It was a gloriously wet and cold May Long Weekend here in Edmonton. The perfect conditions for hunkering down and working away in the studio, steadily crossing things off of the to-do list that never seems to get any shorter. It was a slow weekend. I finished one big book and started a new one. I picked up my knitting project again after an accidental hiatus. I unexpectedly finished a commission, got some 'office' things done, visited with friends, napped and got to spend a some time with this diptych I started a few weeks ago.
This is probably the longest I have taken to finish a painting since I started painting sixteen years ago. I'd turn the pieces sideways, add some washes, work on something else while that dried, turn it sideways again, have another look at it, add a few brush strokes here and there, look at it again, and then ignore it for a week while I painted other things.
I think it's safe for me to blame all the nice weather we were having for how long it took me to finish this piece. I was finding it difficult to paint an abstract piece inspired by a blustery walk by the Pacific Ocean when it was hot, tinder dry and blindingly sunny.
I was working on some anti-portraits and a commission in the studio this morning, then we got dressed and walked the dogs through the neighbourhood in the cool damp greyness. It smells amazing out and the birds seem to be singing joyously about the rain. Their choruses ring delightfully between the houses and from every leaf covered branch that they can perch on. It seemed to be just the atmosphere I needed to finish this piece.
There is a surprising amount of detail in this abstract set. I love the differing movement between the swell of the bottom portion of the panels, the horizontal washed layers at the top and the vertical strokes in the middle section meeting up gently with the 'water' below.
I'm looking forward to hanging this piece in the cafe this week.