I am embarking on my second streetcar commission now. These are two progress photos. The first one is the drawing and the beginning of the block-in of the sky.
The second one is living proof that I am a bad girl. I am (according to every good artist I know) supposed to block in and get some color on the whole canvas before I finish the detail work on anything in the painting. As you can see in this second photo I did not follow that rule on this one. As they say, rules are made to be broken and this one was. I love this painting and the way it is headed. It is one of those that is just falling onto the canvas. The great artists that I admire (in this style of work, not in other styles necessarily) are able to put two or three strokes on a canvas and represent an entire treetop. The idea is to put the paint on once and leave it. As Brian Simon says, "Let the paint be paint". I tend to fuss with it too much sometimes. This one is starting to get some of the bold strokes that I aspire to. And in talking with the owner, we agreed that the focus needs to be the streetcar, the trees next and then the houses sort of a hint of mood in the background. We want to see that we are going through the Garden District and are not down on Canal Street, but we don't want to see the doorknob on every house.
I am glad this one is going to someone that I like a lot and is nearby, because I may want to visit it. People ask me if I have a hard time letting go of my paintings and normally the answer is no because that is what I paint them for...to go to other places. But every now and then, one of them makes me wish I had more walls.