… apart from it being too icy to cycle to the studio that is – notice at this point how restrained I’ve been about the heron I see each morning on the canal towpath, the time I am trying to beat each day on the bicycle, so that my host doesn’t know how unfit I am and all the other excitements of public transport, keys, washing, and so forth that I am learning about living in London again – I took the photograph in a spirit of pilgrimage.
In the studio, I worked on two paintings of this page and tinkered with the tree painting and scrubbed out a still life:
She was eminently paintable and although I carefully laid out a Beckmann, a Gorky and tried to keep Auerbach in mind, I seemed to veer towards de Stael.
48″ by 28″ suited her quite well after I adjusted the left-hand side (I do hope this blog will become more fulfilling to read again/at all at some point):
Using a tonal palette of actual greys and just a smidgen of Yellow Ochre, first on the sized canvas then on the right end of the (dreaded) black canvas, I worked hard for hours, trying to control the tone (on the first) and respond to the particular quality of the lines (in the second).
I need to go back to the studio to see what I’ve done.