I have been preparing for the last show of the year and playing with new subjects and new proportions. Making canvases that are tall and thin or wide and short has been one of the happy possibilities of stretching my own canvas. Another plus of that extra labor is you save money on materials and so don't have to raise prices in a struggling economy.
I stretched up some new canvases and then began looking for subjects to be painted upon them. Then doing sketches. I painted the one on the left last week. It is the center segment of a larger painting I did years ago. I had not meant it to be one of a pair. I often do my churches painted on the diagonal in pairs; making one a night scene and the other a day scene. That was not the intention here. I stretched two canvases because I was exploring the compositional problems with tall and thin. I did not even do the sketch for the painting on the right of Spider Rock in Canyon de Chelle until this week. The other one was on a flat shelf waiting to be framed. I pulled it out yesterday to make room for a painting that needed to dry.
Last night I set them side by side for a "recent works from the studio" shot and to see which I preferred. The colors I expected to go together. I work in the same palette especially in painting done within a like time frame. I was shocked to find the horizon lines are almost an exact match and it works either way you put them. So I will frame them as a pair.
I bought some acrylic paints on my last trip to Albuquerque so I could paint my frames to coordinate with my paintings. I was looking forward to that part of the process of getting ready for this show. Now I can hardly wait for this winter's artistic explorations. I want to do a triptych with three tall thin canvases covering one subject in thirds. Or two narrows and one square in the middle.
Been blogging a lot recently about the creative process, and exchanging ideas with a writer blogging about the same subject on Catfish Tales. Into the discussion of muses and inspiration and just plain doing I want to interject accident. Sometimes you just get lucky. And from that lucky accident you spring board to new possibilities.
Note: I apologize for the photos. Done with flash and artificial light. Today sometime I will do a formal photograph of Spider Rock. In a previous blog I already showcased Of the Valley.