fireside, maggie 3 low rezMaggie, oil on panel, 6″ x 6″

When Margaret and I got back from Montauk the other day, I guess she could tell that I was frustrated that my painting did not happen.  She knows that I can’t go a day without painting, or else I get really frustrated.  And so, she suggested that I paint, even though it was ten at night.  I picked up my paints from my studio, and set up in our living room.  Having gotten a fire going, Margaret sat down to pose for the painting.  Initially, I had another light on in the room, but the additional light source threw off the shadows.  And so, I shut off all other lights, and decided to paint simply by firelight.  Being that this is such a small painting, I figured that the pressure was off.  Thinking of my paintings in such a dispensable way enables me to paint at ease, and be a bit more creative.

The room was pitch black, save the flickering light on the canvas.  I had a really hard time mixing colors, in fact it was impossible.  I kind of mixed what I thought might work, rather than what looked right.  I could barely see the marks that I was making on the canvas, it was so black.  And, every time that I looked into the fire, it took a minute for my eyes to adjust and be able to see Margaret’s face again.  Not being able to see the canvas or the palette was kind of exciting- kind of like the feeling you would have, as a kid, when you would close your eyes and try to navigate through your house.

A half an hour later, I had this small sketch.  I don’t know how it rates, but to tell you the truth, I am not too concerned.  I just know that it is a fun sketch.  I liked it so much, that I might try a similar composition on a larger canvas.


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