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Paint By Numbers

February 26, 2010

So I’ve been working away on the paint-by-numbers Christmas paintings. It turned out that they were a great way to get me in the studio after such a long break. I managed to finish the one for my mom, Vermeer’s Woman Holding a Balance.

Sorry about the glare. I’ve been trying out a new walnut oil medium, and it makes the paint really shiny. Shiny dark paint is just impossible to photograph. I rather particularly enjoy God as an apocalyptic spider in the painting above the woman’s head. Doesn’t it/He look just like a wrathful bug in the original?

Next furthest along is James’s painting, Fra Angelico’s The Beheading of Cosmas and Damian:

Gory choice, James! I approve.

Katharine wanted Diebenkorn’s Coffee:

This one is proving to be really hard to paint-by-numbers-ify, because it’s so brushy and loose that it’s hard to separate out the colors into discrete little shapes. But I will persevere!

Claire requested Bonnard’s The Table, which is also hard, due to it’s shimmering brushwork, and the way the colors get all up into other colors’ business and just general Bonnard-ishness.

I spend a day and a half starting it, and got so frustrated I painted the whole thing white and have to start over again. Grrrrrrrrrrrr.

And finally, Annie requested Water Mill, by Fritz Thaulow, a painting in the Philadelphia Museum of art that I was not familiar with:

I like this painting a lot . . . but instead, as a kind of sisterly joke, I decided to give her one of my own long-standing favorites, Gabrielle d’Estrées and One of Her Sisters, attributed to the School of Fontainebleau, and one of the weirdest paintings I know:

This one is well under way, but I don’t seem to have a photo of it currently uploaded, and I’m just too dern lazy to go and get one. Sorry Annie! Soon, soon.

All of these little numbers would be progressing even more apace if my studio weren’t currently torn apart and uninhabitable. We are having a proper electrical conduit run out to it and a sub-panel installed (Before, there was just a wire buried in our backyard. Mmmmmmm. Sketchy.). Plus an in-wall heater, a ventilation unit, and 12 can lights in the ceiling. When it’s done, it should be really nice, but at the moment it’s dark, freezing, and covered in plaster dust. I’ve been painting in the dining room, which is never totally conducive to awesomeness, plus there’s the added hazard of Izzy the three-legged yet indomitably troublesome kitten, who yesterday managed to launch herself into my momentarily unattended palette, necessitating a highly stressful for all parties paw cleaning session with vegetable oil and soapy water. Even that couldn’t remove the pthalocyanine green tinge from her white fur. Of course, diligent licking on her part eventually took care of it. Sigh. I hope she’s not too poisoned.


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