Friday, January 09, 2009
10" x 10", oil on canvas
I took the reference photo for this painting at Valle de Bravo in Mexico after we had been to see the Monarch butterfly migration (Unbelievable sight!). These two young girls were dressed in traditional dresses and sitting in the dappled shade of the trees, embroidering. I have to admit that I am not normally drawn to pictures with people in and this would not normally be something that I would paint under any circumstances. But yesterday in the absence of having done any sketching from life, I sketched from this. When I came home from work this evening I was totally exhausted and had to push myself to my easel. Having already produced a tonal drawing I thought I was already halfway to the painting and so I set off on yet another experiment. And here we are. I bore in mind all that I had read lately about distances being thin transparent layers and foreground being thicker opague paint.
The weekend and another promise to myself that if the sun is shining I WILL be painting plein air! I need to dig out some warm socks and jacket because it was decidedly nippy this afternoon and if I had been anywhere else I would have said there was snow in the air. The driver did tell me that there is over a foot of snow where his family lives in the Himalayan foothills.
After lunch my husband and I usually take a stroll around the compound and enjoy the lovely gardens and trees, taking a few minutes from our desks. On several past weekends he has told me about some green parrots with long tails that he has seen in eucalyptus trees near his office and as I had not seen them I began to tease him, telling him he was hallucinating. Today, on our stroll, I saw them from a distance as they flew off, a shimmering emerald green in the sunlight. We have wonderful birds here - there are always kites and hawks flying around (one that stands guard on top of the main building), hoopoes that remind me of my childhood in Kenya, and many other birds that I had not seen before. I've yet to see any wild animals, unless you can count the cows that meaner freely down the main roads!