Thursday was not a good day (Among other things I managed to break the toilet tank lid — don’t ask). Jer found a serious flaw in the big canvas on the back wall and the other big canvas on the side wall looked bleak, even impossible when I left. So I was reluctant to approach the Red Barn Studio Friday morning, let alone begin the work.
However, just when all seems lost, some good things appear. The big side wall canvas worked itself up nicely. It’s a semi-abstract, referencing the desert that stretches out from the Red Barn and its surrounding mountains. The perspective is tricky, the formations weird, but I’m liking it.
Amargosa Playa 2, Oil on canvas, about 5′ x 5′
This and the other big canvas are about my height, but on the wall they go high enough that I used a ladder to reach the tops.
The Playa went so well that I tackled the back wall canvas:
Golden Canyon Revisited, Oil on canvas, about 5′ x 5′
The photo isn’t good because of the glare of light on the wet oils, but you can get some idea, even with the bad photo, what I was doing.
Here’s a detail of the brush strokes:
Then, having such success, I turned to another painting, which was so bad it was embarrassing me (I had put it face down so no one could see it). The badness lay in its banality and unimpressiveness, and so, in a fit of “what the hey!”, I slammed paint on it. I feel better about it, even if it isn’t anyone’s favorite:
The Barrick-Bullfrog Open Pit Mine, 18 x 36″, oil on board
Part of the reason I felt good about slamming paint on the painting was because of the way I feel about the pile of rubble that chewing up the mountain left behind. For one thing, it ruined a perfectly beautiful view to my left out the barn doors <snort>
And having relieved my feelings, I relaxed into a whole new painting, sitting in a cooling breeze on a warm spring day, gazing at the haze that spread across the Amargosa plane:
Amargosa Playa 3, Oil on board, 18 x 24″.
This painting simply flowed out of me. I felt like I was touching a calm sea, soothing it. It was sheer delight.
So it was a good day, and that doesn’t even count the tour of the graveyard that Jer and I took, nor the twilight drive through the ghost town, being dumbstruck by the colors that the setting sun provided on the hills. –June