Here it is on the eve of a very significant presidential election  in the USA. I have been feeling the energy and used it by starting the rough for a new painting today. For some reason I am feeling whimsy out of it all!! Count me as crazy or what given the issues at stake.

Right now, as I look at this underpainting, I like the pillow. It feels very Toltec or Mayan to me. Hey, is that “pillow” actually symbolic for the Mayan Calendar??  The woman in back is looking down at her partner with a quizzical look. She seems to be in a quandary expressed by one of her hands on her head. She almost seems to be  saying with her free hand and the right box like angles of her arms: “Careful! Go no further!” Whereas the man is looking confident–as if saying “I am the Man!” while he is about to tumble playfully onto the pillow. Uh, well, maybe this is about the election after all??!! And maybe the Mayan 5th Sun??

This painting may become  one of my more playful pieces. I kind of think of human appendages sometimes as being like vines and flowers, and really see that in this piece with the wave like cross hatched assemblage of legs and feet.

Legs and Feet Like Vines, underpainting by Bea Garth, copyright 2016, acrylic painting in progress

Legs and Feet Like Vines, underpainting by Bea Garth, copyright 2016, acrylic painting in progress

This is just the rough underpainting. I decided to paint the “drawing” with a brush directly on the canvas, rather than draw it in with a pencil on paper (or even on the canvas). I like the spontaneity of working like this. This is how I worked with my ceramic sculpture for years –directly on the piece.

You may not realize it, but I often try to get the body shapes and expression just right even though everything is distorted and elongated. I thus shifted the legs and feet around a few times, and  also worked similarly on the torsos and faces til I felt I got it right. I used a wet brush to erase lines when I could, and overpainted dried lines with a mixture of white and reddish brown when necessary.

I like to get the underpainting more or less right before I proceed with the rest.  Its important to me since I don’t have anything else to refer to but my imagination and the canvas I am working on when I am painting. Getting the basic composition right helps create an understructure for my imagination to work with, even if I end up changing a few more things in the end.

Question is, what kind of understructure will we have as a result of this election? No one knows right now, but all that will change in just one more day. Just be sure to participate and vote. It will make a difference in how you feel, as well as in the issues of this all important election.