30 December 2006

George Michael

Our oldest kids shared an apartment and together got a kitten, which they named George Michael. He came to stay with us over the Christmas holidiays, and somehow it sort of felt like we were babysitting a grandchild. A foretaste, perhaps. Here was great subject matter for a painting, but how to get him to stay still long enough for a photo? Finally I managed to catch him staring intently at something out the window. This one would be done in casein, using my newly acquired techinques.

Casein is a very obedient paint, unlike watercolor. It goes where you put it, but nothing more. Some people like that. But I found that I was missing the 'give and take' of watercolor. There is a kind of partnership with watercolor. You do this, and it will do that. You start the process, and it will complete it while you are out of the room. Its a bit like giving a horse the reigns and it will find its way home. I had the hardest time getting the paint to blend the way I wanted along the window sill in this painting. The watercolor would have known what to do. But this stuff! I had to tell it everything.

I attempted two more casein paintings, but not being happy with how they were going, abandoned them both. During this time I also bought a nice set of water soluable oil paints. Seven months later they are still in their box. Maybe someday, but I could hear my watercolors calling me back.

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