I've been enjoying this last week in the studio, working on a real, live large painting again. I've done an awful lot of small drawings in the past 18 months or so but there's nothing quite like using big brushes with lots of luscious paint. Added to that has been the challenge of working on paper. I ended up using 300gsm Arches Cover which I cut down to 30" x 40" and attached to a canvas of the same size for support. Then I masked the image area with blue painter's tape.
Halfway through the process (click to enlarge WIP mosaic to the left) I discovered I'd made a major oops. This painting is for a Texas spa and is based on an earlier painting. As you can see, the earlier one has a small, stylized cow skull in the upper left corner. To help deal with the vertical-to-horizontal conversion problem I decided to enlarge the skull and make it more detailed/prominent. I even took the cow skull I got in Alberta last summer out of my garden and propped it up on Coco's studio bed, much to her chagrin, so I could 'paint from death' so to speak. I guess I should have cleared the alteration first as it turns out the designer of the space has nixed cow skulls; the images need to be soothing for the spa clients. I understand that but since I was on a roll I decided to finish it anyway. I don't know what to do with it now, though. It would need a very large custom frame to make it display-worthy, which is not currently something I can budget for.
In other news, Manitoba's Communicator of the Year (and blogger/mentor/writer/leader extraordinaire) Heather Plett has started a new and inspiring web project called What Are You Giving Away? I was fortunate enough to be her first guest blogger. (Warning: for once I ignored Oscar Wilde's belief that "Life is much too important a thing to talk seriously about.") I think Heather is really onto something with this idea.