After a month of adjusting back from a long trip, it was good to turn the heat up in studio. I started in on a few fresh batches of paintings, and half-jokingly started telling students I wanted to paint 28 paintings in 28 days.
With my mind still fixated on my recent visit to the Prado, I spent a lot of time thumbing through my guide to the collection and the amazing Prado website. While my sketches from the trip are in the on deck circle, I started fooling around with some landscapes from Spain and Portugal.
I chose a selection of photos I took from various locations from my trip and started in on some quick oil sketches. I just want to create some interesting quick landscapes. It was a good exercise to knock off some rust and throw some paint around. The memories of Velasquez’ paint danced in my head. With this new focus, I keep plugging away on the landscapes.
I also started in on some larger works, incorporating some more landscapes into the backgrounds. The paintings absorbed a new energy with the added information from my pictures. I started using a lot more smaller brushes and building up my surfaces in a different manner. It was hard not to reconsider aspects of my paintings after the Prado. February doesn’t leave a lot of time to get things done. With oil dry times, I made sure to work on these larger paintings every couple of days, making incremental progress.
I also started to kick around my most recent largest painting in earnest. Below are some photos of the changes that developed throughout the month. My original sketch changed a bit and the characters started to come along on a weird quest. The painting surface is something I’m becoming proud of, and hopefully this painting will be finished sooner than later.
Of course, the month ended in familiar fashion. I was back down in my woodshop, making a bunch of large stretchers. With world events spiralling out of control, it’s time to shift my focus in March. It’s too exhausting watching the endless parade of the rich and powerful trampling on the rights and lives of normal people. My sketchbook has been filling up.
Although I didn’t hit my goal of 28 paintings in 28 days, that was enough to remind me of the joys of Sharon Jones. I saw her and the Dap-Kings perform at a tiny venue in Austin back around 2008 and it was such a sensational performance. So here you go: