Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Chandelier Shadow, The Lady in the Woods and The Small Red Fox

Well over a year ago, when my father was on his way up from Saanich to visit me, he asked if he could pick me up a canvas from my favourite art shop in Sidney. I said sure, this time why not bring me a bigger one than I usually go for. Well, he showed up with this massive canvas, bigger than anything I'd ever thought of approaching...in fact I have no measuring tape handy, but I think it must be close to 40" by 60"! My dear father's ambition and faith in my potential....

Well, it sat in various places while I ignored it....leaning against an entire wall in the small bedroom back in the blue house, then shoved mercilessly away in the shed here at Wildwood. But since I plan to renovate the shed for October, I moved it out and let it sit against the wall in my living room, a visible white elephant! I've been unable to get a grasp on what to paint on it....should I go abstract, or do a detailed landscape, or, or, or...maybe even paint the white elephant? 

Then one night, as the sun began to set, a bath of deep warm yellow light washed into the living room, and  the shadow of my chandelier appeared in gigantic form upon the canvas, casting sweeping woodsy curving shapes across it, and then I saw her....a woman gliding gracefully through the woods. I grabbed a pencil and traced her form. 

The Chandelier Lady of the Woods has slowly come to be:
The next night I started in on her face and upper body:

A vision has appeared for the whole canvas...I know almost instinctively how it will unfold...the colours, the entire palette, her green dress.... the only question being whether she will be walking alone or with a spirit animal at her side...either a deer or a fox, I figure.

For practice, I took a small light wooden canvas and began painting a little red fox. On it's own it's a sweet little painting in the making, and this canvas is only 10" x 8". More and more I'm loving the feel of oil on wood, the way it sinks and glides and comes up so vividly, the way the wood grain guides my brush and welcomes my flow of line. 

Perhaps there will be room for such a fox in the big canvas, or a deer or a wolf or other creature. Using the small canvas is a quick way to summon up creatures and ideas. In any case I've added more inventory to my world of unfinished works....and can certainly say that no size remains an obstacle, from teensy to towering!

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