Author: Virginia Parker
Finished a 24×24″ drawing of the spinning wheel making gold thread out of corn silk. The background is three yards of brown velvet, and the wheel is old polished wood, so the overall effect is very chiaroscuro, all dark with the gold of the corn silk and thread picked out. The wheel is cropped in to weight the focus of the painting to the silk. I don’t think the drawing will show up very well, but here goes.
Did a smaller corn in the grinder drawing – 12×16 – that I’m okay with but not as excited.
Figured out what was wrong with another composition – a basket of vegetables – peppers, squash, tomatoes – in front of tilled rows of a garden with espaliered trees in the far background. The garden photo was taken in October and has cabbages ( I think – maybe broccoli or Brussel sprouts) in the rows, whereas the basket of vegetables came from a group I shot this summer. The garden and the produce clashed – wrong season. I’ve made a list of October vegetables – cabbage, onions, carrots, Swiss chard, radishes and kale for example – and am going to reshoot it. It’s funny, I couldn’t tell what was wrong, but something kept nagging at me. Then, all I once, I saw it.
Went for a walk in the park with Robert & Parker, came back, and after a nap I did a little more on the Harrow.
Had an email from HHFA, saying I’d sold the painting of Moochie, ‘In the Kitchen.’ A good end to a good year.
Author: Virginia Parker
I’ve turned in the six small (5×5″) works for the audition to be in the Dalton gallery’s All Small Redux show. I’ll know by Dec 16 whether they were accepted.
I’m now working on the four small (8×8″) paintings that are a twist on 17th century Delft tiles that feature children at play. The thing that hooked me is that the pastimes then and now are the same – swings, skating, dancing, archery, dolls. The other intriguing element is the figures are very small and centered on a pale neutral field.
Instead of tiny Dutch children, I wanted to use contemporary American figures. First I pulled Dick and Jane (of the eponymous beginning reader books) images off of the Internet, then I looked through old childrens’ books. I kept making drawings, but something, some personal spark was missing.
I had an aha moment a couple of days ago. I have thousands of photographs of children. I am using my own children (and one of me, at age five).
I spent many hours sifting through our photo albums and shoe boxes of photos. I found maybe ten to twelve good references to work with. I took the finalists to Kinkos and made copies reduced or enlarged so that the figures were approx two inches high (that’s the ratio in the original Delft tiles of figure to tile size). Today I edited down the choices to four – it may change again, but right now it’s Robin on the swings, Emily rollerskating, Parker with a bow and arrow and me cradling a doll.
Having a wonderful time with the subtle neutrals and the cracked, chipped, and worn surfaces of the tiles. I have a couple of layers of nicely mottled paint and two canvases have the crusty grouted edges painted. I was able to do considerable detail wet-on-wet. I’m working on distilling the figures into simplified shapes in two shades of Delft blue. I’ll start taking photos tomorrow so I can post them when at least one is far enough along.
I hope to have them finished Monday-ish.
Author: Virginia Parker
Since I last posted, I’ve been working on an unplanned series paintings that have me so juiced up and excited that I hate to waste time sleeping.
Here’s what happened-
I made up my mind last week to throw something into the MOCA GA (Museum of Contemporary Art, Georgia) pin-up show that opens tonight. I took a sheet of papyrus paper and gridded it with chalk and did a small oil painting of Rembrandt’s staircase. It’s all dark earthy reds and honey colored woods rising into the dark, with a thick ship’s rope for a handrail. The limit of size for the show is 12×16,” I left the edge of the papyrus raw. Working on an unfamiliar surface was really freeing. And it’s doing something that’s completely from my heart, and which carries three meanings for me – Rembrandt (art), steps (progress) on Papyrus (writing).
Another small works exhibition is going to be at the Dalton Gallery (a local non- profit college museum) and the deadline to submit work is Monday, Nov 24. Up to ten pieces, but nothing larger than 6×6.” I bought 6 5×5″ panels and am doing a series. These will be tiny, like a pages from a book of prayer. I’ve painted four and have two more to finish, photoshop, burn to a disc and get over to the gallery by Monday. Exhilarating to work this fast and this hard. No time for doubts or second guessing though, so in some ways it’s easier.
Meanwhile my gallery, Huff Harrington Fine Art asked for some ‘smalls, ( 8×8″) for their December show. I am thinking about a wall of Delft tiles I saw in A’dam of children playing games. I’d like to do a set of four and somehow update the central figures while keeping old cracked and mottled 17th century cream background, and the Delft blue. Most of the fun will be in creating the surface textures of a three hundred year old cracked and chipped tile. Due the end of the month or as soon as I can send them over.
So – that’s why I haven’t blogged and that’s why I’m headed into the studio right now.