reflections– i’ve always loved them. as a child i would pretend they were another reversed world, and i would try to “see round the edges!, try to discover something new and wild. of course, since my life isn’t a hollywood movie it never happened, but i used to try just the same.
cozumel is a reflection lover’s dream– when the rainy season hits, or one of the regular storms that wade ashore the combination of heavy precipitation and somewhat iffy drainage (being around sea level the drains don’t have a lot of “fall”, plus people often aren’t courteous about the way they throw or drop garbage, clogging things up) leave heaven-facing “mirrors”everywhere– the photo above was taken just this morning during my early walkabout.
one morning we had a good downpour, and then the sun came out bright and shiny. i was on a walk, avoiding getting my sandals swamped and checking things out. the air was still full of moisture and this, with the sharp sunshine imparted a special quality of light to everything.
i came upon this scene and was amazed– the colours in the reflection seemed a lot more vivid than those of the “real” world. a mayan woman in a red dress was pushing a triciclo (three wheeled cargo cart) along, and i decided right then and there it would be my next painting and that i would integrate the triciclo into the piece.
as always, the sketching process took up some long time– once more it was shown to me strongly that i am not much of a sketch artist, sigh. but this time i decided i would be using my paint brush to “draw” with, which simplified matters greatly the fact i’d never done much of this was a little daunting, but i have noticed how my painting acumen has become better and better over the years, so i determined i would make a try.
everything starts slowly– first the complementary colours, most of which don’t show strongly in the finished work, then building up layer after layer of slightly different tones to bring a shimmer to the work. in the past i have basically taken the colour i was using in the upper portion of the painting and adding in a little grey to make it a tad duller. however, with my thoughts about the intensity of colours in the bottom half i blended separate mixes of pigment for each of them
the windows presented a problem– i didn’t want them to take too much of the “attention” of the image, so decided that i would treat them very simply– first the undercoating, reminiscent of drapery, but with no frame they looked quite odd
the mayan woman was a little indeterminate as well, but i counselled myself to have patience, it would all come together if i just didn’t freak out about it all. during this time i saw several mistakes i had made and i had to make them disappear.
i had a couple dry patches, where i couldn’t see where i was going or what to do, but finally i began to drop deeply into “the zone” and everything became straight ahead– a few days later i was pretty sure it was finished, so i signed it and took some time to stare at it. that was a friday, but every day for five days afterwards i made big changes on the canvas, even discovering one more error that i had to deal with.
wednesday came and with it no more inspiration– i stared at the piece for several days before adjudging it finished– finally!!
this canvas i have entitled “casa amarilla con triciclera”– “yellow house with triciclera”– hope you like it. NOW what shall i do?