Saturday, May 2, 2009

Before I go to sleep at night I like to visualize what I'm going to be painting the next day. It's very relaxing, a kind of meditation, and I always see myself painting well. For this painting I knew the flowers would not last long so I focused on what I needed to do to finish them, as much as possible, in one sitting. I saw myself deciding which yellow or combination of yellows I would be using to paint the centers of the two daffodils facing me. Then deciding on how I wanted to approach the white petals, how high to go in the lights, how low in the shadows, how much reflected light I was seeing and how much transmitted light was coming through the petals. I visualized how I was going to apply the paint, big, rich opaque strokes in the lights and thinner, more transparent ones in the shadows. Next I would boldly lay in the milk carton and then decide how to use the background to set off my bouquet. With the flowers finished I could relax a bit and then go after the muffins. Rounded golden forms, they made a nice variation on the yellow theme of the daffodils and carton. On and on it went as if I were watching a How to paint a still life video with me doing the painting. I don't remember when I fell asleep but when I went to the studio the next day I knew exactly what I wanted to do. It all seemed so familiar somehow.....

1 comment:

Walter Lynn Mosley said...

That's really cool, thanks for sharing this. It reminds me of how Paul McCartney woke up with a song in his head and played it for everyone asking them what this song is. He was so convinced he had heard it somewhere before but then finally settled onto the fact that he must have literally dreamed up the song, which was "Yesterday" (although at first he didn't have the words, only the melody, and it had the working title "Scrambled Eggs".
Also I wanted to tell you there is a really fascinating section on Sargent and how he made associations with music. He learned to play piano at an early age, when I find it I'll recount it to you.
thanks for helping me as always...