Mr. Coltrane and Mrs. Moose
My wife Heather is my inspiration for my creative self-care. She is diligent about taking the time she needs to recharge and pamper herself. A hair cut, pedicure, or Thai massage makes a world of difference for her. Painting something fun, and just because, has a similar invigorating effect on me.
I have a folder on my Dropbox called "Future Projects". In it goes images provided by clients and images that capture my attention. They are "paintings waiting to happen", as I like to call them. Mrs. Moose jumped right out at me as the next perfect subject. I had just completed a large composition that included a couple of kids and a car. Prior to that I had done a still life painting of the pair of old hockey skates. I desperately needed an animal to balance things out.
I did the underpainting the night before and jumped into adding colour first thing yesterday morning.
As I go along, I do this squinting thing: closing my eyes to cloud my vision. If I'm heading in the right direction, I begin to see the finished painting in this compressed view. I saw the moose right away. She was there; I just had to do the work to bring her out.
With half the day left, I decided to do a second "just for fun" painting. Again, I went back to my "Future Projects" file and landed on an old photograph of Jazz saxophonist John Coltrane.
Once again, I started with the underpainting, getting a solid layer of yellows, oranges, reds, and purples.
After dinner and a walk around the neighbourhood, I started bringing in the flesh tones and some details.
In many ways, one could look at the painting above and say that it was pretty much finished. I recognize that I could probably leave it right here and call it done. However, I will be going out after writing this blog post and dive a little deeper with Mr. Coltrane.
Both original pieces will be available for purchase if you are interested in giving one of them a home.