I usually don’t do a series of paintings on the same subject. However, over time I’ve accumulated so many paintings that sometimes when I am planning an exhibit, the paintings will have a similar theme. Currently, I have an exhibit of 11 paintings at Presbyterian Manor in Lawrence that depict spring.
But my most recent paintings have turned out to be a series of doors. Husband and I went on a garden tour of England several years ago and I took lots of photographs. Some of my favorite are doorways. I love the way the English plant flowers around doorways to their homes. I have also found interesting doors on churches, especially at the back. In our bedroom hangs a large painting of the back door of one of the California missions.
A problem with painting doorways is that they usually involve perspective and it is really important to get that right. I have read of different ways of doing this, but have come up with a unique way of my own. Once I have my drawing on the canvas in charcoal, I can check to see if I have the perspective correct by laying the canvas on my kitchen floor. Like many kitchens, mine has a tile floor with easy to see lines between the tiles. I line up my drawing with a tile line even with where the horizon would be. I tape two yardsticks together. By laying the yardsticks across the top of the door in this painting and down toward the tile line, I can mark a vanishing point on the tile with charcoal. Then I can lay the rulers on the bottom of the door or the top and bottom of the window and extend the rulers to the vanishing point to see if the lines are correct.
I suppose there is always a bit of mystery connected to a closed door. What is behind it? But at least there won’t be any mystery about whether the perspective is correct.