Monday, May 5, 2014

Painting Home Alone

Does this ever happen to you - you go to visit to friend and she says "Oh, I have a new chair, I think you should paint it." Of course, by "new" she means old and by "paint" she means on canvas.

So, like a good guest, I holed myself up in her guest room (furnished with antiques) and painted for two days. A good host knows when to let guests entertain themselves.

work in progress ©2014 Dorothy Lorenze
After two days the painting looked OK, it was coming along. Her antique chair has great lines, warm wood tones and looks well used. It was the star of the painting, but not quite looking like a soloist.

There were perspective issues that needed fixing, but the whole painting was sort of muddy and that bothered me even more. No soloist here, more like a choir with poor diction! (for my Taghkanic Chorale friends)

I try to consider the effect, or message, of a painting as I'm working. This is not so easy while focused on what objects actually look like. Individually. Making them realistic, precise and exacting. Like learning notes in the first days of rehearsal. (you've done that, right?) This painting seems to be about anticipation. Waiting for light to brighten the day, waiting for someone to visit.

chair, window, stil life
Home Alone ©2014 Dorothy Lorenze, 9x12"
Often a title comes to me early on and for this one it was Home Alone. Not the tear-up-the-house-while-the-folks-are-out sort of "home alone." It's more about aloneness, waiting for a friend, waiting for some light.

Back in my studio with that in mind, I lightened and softened the door panels for better contrast. Also accented the light on the floor, brightened the window and refined the chair. And, my favorite (and scariest) part: wood grain for the floor, which added more warmth and homeyness to this scene.

The chair might be the soloist but, now it has good support from the ensemble. Now, I think the painting sings. Hope you like it.

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