Yesterday's studio time was abbreviated due to a severe headache probably caused by my increasingly changing schedule and the solvents I'm breathing in without proper ventilation. On my list of goals in 2008 is to find a medium to replace my oderific turpentine/dammar varnish/stand oil mix.
Despite the only 5 hours that I painted, I felt I had a breakthrough with my paint application. Yesterday I wrote about the influence of Thiebaud in my work and though I am happy with what I accomplished thus far and do enamour the artist, I kept looking at the painting I completed entitled Castrocielo Street and thinking that it reminded me of a Disney animation cell backdrop. I can't put my finger on it exactly but maybe it was the small amount of detail and the relative evenness of the paint application.
To fight that I started working with a palette knife. After applying initial layers of paint to "block in" my composition, I applied heavier layers with this new tool. I let the surface build up and in some places mimic the textural surface of the buildings in my photo reference, but also leaving some areas a little abstract in the way colors / paint converged. I'm much more satisfied with this painting, but as always I need some real perspective by stepping away from it for awhile.
So, here's the latest from Peters Valley that I finished today:
Number 6, Castrocielo, Oil on Canvas, 6" x 12"