Friday, May 26, 2006
A Wedding Gift
Years ago, my neice handed me a stack of photos upon her return from a long vacation through northern Canada, and joking said to use them as inspiration for her wedding painting. We had a good laugh - she wasn't even dating anyone seriously - but the photos were beautiful shots of sunrises over vast expanses, with lots of interesting architecture and sort of an old world feel. Not my typical subject matter choice, so I dutifully filed them away, and sort of forgot about it.
Then, two Christmases ago, she got engaged. After the bubbly was passed around, and the euphoria had settled in, I remembered those photos tucked into a drawer in my studio, and couldn’t wait to dig them out.
I chose a wonderful old Montreal building façade, with overflowing window boxes greeting a late morning sun. I did a few sketches, a value study or two, and then floundered when it came to choosing the painting size. The file sat buried on my desk, yet again forgotten.
A few months ago I stretched a nice sized canvas, 18x24, and blocked the painting in. Not confidant of my abilities to paint straight lines, it hung on my wall, ostensibly for me to study while deciding what the next step would be. Of course, it got a little dangerous, when I remembered at the last minute to stash the painting in a closet prior to a visit by the bride to be. And there the painting sat, again, seemingly never to be tackled with abandon.
That ended this morning. After all, the wedding’s only 8 days away, and there’s nothing like a deadline to get me going!
I modified my palette a little for this one. Cadmium red dark, cadmium yellow dark, and azurite hue. The azurite gave a lovely green tint to the grays, which played up the limestone façade beautifully.
I did find myself wanting to reach for a darker blue, as the azurite is essentially a stain, and didn't lead to terribly dark values. But I exercised some restraint, and left it as is. For now.
I also am considering cropping the sky and dormers out…… and still need to clean up the mullions and trim on the windows. I'll live with it for the weekend, and see what it tells me it needs come Monday morning.
But overall it’s not such a bad painting (coming from someone who does pet portraits exclusively!), and one more example of how important it’s been for me to step out of my comfort zone.
Kimberly Kelly Santini
distinctive pet portraits
& 4-legged paintings