Working on a 30 x 40 painting of three ladies enjoying some shade on a hot summer day. For me, this painting is a way of enjoying the cool spot I'm creating on my canvas. I enjoy the company of the ladies even though I'm working from photos on my computer. Recalling conversations brings life into my process. Whenever I have a model I photograph them in different poses in between periods of painting them from life. I've selected three photos, that I believe, when put together will make the painting I see in my head. When I have the scene laid out, I'll hire a model to come in so I can tweak the figures in the scene. The painting will take at least two weeks - maybe longer.
I'm pleased and excited at how the painting is going when one of my students gives me these beautiful white roses, puts them in a blue mason jar and sets them on my windowsill. I thank her and return to my painting of the three ladies. The roses are behind me as I work, the sun comes out for the first time in two weeks pulling my attention away from my ladies... The roses are lit in the most beautiful way. I should not have turned around. Looked at my painting of the ladies then back at the roses and I'm split between continuing or capturing the new scene behind me. The roses won't hold but the three ladies I have locked in my computer.
I have to weigh my thoughts with continuing on with the one painting or starting a new one. A little painting should satisfy me and my excitement for the three ladies is strong enough so I push my easel away and pull over another to do the roses. Even a small painting will take me a couple days. I look at the ladies and what I have, I feel safe starting the roses. My interest is very high with both paintings. Like baby birds, both paintings need my attention. With the three ladies I simply have to look it over every once in a while. The roses, however, are opening as I paint them and the light is changing, While I deal with these two paintings demanding my attention other paintings are there forming in my head. Paintings drift around in there growing till I have to release them.
This is how it is with me. For now, the roses have my full attention.