Linda has been gently after me to show this canvas I've had going for over nine months. Some things take longer to incubate. And some of it's just laziness on my part - I have a lot of work to do before I can get to the next plainly fun part (the fun will be with the paintbrush again). I have to finish the research and drawing of the buildings. And I haven't rushed that because I've been choosy about the houses and placement... So that brings me back to incubation, rather than laziness.
This is 30 x 30 - a bit large for me. And I hadn't really been interested in showing it until I was more certain of its direction. But with Linda's coaxing I think I see that I might do better now to have it out and thus a little more motivation to work on it and finish it. Glee 1 could also have taken months if I hadn't been showing it every week or so. I think Creative Every Day 2009 will also help keep things moving on this piece, as well as others.
Here is the Sandman, in a detail from the top of the canvas (click any image for a larger view). He's done; this is not the art school way to work a painting, for sure - more on that below. The story in this painting is that the Sandman is showing the image of these buildings on his cloak. So I have to figure out how I'm going to do the cloak part, besides the contour of his long muscular arm at the top. The buildings will be jumbled with images of figures, in arches, on sides of buildings, etc. (more research and drawing). They'll be doing various things.
The hand, out of sight already on the right, was sprinkling that famous sand - the yellow line I drew on this third image will be where I paint in the falling sand crystals/dust. Above the line, where it's already fallen past, the color scheme will be cooler and darker, and the people will all be asleep or sleepy. Below the line, where it hasn't fallen yet, the colors will be warmer and lighter, and the people will still be active and awake.
As for the art school approach - I'm really just grinning about that. I sometimes work up a surface as I was taught, but in this case I needed the Sandman done before the rest could happen. He's inspiring the rest, dreaming and speaking it into being for me - and he's also where I set the bar for this piece; the rest has to be as good as he is, which is some of the best I've done in acrylic. And the drawing has to be up to snuff, too - hence the careful work so far, which will get even more careful when I start to fiddle with the figures. And I might need to wait for a few life drawing sessions to get me back into figure drawing before I'm ready to tackle them. I might even need the figures to come from the life drawing sketches. I just don't know. I'm not rushing this - seeing how far I can push myself to make this as strong and rich as possible.
So now that I've let this cat out of the bag (thank you, Linda), what do you all think?