17 March 2015


Today I needed a break, so I sat around the house reading a book all day.  It was very quiet; no radio, unplugged phone, no visitors.  A superb day.

About 6pm I went into the studio "just to have a look at things".... and wound up making a self-portrait in oils over an old half-begun abstract painting.  I took a few photos of its progression:

verna vogel self portrait

portrait in oils

portrait in oils

This  is a wabi-sabi portrait.  It took about 2 hours to make, and it measures 17x18 inches.

I used a simple palette.  That rolled-up tube is cadmium red; the rest you can see if you click to enlarge the image below:

I was feeling spiritually exhausted today, so reading was a great way to lose myself in another world for many hours, which for me always has a rejuvenating effect.

Then, making that portrait helped me to see that I can in fact paint.  

I've been really missing working with oils.  I miss being able to make large-scale works with many layers of transparent, sophisticated colour, and working on 10 or even 20 paintings at a time.  Here in this home studio, space is limited so I work on fewer paintings at once, and sometimes it feels like I'm in a pressure cooker with nowhere to turn, nowhere to expend what feels like way too much energy for this small space.  

Yeah, boo hoo right.  *laughs*

In fact my home studio is lovely and I am often very productive in it, and having to work in acrylics has opened up all sorts of interesting avenues of exploration, and most of the time I feel very lucky to be where I am.

But what can I say, sometimes I fall into a pit of melancholic despair and then, well, then nothing charms like a good book; nothing soothes like a little oil painting.


Barbara Muir said...

Love the painting and description. Melancholic despair is out there waiting for creative people. Reading is a wonderful answer, and this painting is a delight. Fascinating to see it progress.


Verna Vogel said...

Thank you Barbara! :)