Thursday, January 19, 2017

When life gives you (Cadmium) Lemon...

...or Alizarin Crimson or Ultramarine Blue where it shouldn't be, it can scare the crap out of you! But, splat happens.

After a week of painting these beautiful little baby shoes, I was nearly finished. Just a few fine details to add. So, I took it off the easel to turn it to a better angle for adding shadows under those tiny buttons.

progress shot, original oil painting, still lifeLooks pretty much done, right? 

Then I somehow bobbled it and dropped the painting face down on my wet palette. Crap.

There is no photo of that mess, because I was too panicked about fixing it. So, just to provide a visual of my agony - below, for your commiseration and amusement, is a Photoshop-created "map" of the piles and plops. Each was swirled to a lovely little peak of paint, like cupcakes dipped in icing.

The worst was ta big red pile that landed on the creamy leather spat, obliterating subtle shading, fine seams and contrasting stitching. Alizarin Crimson, no less, which is notorious for staining.
palette mess
I used a palette knife to lift the plopped paint, then blotted it with paper towel and tried not to panic... too much.

Then I remembered advice I got years ago, after losing files for 100+ pages of a journal I was designing. I desperately called my graphic-designer-daughter for help recovering weeks of lost work. Sadly, that wasn't possible, but she said, "Don't worry, it won't be that hard to recreate because you've already made all the decisions." I was skeptical, but she was right.

Surprisingly, the same thing applies to re-painting. So many issues had already been worked out - the structure was there and the hierarchy of values. It really wasn't too awfully hard to repair. Although, I'd rather not repeat the experience!

Here's the finished painting. There were many interesting challenges: the contrast of soft worn leather with shiny hard toes, golden highlights on the hatpin holder and the oh-so-subtle tapestry pattern. And you would never know that deep red paint landed, uninvited, smack dab in the center! It was all rather nerve-wracking, but a helpful to realize that making decisions about proportion, value, edges, transitions and saturation is the hard part. And it's helpful, too, that oil painting "do-overs" are not totally impossible! (Sorry water colorists.)
tete a tete, vintage shoes, antique hat pins
Tête à Tête à Tootsies ©2017 Dorothy Lorenze, 6x8"
In other news... recent painting sales include these: The Book of Mango, Muscoot Milk House, Morning Light at Seven Hearths and Who Knows Where the Time Goes. Sincere thanks to my wonderful collectors!

realistic still life, rustic interior
The Book of Mango & Muscoot Milk House ©2016 Lorenze
realistic still life, rustic interior
Who Knows Where the Time Goes (2017), Morning Light (2015)

Also "East Meets West" recently won the 1st Vice President's Award at Salmagundi Club of NY. What a thrill to be there with so many wonderful artists! This painting is available on my website.

blue china teapot, copper tea kettle
East Meets West ©2016 Dorothy Lorenze, 12 x 16"

Looking forward to an exciting, creative year. I hope you are too. If you're interested, take a look at my latest Craftsy online post here. It offers ideas and steps to get more art-making time in your life.

Thanks for joining me on my art journey.


I'd love to hear from you!