The past few days have been about silver leafing. While I’ve been laying gold for many years now, I’ve never applied silver before this weekend. And, while the techniques used in water gilding are the same, the black bole and the silver’s nature as a metal were definitely a little different: The black bole being far more noticeable in it’s holidays and the silver being more rigid.
The results were good though, and now it’s time to begin painting!
While I spent the whole day working in my studio, my favourite part was what my youngest assistant (and also my son) created from our backyard’s ice this morning. Although I didn’t know what he was up to, when he came into my studio and asked me to follow him, I did. He took me to his ice creations, told me all about them and helped me when I interpreted details incorrectly.
I am really impressed with the artwork he created this morning. His, “Seal” and, “Whale” are very created artworks. So, while I suspect that every parent thinks their child is talented, my obviously is …
I’m feeling very focused on the Red pine tree in my mind right now, and so I’ve moved ahead and created the panel while I’m also finalizing the drawing.
The panel itself is a single slab of poplar that I cut down a few years ago. As I did with the three panel prototype I created originally, I have decided to leave the edge of the board in its natural state. But, because of the thinness of the pine, I will not be joining it to any other board for this work. With the board chosen and planed, I set to work applying the gesso today.
In between coats, and both before and afterward, I have continued to develop the drawing of the Red pine. I think it is really taking shape, and I’m looking forward to putting down colours and beginning painting.
It’s not unusual in my art practice to have things take unexpected twists. So, I really haven’t fought the introduction of crows into my tree paintings. Crows are something very much of home for me, and connecting to them within my art seems natural.
But, attracting crows isn’t the same as attracting most other birds. While a blue jay or a sparrow will come when you put out birdseed, a crow or raven will only come when there is raw meat to be had. So, when I saw a dead rabbit on the side of the road I stopped, picked it up, and moved it outside our house. It didn’t take long, but the time I had the camera set up, my first crow had arrived.
This turned out to be another educational opportunity for me. Get the quick crow to be clear and focused on a cloudy day proved a real challenge. Over the past couple of days I have shot hundreds of crows, and the results are getting better and better. And, at this point, I have enough photos that I can ignore the caw of the crow outside my house demanding something to eat, and begin to focus on my drawings.