|Preparatory small painting|
But I accede to my friend's insistence that they should co-exist and forge ahead. Today I fine-tune and develop, gaining and losing. The gain of definition, sharper focus, the loss of other possibilities without destroying this possibility.
Where to start? I laid out a roadmap in my last post. Listen to yourself I remind the painter. First those clouds of smoke. I like to paint smoke, but more isn't always better. Then I shift to flames. How do I make them more flamelike? I add streaks of white and then glaze it with my favorite iron oxide to add some brightness.
I build the structure of the trees, adding shadows, limbs within, a trunk, greenish segments between dustings of snow. I step back and observe the image as it begins to emerge.
Figures. My friend insisted on figures. I knock a door into one of my train cars and sketch a row of figures entering the car, first in black, then white modeled over it. My friend had told me they wore dresses so I sketch in the form of women in dresses. On the other side of the train I do a more random gathering of people. Hard to make them look up in a little sketch, but I make their heads a horizontal oval in the form of one looking up.
Remember I wrote of using the letter aleph (א) to represent the sparks in the fire and the stars above. I took a pointed tool and dipped it in white paint and began to inscribe alephs in the sky, representing hope and souls. I glazed over the sparks with transparent yellow until they are subtle forms. Finally the moon. I imagine a full moon peeking from the smoke. The same moon shines over both horrors and beauty, but I draw its moonbeams down into the forest. Beams of hope, a blessing.
Then back to shadows. I add a shadow for the chimney, brighten the snow in some areas, darken it with shadow in others. So what next? Is there a to do list?
In my omnipotent role in this universe I've created, I can move stars around. Having plunked the moon in the midst of my already created universe, I think I need to give it some room to breathe. Perhaps I will have my stars echo the pattern of the people below, a subtle repetition of pattern. Beyond that I need to live with it for awhile. At this stage changes emerge more gradually. When I return to my studio I will view it through fresh eyes and adjust as necessary. One of my favorite things to do in analyzing a painting is to segment it on my iPad and examine it in sections. Can each segment stand alone and create an engaging image. Here are a few of the segments. So far it holds promise.
|In the Forest|
|Fire and Moon|
|Moon and Trees|