Wednesday, 10 June 2009

The BEST thing that the Physio from the Rehab team gave me was ‘permission to paint’ so today, without guilt, I loaded up the basket of my walking frame with oil paint tubes, palette knives, a roll of toilet paper for cleaning up, and a couple of canvases and headed off with my faithful cat to paint the old persimmon tree. The walking frame has a tray on the top which I have discovered today is a perfect height to paint from, and putting the palette on the seat means it is VERY accessable and leaves my arms free so there is not the pain of holding anything.

Opal, the cat, got a bit bored and wandered off for her own explorations, calling out loudly to me at intervals to make sure I hadn’t left without her.

I haven’t used a palette knife very often and I found today the best approach for me was to pick up the paint with it and make lots of little short strokes following a certain direction . BOY it used up a HEAP of paint for a quite small canvas!

I love the finished work, it is so vibrant and full of colour and movement – such a ‘happiness’ painting – and the fruit are so THICK in their application (combined brilliant red, vermillion (I LOVE vermillion) and a nice yellow and plastered it on with broad swirls of pigment.

Came home just as the heavens opened and a huge outpouring of rain occurred over a 5 minute period.

I feel relieved to have had the time out on location painting – it’s very emotionally healing as painting is the only time I am fully present in the moment, fully focussed, especially if out on location. It gives me the only break I get from how hard things are sometimes. It gives me a chance, just for that moment, to feel at ‘one’ with this world, to be alive.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Painting Persimons

There is a magical place, not far from here where, in an abandoned block of land surrounded by a wired fence and the silvery grey back of an old block building, stands the most glorious Persimmon Tree. The fruit are suspended like ruddy orange orbs between the richly hued leaves resplendent in autumnal tonings of scarlet and green.

Today, as I approached with sketchbook and camera in hand, a flock of silvereyes were feasting, perching precariously on the ruptured flesh of overripe fruits, flitting from branch to branch, fully gorged stomachs hanging in distended bliss. I tried to capture them through my lense but they were too quick for me so contented myself with a small sketch instead.

I must go back, again and again, to recapture all that i have missed. It is a place of such unexpected treasures, a wealth of colour against the drab grey of neglect.

Today I started the painting using tonings of Burnt Seinna, Transparent Red Oxide and (unfortunately) a touch of Permanent Light Green slathered over a longish landscape canvas. Into that I have texturised with plastic then imprinted leaves from the very same Persimmon Tree that I found so unexpectedly delightful. Looking at it now I really LOVE the dried effect - the imprint left by the leaves looks like how leaves fall to the ground in Autumn then gradually skelatilise on the bare earth.. I had intended to overpaint the background but now i think I shall leave it just as it is and instead of a whole tree I shall tomorrow go and gather one fallen fruit and paint just that in the bottom right hand corner of the canvas with perhaps a silvereye perched on the edge, just as I saw them today. I think it will give me much happiness to have such a beautiful memory to look at in the months ahead as winter sets in and i am in bed.