Sunday, October 17, 2010

In addition to working on Carol and Space using Galkyd and the new method Rob VanderZee taught me, I've also been working on a second piece which I started from scratch during the class.  It's of my friend Lynn, a 66-year-old woman who is going to be climbing Kilimanjaro in February!  She and I go walking a couple of times a week at 6:30 in the morning - not my favorite time of day, but it's worth it to have the time with her.  She's so inspiring.  Until she got Plantar Faschitis, she was running marathons regularly and doing 1/2 triathlons, and she still coaches many runners on the Richmond scene.  Between her and my 91-year-old dancer friend Frances, I have fantastic mentors showing me how to age with vim, vigor, and vitality.  I am a lucky woman!

The top picture on the left is the first approach at the piece. Obviously I didn't grid the image.  I just sketched it in semi-carelessly then threw paint on the panel (it's on 1/2 in. gessoed plywood).  The image on the right is after I refined her feature considerably and gave her a bit of an Afro inadvertently.

The bottom image is as it stands now with her features more refined and the background with more paint on it. 

This Galkyd stuff is weird to work on.  It's thick and viscous - sort of like painting with honey.  The brush drags across the surface, making it difficult to get nice details.  It's not my usual style.  There's a lot to learn from it, but I don't think I'll adopt it as my primary working method.

The other issue is that after working with it for a while, my heart starts pounding quite a bit for several hours.  That is very uncomfortable.  I work with my air cleaner on (a heavy-duty one made for just such purposes) and open the windows overnight, but anything that has that effect in such a short time period can't be good for me!  Maybe there's something else out there that has some similar pros but fewer cons.

At any rate, it's definitely interesting learning something new and trying it out!

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