The time I found for painting today was mostly spent on cleaning up details and improving work that I’d already established, including an alteration to the grass growing over the bottom of the Traveler’s leg, which was a little too much, some more care for the celtic interlace on the dagger, touchup of the jacket on his right side where the new hem now is the correct colour and has a little dark texture too. I also put a layer of white around the outside of the dandelions, which only need a few little pure white lines to finish them off.

The roses on the right have had their first layer of green over the grey; a mixture of greens, yellow, raw sienna and iron oxide red in varying degrees. I’m enjoying a peculiar relationship with Terre Verte, a very transparent green that I can’t decide to love or hate. It works really well over a grey for the grass, but it’s so absurdly transparent that I dislike it just for being such a thorough wimp of a pigment. I want it to be more muscular.

I’m enjoying all the references that I’m finding in the painting to pilgrimage: this narrow path is the road less traveled, that’s rocky and difficult, not wide and easy; the Monkey King travels to India in search of enlightenment; the Tarot Fool steps out on his journey at the beginning of the deck.

My easel is back in business, with a rebuilt sled and a pair of much stronger pulleys to support the work. Everything has been re-enforced, glued and repaired. I think BEST (the company name) easels should take a look at it to see how to improve their equipment a little.

Classes resumed this morning – it’s good to have my students back in the studio. I thoroughly enjoy introductory classes – it’s incredibly satisfying to find students who have no training, yet discover that they love making paintings or designing sculptures, or drawing.

I’m thinking more about how to proceed with the Angel of Death once this piece is complete. I’d like to include roses and moths in it, perhaps the roses will be mingled with the skulls on the ground while moths flutter in the air around the exultant skeleton. I’m only imagining the future at this point – soon I’ll have to commit.

Road less traveled

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