Saturday, February 4, 2017

the recital underway


It's been some time since I last posted a new picture and now that there is one I thought I'd show you how it progressed from an early sketch to a finished illustration. As I said, an early sketch rather than the chicken scratches I'd be embarrassed to show you.


For some reason unknown to me I can't get the second image in the sequence to load - the one that shows the tonal underpainting. Instead, this is the third with the characters looking pretty well developed.

There was a time when I'd spend a lot of time putting together the elements of a new painting. The paintings themselves took weeks of evenings and weekends to complete. I seem to be much less patient now.


There needed to be a background and after several pencilled in tries and much erasing I decided on a nice walled garden. Deep in a Canadian winter is a good time to spend some imaginary time in a sunny walled garden, especially one that is a home to roses. I thought my little band of musicians would be happy there too.


Of course it still needed more depth and colour as well as something going on beyond the stone wall. Thus, the next day's effort found it looking like this - still a bit wispy but I could see where the picture needed to go.

If you're wondering where (if, of course you've stayed this long) here is the final result:



Finally, after adding more layers of warm transparent hues to give more shape and definition to the main image, I drew and painted the border - a thoroughly relaxing process that took a couple of days. Both during the Recital's development and now that it's done there are things I couldn't change at the time that I wish I'd done differently. Then again, nothing made by hand (at least by my hand) is ever perfect and perhaps that's the charm. It's nice enough. If only changing the way we live on this Earth were as easy..

“Throughout the world what remains of the vast public spaces are now only the stuff of legends: Robin Hood’s forest, the Great Plains of the Amerindians, the steppes of the nomadic tribes, and so forth. Rousseau said that the first person who wanted a piece of nature as his or her own exclusive possession and transformed it into the transcendent form of private property was the one who invented evil. Good, on the contrary, is what is common.”
~ Antonio Negri




24 comments:

The Crow said...

I want to live there, Susan, where joy, togetherness and happiness live. There isn't a lot of that here right now.

Your creations draw me in, and make me want to stat there forever. Thanks for this happy band, their walled garden paradise and a glimpse into how things couls be...somewhere.

Sean Jeating said...

While the boy's physiognomy remains, the girl's does change after the first sketch in which – due to her smile, eyes, brows – she looks much more like the music obviously is: vivace. :)
Or do my eyes cheat me?
Anyway, they do like what they see. Thank you.

Oh. ... :) Die you read Hardt's and Negri's "Empire"?

Sean Jeating said...

And herewith an "e" is taken away and replace by a "d". :)

Sean Jeating said...

Ufff! and here's a "d".

Should Fish More said...

Fascinating to see the progression, and artist at work. Thank you for sharing this. I've said it before, but I love your work. Your girls particularly, remind me of my two, now adults of 41 and 30. My youngest granddaughter, Fiona, also comes to my mind when viewing your art. The girls always seem to me to show a capability, if not a tendency, to mischief. Like my girls.

So many things are disappearing, eh? Glaciers, open space, my dreams and hopes for the world that my kids will be left with, seems life seldom goes as planned.

Cheers, and thanks again for your lovely work.

Mike

susan said...

That Donald Trump was elected in the first place, Martha, is a surefire sign that many things were going very wrong in the world. The good news is that people are finally waking up. The world can be a much better place if we make it so.

I'm very happy you like the pictures I make. Being in the midst of working on one takes my mind off everything else.

susan said...

Good call, Sean, you're right about the girl's smile having changed after the first sketch. I preferred it but it only takes the tiniest of errors in such a small space to effect a big difference in a child's expression and by then I was committed. Another funny thing is that I realized long ago that my characters have their own ideas about the attitudes they display.

Your "d's" have been noted. :)

susan said...

I'm pleased to know seeing my picture's progress cheered you up, Mike. I used to paint goddess-like women but now my favourite thing is to capture the fey beauty of children, especially girls (perhaps because of my now vague memories of having been one). I'm very fond of little boys too but, as I'm sure you've noticed, girls are far more wise from the beginning. I won't go into the reasons for that..

I know what you mean about things disappearing. We were probably the luckiest generation born (that we know of, anyway), but we never signed on for the end of the world.

Still, we never know what the future will bring.

marja-leena said...

Delightful, charming, happy... that is what each piece conveys to me, and of course the last is the finale!
Thank you for cheering me up after time spent reading too much bad news. Isn't that what art is good for?

Tom said...

How I would just love to be in your studio watching you work. This series of 'clips' from your process is enthralling. And you never produce 'mud'. I suppose the part of the picture that really caught me was the big middle dog. There is that wonderful look on his(?) face that is so typical. You are a keen observer of life, and you portray it beautifully.

susan said...

It's always good to know you enjoy seeing my work, Marja-Leena. Working on them certainly takes my minds off the troubles found in the news.

susan said...

I'm afraid watching me at work on a painting would be very boring for you, Tom, as I tend to work carefully for an hour or so and then go back to my book while the latest section dries. I think when people end up with mud it's because they didn't take time to layer.
I especially love that dog too - the big ones are always so much more relaxed.

clairesgarden said...

I love it. x

Jono said...

I can only imagine what it is like to see that final image in the first place. Thanks for the explanation of the process which is fascinating.

susan said...

That makes me happy, Claire.
xoxo

susan said...

I always enjoy seeing how people attain their results too. I'm glad you enjoyed this, Jono.

Lindsay Byrnes said...

Hi Susan,
A great way to illustrate (no pun intended) how your lovely art work evolves. Now I guess you know dogs are particularly partial to howling on key, given a long note played on the violin, or the flute. But also if you hold on to long note while singing. So can I join in the chorus to endorse all that has said previously. But is Crow to fly in and conduct the recital.
Best wishes

susan said...

Hi Lindsay,
Thanks so much for your kind words. Sometimes I remember to scan between sessions and I'm glad I did this time. Yes, some dogs do seem to enjoy singing along to string and wind instruments, but I didn't know about them harmonizing with singers too. You'd be very welcome to join in and I'm sure Crow would be pleased to offer you refreshments.
All the best

Sean Jeating said...

Oh! The really important part I forgot about: Lovely pictures, lovely post. :)

susan said...

It was sweet of you to come back to say so, but I already knew you liked it. :)

Sean Jeating said...

:)So good to know you (seem to) know me well, Susan. So good.

Andrew R. Scott said...

Your drawings are magical.

Andrew R. Scott said...

And your one of my Edrig and Adrig on my bookcase makes me smile regularly. Thanks again.

susan said...

Painting makes me happy and keeps me sane at the same time.

I'm very glad that image appeared in my mind's eye and that I was able to share it with you. Those two provided a strong impetus.