Today is Monday, October 19,2009. I woke to bright sunlight streaming through the windows. Which was a welcome change to the cold, rainy sometimes snowy weather we have had for the last four days. I put my kids on the school bus, threw my paints and easel in the trunk of my car and headed back over to the Jones Farm. At this area of the farm, where the wine tasting and cooking class buildings are located, I always step into the offices and check in with Keith and let him know I will be in the fields.
The morning air was cool and crisp but not very windy. Here in New England the fiery foliage is peaking. As you can see in this next phase of the painting there are flashes of gold and orange amongst the dark greens of the evergreen trees. When I came home and brought the painting inside I asked my son Edward what he thought. He said it looks very fall like to him. My agent suggests adding snow, a larger bow and perhaps a sign that says seasons greetings. The main goal of the Christmas in the vineyard painting is for a calendar for a manufacturer, but it is making a nice addition to the whole Wine Trail series.
Today I was getting down to the bottom of some old tubes of paint. I have new tubes of paint that I bought in Manhattan a few weeks ago but I am trying to be more organized. Instead of opening these new tubes of paint I am forcing myself to use up all the old tubes of paint first. New paint, canvases or brushes to a painter are like new toys to a little kid. Some paint is very expensive. A standard tube of paint is 37 ml. This size in Cadmium Orange is thirty dollars so before I open the brand new one I just bought I am squeezing out every last drop of the old cadmium orange. As long as something comes out of the rolled up-tightly wound tube, I consider it not to be empty.
Paints are made by different manufacturers and have noticable differences in their quality. If a paint is a low grade it usually is not very thick, the hue of the color is weak and they are inexpensive. I used these types of paints over 20 years ago when I was an undergraduate art student. I would be wasting my time if I used such paints today. It would be like trying to make a fine wine out of a package of kool-aid.
So I pulled out some nearly empty tubes that have been sitting at the bottom of the paint box for over a year. These old tubes of paint were of a higher quality; probably left over from the days of pre-recession. I squeezed out the sap greens and the alizarin crimson and whatever else was almost gone and I noticed the difference immediately. The thickness and intensity of color made them easier to swirl around on my palette letting the brush scoop up generous proportions of oil that gently slid over the smooth surface of the canvas. By the time I end a painting session there is a quiet rhythm, an intimate dance between the paints and the canvas that gives life to my new creation.