Friday, July 19, 2013

Beautiful Decay, Daily Painting #1

"Beautiful Decay," Available, 6" by 6" – Oil on Panel

The Subject

I'm fascinated with the leather like thickness of the leaves on our local live oaks in California, it gives the impression of obstinate sturdiness. For months after a leaf has fallen it can remain intact.  (The leaves featured in the painting come from two massive scrub oaks,  Quercus wislizeni.)

Small Opportunity

I usually find myself admiring the individual leaves, but painting the whole of the craggily trees, often dead and completely without leaves. In this small quicker painting I allowed myself to explore the individual leaves I'm drawn to.

Most Intrigued

I started intending to gather one or two leaves and I was so intrigued I ended with a whole pile of them in my hands. A subtle sort of persistent autumn can be found under a live oak. Some leaves simply bleach to a perfect cream, others deteriorating reveal the red and yellow that is normally overpowered by green as bits of blue and black mold speckle them and eventually they become a light brown. I painted more leaves than I should have since I'm still figuring out how to fit this in to my day and more complexity equals more time, but sinking myself into thoughts of painting and these leaves was worth it.


All the panels I bought for daily painting are preprimed with a smooth finish. I don't recommend them. It is like painting on slick linoleum, the paint wants to smoosh away from me and carry the layers below it away too. As soon as I can I'm going to break out the gesso and give those panels surface texture.

On to More

The more I look at the leaves the more there is to see and to interpret in paint. My next daily painting's subject matter is planned!

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Thanks for your interest in my art. I'm very curious to hear your thoughts. Cheers!

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