I catch her breaking Apple records
’cause her daddy was a home-wrecker
and her sister, Pam, a go-getter
and for the freedom flying from her fingers
I can’t help that I resent her
– from “Apple Records”, by Pony Glass
Apple Records was a record label created by the Beatles in the late ’60s. It resulted in some great albums being made by a variety of artists… and decades of litigation.
Following a three-year period of astonishing output, during which they put out two full-length albums a year, the Beatles busied themselves with other pursuits until returning to the studio to painstakingly craft some of their most groundbreaking albums.
After another month-long break from serious art-making, I, too returned to the studio last week ready to rock’n’roll. I’m sure *my* “Sergeant Pepper” is just around the corner.
During the preceding weeks, I did manage to attend a few model sessions and tended to some Old Town Artist business. We brought on board three new members (Lynette, Rebecca and Tammie – linked here), but dealt with some acrimonious growing pains in the process.
Well, things have settled down, which suits me just fine. Conflict is way more inspiring from a distance. The conflict alluded to in the Pony Glass song above inspired the first couple of studio paintings I’ve done in a long while.
It’s a very off-the-cuff illustration, which hinged entirely on the success of the red watercolor explosion. Although it retains the feeling of freshness and spontaneity, the splat you see above is a composite of two attempts. The first attempt had a great shape, and produced the delicious red drips, the point of impact was too washed-out looking. I hadn’t used enough pigment.
So, once the previous round of painting was dry, a second assault was made using an amply-loaded watercolor brush. The turquoise lines were added lastly. Again, they had be right the first time through. Colored pencil, unlike graphite, can’t be effectively erased without leaving unsightly ghosts. This could have gone wrong in so many ways, but it worked splendidly – and somehow managed not to stain any clothing in the process, either!
The thing with watercolor is that that it involves water. If any of you have ever encountered this element, you may have noticed that water is wet. And it takes its dear time to dry, especially when the weather is humid.
For this reason, it makes a lot of sense to work on a few paintings at once, so while the first one (or two) dries, another can get a little attention. I went back-and-forth between two different apple paintings that ended up very differently.
While there’s a lot more paint on this one, the amount of time spent actually painting it was roughly equivalent to it’s brother. I’m especially pleased with the crispness of some of the edges, while other areas of color are soft and flow into each other. I believe these are what my expert studio-mate, Derek Davis calls “lost edges”.
My favorite parts are the shadow under the fruit and the yellow in the middle of it, but does anyone notice what is missing?
For my own part, I’ll try not to “go missing” again any time soon. Meanwhile, there’s a backlog of new work that will be showing up on these pages in the days to come Portraits, a landscape, and even a sweet nude. Keep your eyes peeled.