A Change of Pace


On the Balcony, acrylic, 16″ x 12″

It is easy to keep doing the same things over and over, especially if we’ve had some success doing it that way.  But we never know what we might learn and enjoy if we try something a little different.  For some years I have painted with a small group of women.  The two most faithful members live in the country so we usually paint on their land.  And it can be a problem finding something I haven’t painted before, maybe more than once.

Recently we had a new woman join our group.  Like the rest of us, she’s a senior citizen, but has been a more active artist both in time spent creating art and in entering shows both locally and in other communities.  I was surprised when she said she had never painted with a group before and I admired her willingness to give us a try.  When she invited us to her house in town to paint, I was glad to be going to a new location.

Her home contained an amazing amount of art, not only her own paintings but an extensive collection of pottery that she had collected in her travels, both in this country and abroad.  I can’t imagine buying pottery in some distant location and trying to get it home intact.  As I looked around for a place to paint, there was pottery everywhere.  Finally, I went out on a balcony overlooking the back yard.  The day was a bit cold for painting outside, but this balcony was enclosed in glass, which made it a perfect place to paint.  And of course there was pottery on the balcony t00.

I have been drawn more to still life recently and this pottery was an interesting challenge, as was the tile floor of the balcony.  Exactly what colors were these objects?  It was fun to figure that out.  Drawing the pots took some careful observation.  Exactly what shape are they and how does one make sure both sides are the same?  At home, I checked what I had done in this way.  I drew around one of the pots on tracing paper and then folded it in half.  I decided which half I liked best and then cut around it so that both sides were now the same.  Then I placed this on the painting of the pottery and drew around it with charcoal, which showed me where I needed to make corrections.  You can do this with elipses too, such as the one at the top of the larger pot.

I have a couple ideas of new places to paint and I can’t wait to give them a try.



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