I am almost almost done with this painting. I am obsessing over faces now. And other details. I seem to be dragging out the process because I don't want it to end- painting this has been so much fun. To me, a face needs to show individuality and emotion, even if painted really tiny. That's why I've done and redone these people, painted over and over their faces five or more times. I want them to look like people I might know even if they aren't portraits. That, and making sure everyone's eyes nose and mouth are done convincingly. Also even at this stage background colors change. I am never afraid to mess up what I have already painted if it isn't right. Luckily I haven't had to do anything huge to this one, just trying to get enough different shades of green and create contrast where I need it. Good contrast with background colors is how small narrative details show and are noticed. Details need details too. Branches need highlights and leaves too. I like my trees quirky and Suess-ian. Those have taken a long time and are almost finished. Also, I need more birds on the line!!!
On a side note I have been taking a bookmaking class at Pullen Art Center to learn the coptic stitch. Here are the results of my efforts. I won a grant to go to Penland this summer to study bookmaking. My interest in books goes way back. In art school my sketchbook was a private haven, a world unto myself that was never critiqued and never due. I created these massive intense books with collage and drawings. They would go everywhere I went and I was drawing constantly.
There has always been a thread of narrative in my work and I also want to explore that. I'm not sure where the bookmaking interest will take me but it's something I've always wanted to learn.