By W.R. Jones
I had a hell of a time with this piece. It was cold and windy and the sun was bright. I picked this meadow thinking it would be easy to paint. After a series of failures I was looking for an ego pick-me-up. Whoops.
Too windy for an umbrella, I had to turn my easel 180 degrees from what I wanted to paint in order to keep the sun off the canvas and palette. Then I couldn’t get the grass color right. I resorted to holding a bunch of grass in my hand and comparing to the color on my palette knife.
First I compared them out in the sun, perfect; then I compared them in the shade of the easel, perfect. Then I realised this was stupid, what I wanted was to have the look of grass in the sun on my canvas in the shade (i.e. as it might look inside a house, hopefully hanging on a wall, but more realistically at the bottom of a closet). It really should be straight forward. Put the paint on the canvas, compare to the grass in the meadow. What can I say, it seemed to be beyond me.
I painted for about 30 minutes in full sunlight, then came the clouds. One hundred percent cloud cover, sheee….it. Clearly, or cloudily I should say, it was going to be a gray day; start mixing again. Another 30 minutes, not a cloud in the sky. God was toying with me for that potty mouth I had been using for the last 5 paintings.
A car pulled up to the edge of the meadow. Two fat women with their two fat men got out. They looked at me for a moment then one woman shouted, “We should use you for target practice!” It gave me a warm feeling that they wanted me, a total stranger, to participate in their games.
And me; the landscapes broke my spirit, I’m painting flowers now, in the safety of my room, like an old woman.