On My Easel: "Sleeping With The Fishes"

Hello!  It's Wednesday, the fifth day (in a row) that my children have been home.  Jonas gifted us 37 inches of snow and I need to tell you that a few of my marbles are loose.  I've contracted acute cabin fever with one child hanging on each of my limbs for nearly a week.  My husband was out of town, so I was flying solo.  It's a good thing that my vice is coffee and not narcotics...

It's been a month since I've completed a painting that I'm truly enamored with.  I've been in a creative rut that has produced nothing but stuff I'm now painting over.  The painting below, however, is something that I started yesterday, that I am thrilled with the progress so far.

The first two weeks in March, myself and five other artists are commandeering Circle Gallery on State Circle, across from the State House and Governor Hogan's current residence.  For this show, I am aiming to churn out eight new pieces.  This is a tall order, but I'm working smaller than I normally do, so that I can have two walls full of sm/med size works vs. three really big ones.  I will have one 16x20 or 18x24, but I haven't decided which yet....that will depend on which sketch I choose for that size canvas.

So, about "Sleeping With the Fishes"....

I've always been fascinated by the stillness of sleep.  I watch my children sleep and even my husband, although he doesn't especially like it.  He's caught me (many times) staring at him as he slumbers.  He thinks it's creepy.  Perhaps it is.

I love beards and I've wanted to do a sleeping/dreaming painting for a long time. Coincidentally, I found a photo at Morguefile that looks exactly like an old buddy named Rich, and what he may have looked like while sleeping.  The face had interesting characteristics like a pouty mouth and scraggly beard...so I got to work first on the face sketch, then penciled in the fish.

Anyhow, Rich, if you are reading this, I hope you are well old friend! 

This if what I have so far, and I'm stoked.

 

The photo came out somewhat dark, but I will be lightening it up quite a bit as I move along.  I'm doing primaries first, then will add some softeners on top, which will suggest depth.

Here's a close up of my dude...you can see my sketch underneath...

 

And the fish ...these particular swimmers are Mahogany Snappers, native to Belize...

  These fish are much smaller than actual size, but need to be for my composition.  I don't think anyone from Belize plans to attend my gallery show, so I won't sweat it...

 

These fish are much smaller than actual size, but need to be for my composition.  I don't think anyone from Belize plans to attend my gallery show, so I won't sweat it...