We're back from seeing the Christmas lights and decorations at the Biltmore House in Asheville. We came home a bit early, because youngest has a fever, but we had a great trip, and got some Christmas feeling with the carols being sung there, and all the fireplaces and soft light at the huge house.
At home I answered some e-mail and visited a few blogs I've been neglecting for a week or more, and then I looked at some art which has been under my skin for years. An image I have been grappling with for over a year, and which I've tried to let out on three or four other pieces of paper, finally came out the way I wanted this evening. I thought this time I would show the progression of the drawing, as well. Here is the simple set of random lines, from the same crowd scene I used to start Glee 1.
Here I've begun to remove some lines, and allowed the random lines to suggest the trees I need in this piece. Tall silhouettes against the sky - which we saw a lot of at the Biltmore Estate, which takes half an hour to drive out of, once you leave the house! I extended the trees to the top of the page to get the feeling I wanted. I had thought of doing foliage at the top - but that's another painting...
Here I've begun to play with the lines below the trees - what will become the foreground. All of these photos have the contrast pumped up in the camera software, so you can see the lines - they're not so dark in front of me, and I often lighten them before I start painting. I've added some small trees and the house in the foreground, which will have a figure in the doorway, with light streaming around it. I have to decide on a figure... I also added the largest bird. This painting is meant to be in twilight, and the birds are going to roost. That is one of the strongest symbols, to me, of coming home.
And finally, here I've removed most of the detail around the house - it was too cute. And I added the second house and the lamp. I added two more birds (it's the feeling of all the birds in motion, all going to bed, that means gloaming, to me). I also removed some lines that were cutting off movement I want - there will be more removed as I start to paint, I suspect.
No music played while I did this one... My right brain is getting more assertive on its own, and the left is better at getting out of the way.
I'm looking forward to tomorrow morning's painting time.
I'm also looking forward to spending time with Dearest in the afternoon, keeping her too busy to think too much, and helping with the last errands, before her knee surgery Monday.