Painting in the daylight

I was lucky to get some daylight hours in the studio today. Most often i work at night after the family meal has been had and the kids are in bed!

It is very different working with daylight, as appossed to my two, 100 watt (energy saving) globes!

I relish the opportunity when it arises! Next year, when my youngest child begins Primary School, I will have day light hours in which to apply myself! No doubt future Series’ will reflect this change in some way.

I have found over the years that the availability of space and conditions has greatly impacted on the type of work I produce. There is always a positive aspect to whatever conditions are at the time.

In the years 2003-4, I had to work at an eisel positioned between my fridge and kitchen table. I had a newborn baby who had 3 sleeps a day, for an hour and a half at a time. This made every minute count. I found instead of working on a painting in it’s entirity, I would work in sections and usually with one color at a time, for the sake of practicality.

One of my favorite series was born from this restriction. It is titled ‘The Deep End’. (This series will be included in the ‘Chapel off Chapel’ Gallery (Melb) show in Feb 2009) I would cover the canvas in sections of color and layers over time until a resolution was evident within the differences between the colors. This often took months and in some cases years but the gift was in how the layers of color merged and new vibrational tones were discovered that i would not have found if it were not for having to work in sections at a time.

Up until then i had been working very quickly on a full canvas. I usually had a vision of the propossed outcome and could generally work on it for hours at a time until i felt it finished, oh the luxury of undictated hours! The works were made wet and dried when completed. I rarely touched them after this point.

In the new ‘limited’ time frame, I had I discovered layering ‘wet’ on ‘dry’ and consequently the intentional layering of colors that would ‘shine through’ a finished work. I believe ‘The Deep End’ series has a depth and richness born from this technique. I have remained eternally grateful for that limited space period. It taught me the basics of what I am doing now!

The light restrictions of working in my studio at night also have a positive effect on the work produced. I tend to favor the ‘feeling’ of the color over correctness and I follow the shadow that guides my hand in application. I don’t have those shadows to play with in daylight!

Having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed Sunday’s foray into the light. The sound of the birds singing creating a musical backdrop whilst the sun bathed me in it’s warmth. (A far cry from the 3 layers of clothing and beanie I so often need to work out in the studio at night!) I welcome the warmer weather and the ease of movement less clothing affords, although along with warmer weather come the 1000′s of little black bugs, whom have a deep attraction for a freshly primed white canvas! Interestingly, they prefer bright, warm colors to land on! Perhaps they are programmed for these vibrations from the flowers. They seem to flock to white, reds, and yellow hues!

In the daylight I was able to see the Tryptych I’m working on in a different way. I tended to be bolder in my application of ground cover. Larger in my movement. I scratched into the surface with the palette knife creating pathways for future layers to follow. Choosing Cadnium Deep Red and Cadnium Mid Yellow to start.Perhaps it was the sunshine?

It will be interesting to see how they develop over ensuing weeks!