Another One of the Delicious Late Nights in the Art Studio

Saturday Night in the Man Cave

Saturday Night in the Man Cave

Watercolor Nearing Completion

Watercolor Nearing Completion

I could not possibly have dialed up a more perfect Saturday night in the Man Cave.  I had the exquisite privilege of engaging in plein air painting with a host of friends earlier today in a perfect prairie environment.  Coming home exhausted, I chose to close my eyes for a short period in the late afternoon.  Now, with coffee in the man cave, I had planned on working on this piece until the wee hours of the morning.  But suddenly, it “looked” finished.  I know it’s close.  I’ll wait until I can see it tomorrow under natural light, and will no doubt have some “tweaking” to do.  But it is nearly complete, and I’m surprised.  I only started it this week.

I noted with disgust that my door looked twisted because I had badly drawn one of the recessed panels out of perspective.  Some re-drawing and sandpaper was called for, but it didn’t take long to fix that.  I then reworked some of the wood of the crate, intensified the blues on the pail, completed the ring around the top of the pail, refined the pine cones a little more, deepening the contrast.  Finally, I added more washes to the door to darken it further, and then decided to finish out the borders on all four sides, extending the paint all the way to the edge.  There was plenty of mopping up to do tonight, but it went really fast.

My studio tonight has entered a time warp.  (For those readers only interested in my painting observations, you can stop reading at this point.)  But I really want to share this eccentricity that is turning out to be so enjoyable this evening: Back in 1987, I taught as an adjunct instructor at Texas Christian University, and dispatched for the campus police department in the evenings, getting off at midnight.  The dispatcher who relieved me (Archie) was an interesting dude, always coming in at 11:55 wearing army fatigues, sporting a military haircut, carrying his sketchbook and tacklebox full of art supplies (he was an art major), and chewing gum.  The first thing he did was walk over to the boom box and tune in to an FM radio station, KZPS 92.5.  The program was “Enerjazz at Night.”  It ran 8:00 p.m. till 2:00 a.m.  He then went into the kitchen to make strong coffee to keep him going till 8:00 a.m.  Those 5-10 minutes in his space every night during the shift transition were enough to get me addicted to jazz music, especially when making art late at night.  At my apartment, I had an enormous stack of blank 90-minute cassettes given to me by a disc jockey from an FM station years before.  I started bringing them with me at night, and as soon as 8:00 p.m. rolled around, I popped a cassette into the boom box and recorded “Enerjazz at Night.”  So, I now have hours and hours of FM programming from the winter of 1987, with the DJ calling out the wrong times, the wrong temperatures, concerts at local venues that no longer exist.  And I just get a kick out of listening to this stuff while I paint alone into the night.  It brings back some of those memories of late nights in the 1980’s when I had not yet started teaching in the public schools, dispatched for the police at night, and often went home to my apartment at midnight and resumed an art project that had been waiting for me.

Thanks for indulging me.  I just had to get that off my chest.  Now, that I’ve stopped this painting, and am not yet sleepy, I suppose I’ll sink into a comfy chair in my man cave, continue listening to the jazz (all of it instrumental) and re-open one of my many unfinished books.  It’s time to enjoy the late night.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal because I am alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

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3 Responses to “Another One of the Delicious Late Nights in the Art Studio”

  1. Playamart - Zeebra Designs Says:

    i’ve had a long painting marathon tonight as well/ norah jones, natalie merchant, and acoustic guitar were my painting backdrop music tonight. unlike you, i worked on pretty boring details on the ‘tromp l’oeil tile floor. shadows and highlights consumed my evening.. when the floor is varnished, those details will be worth the effort.

    nice watercolor; i’m glad that you had a great day!

    z

    Like

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