Measure Twice, Cut Once

Poring Over the Still Life on a Saturday Morning

Poring Over the Still Life on a Saturday Morning

My Center of Focus Recently

My Center of Focus Recently

I have frequently seen a poet withdraw, having enjoyed the most valuable part of a farm, while the crusty farmer supposed that he had got a few wild apples only.  Why, the owner does not know it for many years when a poet has put his farm in rhyme, the most admirable kind of invisible fence, has fairly impounded it, milked it, skimmed it, and got all the cream, and left the farmer only the skimmed milk.

Henry David Thoreau, Walden

My life will change drastically with the opening of the Spring semester next week.  Today has found me drifting about my house and studio with no deadlines, no appointments, and a wonderful sense of a “clockless” lifestyle.  Much of my time in the garage studio (and my, is it cold out there today!) has been spent staring at the apples and galvanized pail and screen door that I have arranged for a still life in watercolor.  The pail was given me by a dear friend long after it had outlived its usefulness (the bottom is completely rusted out), and the apples are going to provide a bright, stark contrast once I lay in the colors, hoping I can match their brightness.  If any of you are wondering about the microphone base on the right, that is compliments of my “southern engineer” training–it prevents the screen door from crashing over on top of me.  The door is sitting atop an antique table so I can get a better angle on it from my drafting table.

Experimenting with the Masquepen

Experimenting with the Masquepen

I’ve removed the masquing fluid from the screen behind the pail.  Of course, the masqued areas are too white, but I’ll find ways to tone them down.  Since I used plenty of warm colors mixing the “stew” I’ll probably need only to drag a wet brush over the entire area to allow neutral colors to fill in the white lines.  If that is not enough to tone it down, then I’ll continue to apply washes of neutral color to remove as many of the lines as necessary.  The table top is another kind of challenge, and it’s going to take quite awhile for me to find out if my experiment will work.  I toned the table a light tan color, let it dry, then dragged masquing fluid all over the surface to simulate the ugly scratches that have accumulated on this surface over the years.  Pictured is only the first wash and masquing over the wash.  Currently I’ve already applied a darker wash, let it dry, then masked some more scratches.  I plan to continue layering washes and masquing.  Once I peel everything off, I’ll see what I have, and hopefully be close to the simulated textures of a damaged table top.  Then I’ll find ways to tweak it. I still haven’t decided on how to create the galvanized textures on the side of this pail, but it’s good to know that I have no deadlines in place here.  I’ll take it one step at a time, measuring twice and cutting once.

Another Piece of my Garage Studio

Another Piece of my Garage Studio

When I get tired of looking at my current arrangement, I need only to look to the right at the still life I have nearly finished of the fly fishing ensemble.  This is turning out to be a serene day in the studio.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am never alone.


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2 Responses to “Measure Twice, Cut Once”

  1. lifeofawillow Says:

    good luck with the new semester!


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