Beginnings of a Cafe Still-Life
Only through art can we get outside of ourselves and know another’s view of the universe which is not the same as ours and see landscapes which would otherwise have remained unknown to us like the landscapes of the moon. Thanks to art, instead of seeing a single world, our own, we see it multiply until we have before us as many worlds as there are original artists.
I emerged from school to face my weekend with a heart full of gladness. The 67-degree sunshine and soothing breeze made for a heavenly afternoon in the Man Cave, and I immediately went back to the work I barely commenced late last night–a diner’s mug on a checkered cloth, with vintage spectacles and an old envelope. All I accomplished last night were laying down the shadows, wet-on-wet. This afternoon I got after some color blocks on the fabric, some further modeling and glazing on the mug (including some of reflected pinks of the cloth on the side of the mug), and a little bit of work on the spectacles.
Once the painting got overly wet, I decided to settle into the comfy chair for some reading in the Hemingway biography. But the Cave was darkened by the positioning of my doors (trying to control the lamp source on the still-life), and I suddenly got an idea for some reading light. Yesterday, while browsing the antique store, I found something I had wanted for ten years but could never find–an old vintage “farmhouse-style” screen door! Price was $37. I loaded it in the Jeep and brought it to the cave. It had been propped behind some still life objects for a future composition, but today I decided to use it functionally–I spread my doors and inserted the screen between them to let in the light and the breeze.
Once I sat with the Hemingway biography in my lap, and felt that first caress of the breeze coming through, I laughed out loud, remembering the Seinfeld episode when Kramer installed the screen door on his apartment entrance, and sat outside in the hall with a garden hose, watering plants!
- Interior of Man Cave. looking out screen door
Standing Outside the Man Cave, looking in the screen door
Quick Attempt to Sketch the Man Cave Doors
After reading the Hemingway biography for a stretch of time, I then turned to my Journal and recorded some of the highlights of this day, especially some new ideas planted recently by my high school students (at my age, they still astound me with their insight and creative ways of looking at the world). I then returned to work a little further on the table cloth patterns of my new cafe painting. Then, taking a stretch break, I stepped outside the Cave and was surprised by the sight of the western sun on my screen door and the adjoining one. I quickly installed a porcelain doorknob, set up my plein air easel, and went to work as quickly as possible, like a man possessed, before I lost the sunset light (about 15 minutes). I absolutely loved getting into the wood surfaces of the doors along with their knobs, handles, keyholes, etc. Once the light faded, I decided to call it quits on this one, and perhaps will return to it at the same time tomorrow evening, or Sunday evening.
I cannot describe my disposition this afternoon, except to say I was quite “scattered”. I wanted to paint everything, draw everything (I left out the detail that I also worked out some pencil sketches of the diner’s mug because I was having some problems “solving” it’s form. I didn’t bother posting those photographs, because I feel I’ve already loaded plenty into this post). It was a delightful afternoon, divided between two paintings, some sketches, excellent reading, as well as some thinking and journaling. All the best things were here for me this day.
Rapid Watercolor Sketch of the Door knob (about 15 minutes)
I have an invitation to go on a plein air excursion with friends this weekend, and I’m seriously considering it. I’ve waited all winter for this opportunity, and have had only one such encounter. I’m ready once again to get outside and into the light.
This has been a beautiful afternoon and evening. Thank you for sharing in it with me. And thank you always for caring enough to read me.
I paint in order to remember.
I journal because I am alone.
I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.