The grey and rainy weather is good for drawing, and for photographing paintings and drawings. I added a photo (inexpertly taken) of my most recently finished painting to the website under the 'paintings' tab, one of Ryan that I am calling 'He Glows in the Dark.' It didn't photograph very well, and it still needs to be varnished, so the surface is a little more varied in terms of gloss and matte than it will be eventually, but I think the sense of glowing is still there. It glows much better in person. I want to get it a frame soon, a simple black one, like the Dutch put on their landscapes and still life paintings.
He Glows in the Dark oil on panel 2014
Vincent Van Gogh Portrait of Eugene Boch (the Poet) oil on canvas 1888
I took the pattern of stars in the background of 'He Glows in the Dark' from Van Gogh's 'poet' portrait of Eugene Boch. I feel a deep similitude between my intentions for this painting and his. I think there is even a similar clumsiness, perhaps, but also the wish that the honesty of the making of the painting will transcend its faults.
Van Gogh's paintings and letters are rich inspiration, like well tended garden soil. If you don't already own his letters in book form, you can read them here. They are extraordinary, such a beautiful mixture of poetry and the prosaic, art and longing, family matters and private hopes.
The last few weeks I've been working on a new commission: the first of three colored pencil drawings, this one of a gingko tree in all its autumnal golden glory. All these yellows and burnt oranges are for the leaves. When I look out of the window as I work, all the liquid ambar leaves outside are falling in the rain, red against the grey.
The rain makes the dogs sleepy. They take turns using the studio bed, their favorite in the house. It's the warmest spot, and they can hear the gentle pattering on the leaves outside the window, and against the panes of the glass. I consider them good company while I work. Their soft snoring blends with the sound of the falling rain, a calm and comforting sound.
Andy at Rest graphite on paper 2014
I've been making more drawings of Andy, my rat. He has been in bad health. Of all my rats I have ever had, he is the oldest, and it is easy to tell now that his fur is going, and his balance. Still, he bruxes softly, such a reassuring chatter, and eats his food, and looks contented when he sits in a blanket on my lap.