Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Summer Idyll

I continue to work steadily on the Lennox Woods body of work for my solo show next spring. There will be five large scale paintings - 48 x 60 up to 72 x 96-  and a total of about 42 paintings in the show. I started with the smallest of the "BIGs" as I call them, and am working my way up in size. I am working on several of them at the same time, plus others as well- usually about 8 to 10 pieces at a time. 

In January of 2012 when I first started on this journey, I was out in the Woods one day with Steve and Allen Phillips (the filmmaker for the project). Allen and I managed to wander off the trail. I didn't know my way around the Woods very well back then and neither did Allen. But, he had a GPS on his phone and we knew if we kept heading north we would hit the dirt road that runs along one side of the Preserve. So, we kept going instead of doubling back to find the trail. It was winter so bushwhacking through the Woods wasn't too hard and we got back into some spots that would be hard to find in any other season.  Pretty soon we came upon a small pond. It was a big surprise because the only water I had seen in the Woods was Pecan Bayou and the small streams it spawned throughout the Preserve. This pond looked self contained, although Steve thinks it is fed by a spring on adjacent property. Anyway, having found it, I knew I wanted to come back.

Here is a study for the 60 x 72 painting I am now working on.

A Summer Idyll
20 x 24

I started with lots of sketches, working out my ideas. This is my preferred way to work- hunting for motifs, then using drawings to work out designs and to gather reference materials.

Once I had the design organized and the field reference I needed, I started the 20 x 24 study.

I made a grid of the study and traced the main shapes and lines. I gridded the large canvas with proportional squares with vine charcoal, then drew in the composition.

Here is the studio with the large canvas on the left, the grid in the center and the study to the right of that. Just to get an idea of the scale, the painting on the easel behind the grid is 36 x 48!


Tim Schneider said...

Dear Deborah,
Thanks for showing your method of enlargement. It can be such a daunting task that many of us do not attempt it. I have admired your lovely paintings and received your newsletter for several years. I am considering a larger easel and am wondering what make are, or where to get the ones you use. Do they work well for you?
Take care

Deborah Paris said...

Hi Tim. The two big easels are Hughes. I love them and could not do without them! They come in various styles (single and double masted) . I bought mine through Wind River Arts.(Google it). It is owned by Mary and Chuck Rawle, wonderful people. If you contact them, tell them I sent you!

Jack Shelton said...


Thanks for pulling back the curtain about your artistic vision and process. Your commitment to the Lennox Woods project is both inspiring and daunting. Your students are pulling for you while observing that process and hard work are just as important as raw talent.


Deborah Paris said...

Thank you Jack. I appreciate that!