A Cockeyed Start

Normally I start with the darkest dark.

But the sun was out! And it may not return for days! This might be the last time to see those highlights. I’m calling this a cockeyed start because I started with the lights rather than the darks. Not the way it’s supposed to be done. It looked hideous for a long time this afternoon. Could I pull it off? I kept remembering the words of Sam Knecht, one of my wonderful teachers, who said expect it to look bad in the beginning — but stick with it and figure it out. Aha — the Permission to be Brave!

It was a toughie right from the start. Tulips — so uncooperative! I’d bought them two days ago and they were supposed to twist around delightfully, like that last batch I’d painted. Uh-uh! No way! This time they remained straight. Stiff as rulers. I switched to a wider-mouth, shorter vase, hoping they’d flop. Nope. Of course, soon as I started trying to draw them in, they began moving. Darn things!

And then there was my cat, Picasso, jumping up onto the table and rearranging things. Water in flower vases must taste better.

Sometimes Picasso manages to fit his head in…
...and sometimes he shoves things aside, dipping in with his paw.

It was an experiment, painting bright tones first. My very first teacher, the great painter Clyde Aspevig, said Never be afraid to experiment. I’ve always been grateful for his good tidbits of advice. It’d be such a boring world to never take chances.

End of Day 1. Will I be able to paint that crazy cloth? Stay tuned…..

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