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Christmas Collages

January 20, 2011

I realize that I haven’t posted in quite a while, since I fell into a somewhat crippling depression round about the new year, and have yet to either heave myself out of the depths or figure out how to write amusingly about it. This is my third winter in Oregon, and I don’t know if it has been rainier than the two that preceded it, but it seems as though it has been raining EVERY DAY, and has been since the end of October. In combination, obviously, with various internal factors, I find the relentlessness of the gray skies wearying to the soul, and can’t help but wonder if I would be feeling quite so hopeless and helpless right now if I lived in a sunnier clime?

Anyway, for Christmas this year I readdressed myself to the Paint-by-Numbers paintings I had promised various family members last Christmas (the shame!), and decided to do them as collages, which I figured would both be faster and an entertaining break from painting. I had never really made collages before, but I was introduced to their usefulness in teaching as a way for students to analyze and transcribe Old Master paintings without having to actually, you know, paint, and got excited about the possibilities.

Instead finishing the copy of this fabulously weird painting for my sister Annie (which I had started and abandoned), I decided to go with Ingres’ The Valpincon Bather. It was spectacularly fun to turn into a collage.

Here’s a smaller version to fit on your screen:

And here’s a bigger version for more detail:

And for Katharine, instead of the Diebenkorn painting she asked for (also started and abandoned) a collage of Vermeer’s The Lacemaker.

I have been in the studio a fair amount recently, working on my painting of Icarus with a container ship . . . despite my generally grim outlook these days I am feeling cautiously optimistic about actually finishing it . . . a shocking concept for me, finishing a painting. However, perhaps because I’m afraid of jinxing myself, I’ve been feeling a bit shy about posting any process images. Also slightly inhibitory is the fact that our tiny point and shoot Canon, with which I’ve shot all of the photographs on this blog, is juuuuuuust a tiny bit crappy, and especially not so great with larger paintings (this one is 3′ x 4′ — not large in the general scheme of things, I know, but much larger than I’ve been working on in a couple of years). So. Perhaps soon!

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