Life Measured Out in Coffee Spoons

Preparing to Watercolor in the Man Cave

Preparing to Watercolor in the Man Cave

For I have known them all already, known them all: 

Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,      

I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;

T. S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”

This Sunday has offered unparalleled leisure for me.  The 38-degree morning was cold enough to convince me not to emerge from beneath the quilts at 6 when my alarm went off.  Instead, I stretched and dozed a few more hours, then rose and treated myself to Belgian waffles, blueberries, bacon, juice and coffee.  It has been at least three years since I got out the Belgian waffle iron, and I hope to put it to good use during these approaching cold months.

The garage studio was still cold when I entered it, but I put on some layers and split my time between reading T. S. Eliot, Joseph Campbell, William Carlos Williams and studying the still life before me.  Finally, I decided to work on a small watercolor, using stretched 140-lb. paper about 10 x 14″.  After a week of looking at the objects, sketching them in charcoal, and thinking about the subject from a variety of angles, I decided to focus on the derelict Maxwell House coffee can against a dark background with a shock of the red-checkered table cloth showing.  This is taking plenty of time, because I’ve been working on a series of layered washes, letting each one dry completely before covering with a new wash.  I started with Transparent Yellow, then Aureolin, then Alizarin Crimson, then Winsor Green, then Winsor Orange.  After a few hours of letting those layers dry, and laying down washes inside the can and to the left of the can, I decided to work on some details.  I have a small portion of the red-checkered cloth started, as well as the colors on the coffee can.  I’m in no hurry.  I’ve spent a good part of this day listening to Andrew Wyeth interviews on a VHS tape, and am enjoying his insights.

Taking My Time on this Small Watercolor

Taking My Time on this Small Watercolor

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.


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