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:
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.