This is my dining room view, painted in acrylic. I finished it at the end of January, just before the city replaced the power pole in the alley. I have been painting these sheer curtains a lot in watercolour where I can easily layer them, so this was interesting to paint the curtains in thick paint, section by section. It was a lot of analyzing of tones and looking at what was behind each section of curtain. And then the reflection of the curtains on the table was so much darker–like reflections on water; the table is actually wood, but on a bright day it just looks like a mirror.
The past month I have been painting and sketching this view a lot. Maybe it is the quality of light as seen from the dining room at this time of year, but I am also finding myself just really drawn to the area with all the angled rooftops. Here is a pen and ink sketch and a watercolour of the same view. The watercolour one is my first painting of the new, bright power pole.
I finally finished off these two little bedroom window paintings last week. And just in time, as the lilac tree in the black curtain room is about to leaf out. The light has also changed quite a bit from the time I started them a month ago. I set up at the end of the hallway and these are the two bedrooms at the end of the hall so I would start on the north facing room and then turn my easel to paint the south facing room in the afternoon. When I started painting them I would start on the north facing room painting around 11:30 in the morning, and then turn my easel to paint the south facing room around 1:30 in the afternoon. Last week in order to get similar light I had to start the north facing painting around 2:30 in the afternoon, and then start the south facing room around 6:30. That slash of sunlight in the red curtain room that fell at 3:30 in the afternoon a month ago, is now closer to 7:30 in the evening. The quality of light is also warmer now, so I ended up completely repainting the grey walls in a warmer grey.
Here is my set-up at the end of the hallway. I set a plastic shower curtain down to contain my mess, and at the end of a painting session would just gather up all the paints into a bundle (like those circular Lego mats that fold up into storage bags) and move the whole bundle into the spare room until I was ready to paint again.
Here is the second painting in my windows project. This is the view from my patio doors with the sheer curtains closed in front of them. I actually started this one before I did the living room window painting, and before I had decided exactly what I was doing with these. I painted the background completely and then it sat for a week while I debated if I should add the patio doors or not. I knew it needed something, but it was *almost* a finished painting without the doors and curtains. The composition was a bit off though and adding a bit of a frame with the door and the curtains seemed to fix the compositional problems. I think I had subconsciously left space for them. I do really like how much is going on in the painting now.
Here is the painting before I added the doors and curtains on it. It looks like a lot of paintings I have done of the powerlines in the backyard. I think it was time for something different, even though I love this view and will undoubtedly paint it again.
I have started a new project! I have been thinking about doing a series of window/curtain paintings for many, many years, and then that last painting I did of the window for the commission really inspired me to get going on it. It is interesting how things come together sometimes. Last year when I was at work one night at the library I discovered the most beautiful art book on the American artist Lois Dodd, and she has the most amazing series of window paintings. Just google “Lois Dodd windows” and you will see what I mean. Soon after that was when I was contacted about doing the commission piece of the Radium condo window. It was funny because I was immediately excited about it, as it was in line with what I had been thinking about, but then my husband asked if I was sure that they wanted the window frame in the painting. I had not even considered that they did not want the frame in the painting, so it was good that I asked. I can’t imagine if I had done the painting only to find out they had meant something completely different.
So I finished up this painting in acrylic this week–painted from life in my living room. I do much prefer working from life so I feel like I am back in my element. This one took a few days to do, and I was ready to paint over it at one point before I added the venetian blinds. But the blinds was what it needed. I am planning to do all the windows on the main floor of my house and I am actually on the third one right now, but I am behind on blogging about them. It has turned out to be the perfect time for this project, and very much a snapshot in time, since I am currently off work and mostly stuck at home right now. I have been painting them on sunny days which I think makes them more optimistic and hopeful even though they are paintings of being stuck in a house.