Saturday, November 1, 2014

New Day

One morning, last summer I was surprised while driving to work when a beautiful Great Egret landed in a ditch along the road. It was early in the morning and so peaceful. I thought it would be a great subject for a painting.

I didn't get started on it right away, but in my mind's eye I could picture what I wanted to do. It was going to be a night scene with a dark blue background and a white moon and the beautiful white egret standing in the light of the moon. It was going to be wonderful!

Well....not so much.. I decided to collage the whole background. It somehow ended up being a purplish blue monstrosity! I had made a big circular pattern in the background that was very distracting. The bird was too small in comparison to the moon. I used all the wrong colours and papers in the egret. The whole thing was a mess. I looked at it for a few days and decided I hated it.

That's when I got out the gesso. It was very cathartic to slap that white paint all over the canvas. I decided to just go for it and see what would develop. I stamped a few impressions into the gesso. I got some really great texture from the underlying paper that I had collaged in the beginning. I drizzled on some clear tar gel with great abandon! I let it all dry and then brushed on some lovely muted colours, thinking that I might keep layering until I got the nice dark colour that I wanted in the beginning. But when my first wash dried, I loved it! It reminded me of a foggy morning with the sun just starting to burn through.

I drew the egret larger than before and kept with the colour scheme of the background. The whole painting is now like that morning when I saw the beautiful white egret....peaceful and serene.

Sometimes it's good to start over. I've decided to call this "New Day".