There's something about feathers. I saw the original painting of these chickens at Melissa Weinman Studio, and I wanted it. I felt like I could reach out and plunge my fingers into the chickens' feathers and feel the texture, feel a chicken squirming, even feel the heat from the sun. Of course, the price of the painting was out of my reach. After a week or two I thought of a solution: what if I made a mastercopy of that painting? THAT would be affordable. It's not all that common to make a mastercopy of a contemporary artist's work -- I usually see art students laboring away in front of reproductions of Rembrandts, Riberas, and Bouguereaus -- but why not? I could have a close facsimile of the painting I desired, AND I would learn a lot in the process of making it. Melissa was pleased that I wanted to copy her painting, and she agreed. Below is Melissa's original painting on the left, and my copy on the right. I suppose it goes into the Portrait category. What a challenge -- and what fun!
“There must be an easier way,” I thought to myself as I searched through Lowe’s for my missing keys. I stopped and looked at a pair of pruners, out of place on a fancy gas grill. “They should be here. This is where I put everything down 10 minutes ago.”
It was where Dudley had decided to poop. Right there, in Lowe’s. I had calmly put my stuff down on the grill and scooped the dog poop off the floor, into a plastic bag. I had knotted the bag and deposited it in my purse, pretending not to be embarrassed. I continued looking for my keys in the screw-and-bolt section, where I had stopped next. It was such a big store, and the keys were so small.
It was my fourth trip to Lowe’s that day. I was trying to install casters on my easels, and it was much trickier than I had anticipated. I thought back to the Facebook discussion I’d had with some neighbors a few hours earlier about why my first attempt wasn’t working. I learned that I was using the wrong type of caster. It had a machine screw, a big bolt really, and I was trying to thread it into the wood. People had suggestions. People offered to help. Nice neighbors. But I decided to finish the project myself after learning that I needed a different type of caster. Exchanging the casters had been the third trip to Lowe’s.
Now, by the time I made my fourth trip, I had managed to install two casters before running out of wood screws. I hadn’t bought enough, and I had broken a drill bit. So I schlepped back to Lowe’s — only to misplace my keys. I walked toward the drill-bit section, feeling like I was in a bad dream. The keys finally turned up — in my purse, next to the bag of dog poop. Sigh. In the end, after a lot of forehead slapping, I finished installing the casters. It sure would be nice if easels just came with casters, but they usually don’t. So I swept up the sawdust, put away my tools, and I looked at my new casters and shook my head. Tomorrow the drill will stay in its box, and the brushes will come out to play.
I've been lucky this year to attend open studios where the models have maintained the same pose for several weeks at a time. This is a head study of the beautiful (and professional and athletic) art model Isis. It started out as strictly an exercise, but over time became quite appealing. In the end, I decided to frame it and put it up for sale on my Gallery page. If you can't see the slideshow in your blog reader or e-mail, click here to visit my website.
Amanda Teicher creates oil paintings in the realist tradition, focusing on landscape and still life.