Foreground and disaster

photoMy easel is very large and I have always extolled its virtues, but yesterday it suffered a total disaster when one of the pulleys used to pull up the shelf that holds the canvas snapped – made from cheap cast metal, it simply couldn’t take the weight of the painting, which crashed down to the floor, narrowly avoiding falling over onto me as I was painting the early layers of the foliage on the right side. I’ll need to replace the broken pulley and its remaining partner with some much better quality steel pieces. As the shelf fell the weight of the painting broke the strips that held it into the cart that slid up and down behind it, which means that I’ll also have to rebuild the entire shelf’s sled assembly before I am able to use it again. This is a serious problem because I’m working on the bottom of the painting at the moment, so I need to be able to raise and lower it to a decent painting position. Right now the painting is sitting upon a table against the easel, which is not exactly ideal, but at least it makes it possible to work.

Once I’d managed to get the piece back up and in a good position I was able to get some good work done on the landscape and flowers on the right hand side. It’s been all about Iron Oxide to colour the flowers orange, with a little cadmium yellow here and there, while the megaliths that dominated the centre of the piece are completely gone now, so we can see what I expect to be the final shape of the cliffside. A layer of green background leaves is not very clear in the picture here, but looks effective in reality. After a couple more layers of base leaves I expect to paint some grey flower heads so the foreground blossoms pop. I mean to put some pinks over the orange of the flowers on the left, so that they have a nice warm vibration and some depth in the spaces between the petals.

About pearce

Michael Pearce is an artist, writer, and professor of art. He is the author of "Art in the Age of Emergence."
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