Bird & Sunrise photo

Bird & Sunrise photo
Because "someday" is today!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

"Take A Whack At It..."

"You can't hit a home run unless you step up to the plate." This was the advice from the card from the "Whack Pack" which I drew a few weeks ago when I was dithering about how to proceed on an idea for a painting I wanted to do. I was hoping to finish this new painting of a small disdainful Muffy cat in time for the Millicent Roger Museum's annual miniature show.

As usual, I was trying to know the end from the beginning and forgetting that often the answer comes while you are working on the painting. I came up with the idea of collaging a fictional news story behind Muffy, explaining why she looked so disgusted. I liked the idea, but I wasn't sure how to get the typewritten piece to put behind her and I worried that it might be too distracting from the main painting.

That advice was just what I needed to get moving instead of thinking. I wrote my story on the computer and then copied it onto a sheet of tracing paper. I ordered the picture frame I thought might work on line. I made several scale copies of Muffy's photo so I could see what size image would work best on a tiny 5"x 4" canvas. Finally, I got to the painting.

I made the right decision by doing a black and white underpainting of Muffy before I added the "news article" type. That helped so I could see the image as I added other layers of collage. I should have tested the tracing paper for buckling. It did get a bit bumpy when I put the collaging gel on it, but I decided to keep it anyway. While I was working, I remembered I had a piece of sheer green collaging paper that was just the color of Muffy's eyes. I added it over the whole image, hoping it would still go with the picture frame I had picked out. I had a moment when I thought I had ruined the whole thing, but I kept painting and I am very pleased with the result. It is different than I imagined, but I think it is better. Leaving room for the unexpected is a good idea.

Jeff's Corner: Paint first, ask questions later!


Camille said...

I've always loved the beautiful(very realistic) flowers you paint. And I think of you when I pass your pansy painting on my way out to my garden. But.......I'm really liking your new paintings! The colage is so interesting. The more abstract approach works for me. I think Miss Muffy is sweet and the print behind her was a fantastic idea. Way to try something new! I like it!

Polka Dots and Posies said...

I LOVE your mixed media cat painting - it's so cool!