Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Roses Outside My Studio

Today was a incredible summer day...warm, verging on hot.  I love this kind of weather.  I moved my EasyL outside the studio and camped out in the shade of a nearby tree looking back at the studio.  The roses are blooming like there's no tomorrow right now, and my first thought was to paint the studio in the distance with one of the rose bushes in the foreground.  In life, there is about 40-50 feet between them, but I thought I could compress it a bit. 

I started with another of my black primed canvas panels (black acrylic gesso).  From the beginning it didn't go too well.  The studio and the trellis outside it are somewhat complicated, and the shadows from by the overhead sunlight streaming through the trellis made a lovely but challenging pattern.  I was soon caught up in detail in spite of myself.  I told myself I could work through it...that every painting has an ugly stage (true!) and that I just needed to persist and it would come out.  But it didn't.  Finally, I wiped the canvas down, something I HATE doing, because it feels like frustration and defeat all rolled into a big awful know the kind. 
I retreated to the house in disgust. 
After lunch I wandered out again.  The wipe down had left a muted dark gray green surface that had set in the heat.  I couldn't resist, so I started on the rose bush, this time with the intent of making it the star of the show, with the studio only suggested in the distance.

The Roses Outside My Studio   oil on canvas panel 9" x 12"
I'm surprised at how dark this painting is...and I think it has more to do with the intense day light rather than the dark ground, although I'm sure that was a factor.  Anyway, I was satisfied that I had managed to convert the earlier disaster into something passable at least.  I like the light on the building in the background, even though in real life it was much more intense.  All and all, it was a nice day in the rose garden.


  1. Thank-you for sharing your painting thoughts from beginning to end. The final painting was well worth the effort to keep going to the finish line. Nice painting.

  2. It was great to read your thoughts especially since they mirror mine when I must wipe out a hopeless attempt!
    Your final is lovely; it was the right move to make those roses the star.

  3. Bruce I love this one, it really worked well! Vickie

    1. Hi Vickie...I missed your comment until this evening. Thank you for the kind words. This was as much a surprise to me as to anyone!