but one erring stroke threw the whole composition off and it needed to dry before coming back to it. So now what? I didn't want to stop painting. I certainly did not feel like cleaning up and I had paint that was ready to go somewhere. I opened the cabinets to see if I could find another surface. I found a 4x5 panel with a hideous something or other on it. A thick layer of white remedied the ugly and I left it to dry while I rummaged for something else. I really didn't think I'd find anything after my most recent studio purge but I lucked out. A small ornate frame conveniently had a canvas still in it. Granted, there were some demonic chickens (not mine) on the canvas sporting a heavy varnish so I peeled the canvas off the board to examine the state of things. Pristine canvas on the other side. Aha! By the time I had a gesso coating on it my other panel was dry and ready to go.

Feeling completely loose from working on those two larger canvases I tackled this miniature with zeal. I am very pleased with this representation of a peony. It's a nice study for a larger piece in the future.

Oh right, the abstract paintings. Here is one in its current state. It will evolve over time:

Russell calls this "ice palace." We'll see what she says later.

I have a LOT to say about these types of paintings and I will address that in another post at another time. It will be scathing, so look forward to it.

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