This afternoon I was seized with the urge to paint. I need a spring looking painting so I can rotate out my pears that work well in autumn and winter, plus I just felt like painting. As you will know if you’ve been to my house and seen my paintings, I am not a talented artist by any stretch of the imagination, and I really don’t paint with an eye toward improving and selling my work or anything. I just enjoy the creativity of mixing colors and the lovely squishiness of slathering paint on a canvas. My great grandmother painted (unlike me, she was really good), and my grandmother gave me Nana’s big wooden paintbox, which has neat compartments and places for brushes and your palette and whatnot, plus little hinged locks to keep it closed and a leather handle.
It’s been about a year since I painted – I stopped when I found out I was having Hannah because my sister-in-law (who is a talented artist) told me that the fumes from oil paints are dangerous to babies in-utero. The painting I was in the middle of this time last year really didn’t inspire me today, so I decided to paint over it. I think this is the fourth time I’ve painted over this particular canvas. That’s the beautiful thing about canvas though, you can put as many layers on it as you please. Today I felt like painting a garden, so I put in some rough “bones” of a flagstone path and a bit of fence, and then painted a nice layer of green over everything else. I like to have a solid color to build off of – it makes it easier to add in the details later. I mixed the green from my enormous tube of Sap Green plus a touch of Naples Yellow. I put in the fence and path with Payne’s Grey and White, just to give me a sense of scale. Now that layer has to dry for a bit before I add anything else, or else things will start to get muddy. It was a most enjoyable way to spend half an hour before Hannah woke up.