Moving

I’m moving the day after tomorrow. Boxes and papers are everywhere and everything feels half-finished, pending the dismantling, shredding, fixing, folding or packing of something else. There’s no end to the mess – which is why I’m sitting here at my computer – taking a break and doing my best not to look away from the screen.

This sketch is of a regular on the streets of Parkdale. I don’t know where he lives, but he’s often crouched on the sidewalk at King and Dufferin, quietly doing his thing.

Sandra Pratt

I’ve been looking at Sandra Pratt’s paintings ever since I stumbled on one of her landscapes on Pinterest. I like the simplicity and spaciousness of her work.

The swaths of mostly monochromatic colour that she lays down with her palette knife really capture a sense of place and time.

And evoke a mood about what she’s painting. This isn’t easy to do – it certainly doesn’t happen often in my work. I’m still too focused on recording what I see rather than capturing the essence or feeling of what I’m looking at. Pratt’s work is inspiring!

Dabbling

I’ve started dabbling with painting. Sometimes I copy paintings and sometimes I paint from life. This week’s work has reminded me how much it takes to develop a way of seeing.

copy apple
Copy of apple painting (acrylic on paper)

This apple painting is a copy (unfortunately, I don’t know who the painter is.)

If I’d put an apple on my kitchen table and tried to paint it, I doubt I would have used the dark shadows and background that make the colours of the apple so vibrant. I used the painter’s understanding of composition, tonal values and colour.

When I paint from life,  I have a hard time figuring all those things out. And brush strokes. I don’t know which brushes to use, how wet or dry they need to be, how to make the transition between shadow and light and between one colour and another, and all kinds of other things.

life teaport2
Teapot on my kitchen table (acrylic on cardboard)

There’s an endless amount of stuff to learn about technique and materials. But for me the most important thing is developing a way of seeing.