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“The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.”
— Friedrich Nietzsche
Here is Stage 3, the final overpainting and completed work tentatively titled “Orange MMZ in morning light”. Same palette with fresh paint -- arranged along top edge of my palette from left to right they are: Gamboge Lake Extra (Old Holland); Cadmium Yellow Medium (Rembrandt); Raw Sienna (Williamsburg); Chinese Orange (Sennelier); Fanchon (Napthol) Red (Williamsburg); Perylene Crimson (Williamsburg); Burnt Sienna Deep (Blockx); Viridian (Williamsburg); Ultramarine Blue French (Williamsburg); Indigo (Williamsburg); Warm Grey (Sennelier); Titanium Zinc White (Gamblin). The paints are pretty much arranged warm to cool and lightest to darkest in value.
The bulk of this session included the foreground field and grasses. The base color was a dark mixture of Indigo and Chinese Orange, glazed first with a halfpaste of jelly medium (Old Masters Maroger, Flemish Formula) corresponding to the overall values of the underpainting. The lighter areas had more medium and less paint with a touch of Raw Sienna added. The glaze was applied with a large brustle brush -- an old Langnickel Series 404, and scrubbed on quickly. While that was setting up I went out and got a cup of coffee. When I returned the glaze coat was already tacky and ready to receive paint.
Indigo and Chinese Orange makes a gorgeous green and is easily modulated into many different green hues by adding more Indigo to cool it down or Chinese Orange or warm it up. To lighten I add Raw Sienna and/or Warm Grey. Then I made up some bright green puddles of Viridian and Cadmium Yellow Medium with a touch of Indigo; Viridian and Chinese Orange; and Raw Sienna, Chinese Orange and Warm Grey. All the forground values are dark to medium light so NO white is used at all in the mixutres. Then I just jump right in varying hues but keeping similar values. That makes for very interesting and luminous shadows. The large puddles mutate into smaller puddles and I just grab here and there mixing along the way without really thinking about it. After a couple of hours it looked like a lightstruck field with long cast shadows. I fiddled and diddled a bit until it seemed right then stopped and finished my coffee, now cold. Below is a shot my palette after todays session showing the little green puddles in a variety of hues and values.
The music I painted by in this session was from a Fleetwood Mac 2-CD compilation “The Vaudville Years of Fleetwood Mac 1968 - 1970”. Released in 1998 on Receiver Records, the package features exquisite previously unissued studio gems “tracing the development of a band firmly rooted in the blues, as it experimented with many different styles of music.” The Madge Sessions on disk 2 is fantastic stuff.
I’ve already begun laying out my next studio work, so please visit again for more in-progress postings.