A Day on the Bay

This is the largest of the seven tiny paintings I did at different times of day from a perfectly placed window overlooking the bay (I applied the white when I got home). I was trying to see if I could begin a third poster–a summer poster–to go with the first two Lake Effects posters that have been so successful the past few years. Those posters cover only eight months: fall, winter, and spring. I couldn’t afford the window I painted those from during the popular warm season.

Global Warming on Saginaw Bay

An artist friend whose opinion I respect suggests that the values are too similar. Another thinks the mermaid should have shells in her hair and more highlights. I originally painted the fish much brighter and think I’ll go back and repaint them, as bright fish were part of the joke.

This winter I seem unable to focus on a large, money-maker project, so I’m experimenting, painting from my head, from photographs, from life, using watercolors of several types, acrylics, and pastels. Nothing really hangs together. I’m at the looks-futile-dump-it stage, but experience has taught me hang tough and finish a long-term project. For it is, actually, a project after all.

I’ll just turn my Global Warming to the wall for a while.

Later…okay, I redid it…as seen in this image. In addition to the above ideas, my son suggested that I brighten the fisherperson. At first I resisted but he was right. I ended up taking everyone’s suggestions and now I like this painting. This often happens to me: I ask for help but then I reject what I get. I know, however, that this is a mistake and I know better than to ask for suggestions and not even try them.
Click on any image to enlarge it.

On a Portrait Roll….

I did this one in two days. The first day I drew it and started painting it with acrylics. Then I quit because I didn’t like what I saw and didn’t know how to fix it. Yesterday, I tried again. I got out a box of pastels which I’ve only used a couple of times in years and I colored right over the acrylic, which I’d painted over a coat of gesso on a cold-press watercolor paper block. Wow. There was plenty of tooth to catch the pastels but leave exposed a rich texture of acrylic. I didn’t know you could do this, mix media this way, but it worked. I was able to capture John’s likeness really well from a picture I took when he and Carol took me out on their sailboat on the Saginaw Bay last summer.

I showed it to them last night and I hope they liked it. It’s sometimes hard to tell and what could they say in my presence? Oh well. The bathroom is a great place to hang a painting that you like but that doesn’t quite go in the living room. I’d never be offended. Honest.