Poe’s Enchanted Garden ’15

poe's enchanted garden 15

Do you like that wisteria? I made that up. hahahahhaha    They have a small vine on the other side of the wall. It’s not blooming yet.

The entries for this show, “Poe’s Enchanted Garden” are due this week, so I have to stop working on this painting and let it dry. I still want to make changes because I can see a lot of mistakes in my linear perspective that I could fix. Sometimes I just have to say, I’ll try again next year, and I hope no one will notice my mistakes. Opening night is April 23, 6:30 PM. They’re having “Unhappy Hour”.

Too many people talk about fear of failure. Maybe it was the way their parents raised them to think they can’t make mistakes. I don’t get it. But when I look at this painting, I can’t tell if it’s a success or a failure. A lot of times my paintings get rejected. They’ll probably hang this one, I guess. As an artist, you have to get over fear of failure and just don’t care too much. Apathy helps you in the art world, even though it’s a bad attitude.

.IMG_1412This is my underpainting in grisaille.

Poe’s Enchanted Garden ’14

This is my entry from last year. The new one is almost finished.
This is my entry from last year. The new one is almost finished.

I liked this view in the garden but only a few little pansies were blooming when I did the painting. So I looked at the Blue Bells in Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden and faked in the Blue Bells on this painting. This year I’m faking in a huge Wisteria on the other side of the wall.

It seems like it’s taking a long time for me to finish the new painting of Poe’s garden, but as a plein air painter, I wait for the sun to come out and go there to work on it. That only gives me one or two days a week. Then I only stay for a couple hours at a time because the light changes and my concentration fades.

Now I’m waiting for them to turn on the water in the fountain that I’m painting this year. Water is always a challenge for me to paint. I  hope it works out. The paintings are due on April 18th for the show opening in the end of April. They’ll have “Unhappy Hour” that night.

Evening after Rousseau by Felix Bracquemond

etching and drypoint
etching and drypoint

The Winter weather is a bummer even in our normally mild VA.  I hung out at the museum last week and worked on a drawing of a horse. The VMFA has a great new exhibit of etchings by Bracquemond, so I got a shot of my favorite one for you.

When I was in art school I took a print making class and learned the process of etching. It’s more difficult than drawing with a pencil because you can’t erase. My etching from art school looked kind of weak, I must admit.  Strong drawing skill is a necessity if you want to do an etching.

This artist is a master. I hope you can see it clearly on your computer because I was amazed by the depth showing. The detail is so fine. The textures go from sharp to fuzzy. How did he do it?

In a Union Trench / charcoal and chalk

Cold Harbor Battlefield in Feb.
Cold Harbor Battlefield in Feb.

People stop and talk to me when I go out to draw and paint in plein air.  One guy reminded me that the Richmond Battlefield National Park at Cold Harbor is only a small part of the  line of battle. They have a great map with lights in the visitor center showing troupe movements. It was complicated.

When I walked the trail through the Union trench one day , I thought the shadows looked good to show the walls of the trench at 2:00.  At noon there’s a shadow going the long way down the trench.

It’s a narrow path through there so I didn’t take my easel in because I didn’t want to block someone else walking through.  Sometimes an artist has to hold the sketchbook in one hand  to draw and not use an easel. You get used to it.

No Camera Needed