April 17, 2022 — Day 2 on The Peach Tree. Absolutely lovely watching it emerge from under the brushstrokes. It makes me so happy and like yesterday, I had to force myself to leave. With it still being so light outside I feel more confident working past 5, though it’s probably not the smartest thing from a security standpoint. I worked till 5:45, then called it in.
I am overawed with each passing painting by my confidence both in how I place the color with surety, the stroke clean and fresh, and in knowing what colors to use, and how easily I can mix them, arriving at a particular color in a million different ways, recycling what’s already on the palette from the last painting. I have been getting away with using the same palette for 2-3 paintings and just scraping the old paint into new piles and blending them into new combinations for the new project. Little squirt of linseed oil if its drying out. So much easier than cutting/taping a new sheet of waxed paper onto my palette each time, which is simply a cheapo stretched 20×24 canvas with a .75 depth. Two of them are generally what I need for all the colors I want, and they fit precisely onto the rolling cart I had, side by side, the undersides even hooking over the edges so they don’t move. One of those happy accidents I figured out right away when I first got to Redding, including the palettes themselves, using these canvases, because I wanted them big.
So, the painting is a view from under a peach tree in July or August, when the peaches are ripe and ready to pick, rosy globes peeking out among the dark curly leaves. Lots of sparkling yellow light filtering through. It’s the wide angle view of the chickens with their far set eyes wandering through the orchard looking up at all that delicious fruit. Actually chickens are probably looking down to scratch and peck at the fallen fruit. But you get the idea. Not that my brother lets his chickens into the orchard anymore, the hawks figure that out way too quickly. It’s the view of Stuart Little and his pals. It even looks like it belongs in a storybook. Rather magical.