Oil painting on gessoed Arches paper, 6 x 6″
Copyright Lesley Spanos 2008, all rights reserved.
I don’t think she’s really from Tennessee. I just like the name. This is another one from Karin Jurick‘s “Different Strokes From Different Folks” weekly challenge. We were given a really cool reference photo to work from – very Hopper-ish – but it was upside down! Karin asked us to do at least 95% of the work with the photo and painting inverted.
Working upside down isn’t unusual for me. I work flat and rest my hand on the canvas while I paint, so spinning it in any direction to find a dry spot is second nature. The real challenge here was painting heels. I struggled with those shoes upside down and right-side up. In fact my entire 5% of right-side up time was wasted on those darn shoes. I really seem to have a mental block against them. Maybe it’s my hatred of wearing heels manifesting itself through my art.
Just for kicks, the second photo shows this painting in the early stages. Often I paint on a red ground, but a dark black/blue/red color seemed the way to go with this one. I was able to leave much of it exposed in the window and coat. This in-progress shot also shows my lack of pre-painting preparation. I don’t like to draw much in advance. I think of painting more like sculpture – I’m coaxing the form out of nothing.
After I finished the painting, I looked at the reference image on the computer and noticed there were some interesting reflections in the window that didn’t show in my printout. A man and a car. Darn! I hope someone else does something with them.
Do you like Edward Hopper as much as I do? Writer Kevin Grandfield has created a really cool blog about his work: Hunting Nighthawks: On the Road with Edward Hopper.