Summer painting in progress

Summer school ended the first week of July and after turning in final grades for my course, I came home ready to focus in the studio.  As I previously wrote, I wasn't quite sure what to do with this canvas (it measures 36 x 36 inches), so I began by painting the background in a warm palette.  When I work on a large canvas like this, I use a second work table so the canvas can lay flat for the first few layers.  Following are photos of the progression. 

July 14:  Lola, #studiocat, is always very interested in my studio progress. The origami was first drawn on gridded paper to achieve similarity in size and shape.  Next, the original sketch was repeated on tracing paper and transferred to the canvas.  The shapes were blocked in with a thin layer of white paint.


July 15-18:  I spent a few days in my sketchbook, drawing blind contours of the caladium in my garden and working out the composition.  After choosing the sketches I wanted to use in the final work, I transferred the lines to tracing paper and laid them out on the canvas.  The square format presented some challenges that I haven't had to address on such a large scale before.  This part always takes the longest.  
July 19: The subject matter has been transferred to the canvas and blocked in.

July 22: Current state. 


Summer Painting

The view from my studio window
As expected, Texas summers are HOT.  Even the cacti in my garden are starting to look a little burned out.  A local told me that you never get over the Texas heat, you just learn to live with it.  This is the first summer in a long time (high school?) that I've had a true summer break.  No side jobs, nothing but my studio work to focus on.  I am excited to announce that I begin a full time teaching appointment mid-August!

The 36" x 36" canvas for my newest painting spent two months leaning against the wall outside my studio, waiting for inspiration to strike.  I recently wrote to my friend Kelly about how I wasn't sure what to do, but I was going to get started anyways.  The background came first and I worked with a 1" brush to blend (wet-on-wet) patches of white, pink & yellow.

Next, I transferred the origami pattern and blocked it in with paint.  Origami has been appearing in my work since a residency in 2010.  I really liked the background of my previous painting and wanted to reuse it here to make a more joyful piece.  After all, the strands of origami served as the backdrop for our wedding ceremony.

Here are a few sketches for this painting (as yet unnamed), sparrows and caladium drawn from the garden. Sparrows were in several of my drawings last summer & ever present in our yard.  The caladium were planted as bulbs late February.  I patiently waited for them to grow and was about to give up when one day in late April they began to push up through the ground.