22 January 2013: dear London, on working in the studio … day 13

A pop quiz:a special prize for anyone who can tell me why I took this photograph in Wennington Gardens this morning ...

pop quiz:
a special prize for anyone who can tell me why I took this photograph in Wennington Gardens this morning …

… 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:

Day 8 RA School Life Class

Day 8 RA School Life Class

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):

IMG_2646IMG_2649

IMG_2645

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.

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