Forty-Nine...

[singlepic id=185 w=320 h=460 float=left] I told you I'd do it! And, here it is. The oil version of Nirvana, my big, bright, hopeful, next-to-last painting in my group of fifty. Nirvana is all about transformation, and with this painting that seems to work for a few different reasons.

For one, I suppose it marks the near-completion of my transformation into a multiple-media painter. Maybe more importantly, it also convinced me to become a painter that takes the time to tone canvases before painting. I've done that exactly one time before this, adding a sepia wash to a canvas that I was to paint with one of my Zen Garden images. That time I applied the wash right before I wanted to start painting, then became frustrated that it took so long to dry.

This time, I toned the canvas with a grey-purple color right before leaving for the coast. Four days later when I started to paint, it was dry, and I was a very happy art chick. What a difference! Not so much in the final result, but in the speed with which I was able to get into the really interesting part of the painting. Without toning, underpainting used to take frustratingly long as I struggled to cover every millimeter of the bright-white gessoed canvas. I would find myself fighting with these white edges where areas of color met and I tried not to make mud between them. Toning completely eliminates the problem.

Also, I put off toning because I was afraid I would lose the ability to use the white background to create ultra-intense, transparent , glow-y colors. Meh. There's plenty of bright color in Nirvana. I needn't have worried.

So, wow! I get to enjoy the fruits of my "discovery" on exactly one more painting before turning around to work at the other easel. But hey. Better late than never.