I am a night owl and often stay up until 3 A.M. I have not pulled an all-nighter for some 25 years. Back then, it was to meet deadlines for art school projects. One night, I managed to slice a piece of finger off with an Exacto knife.
Last week, I took a break from my graphic novel to begin painting, "The Bird Fanciers," for my old friends, Pam and Richard Cariker. July 28th will be Richard's sixty-fifth birthday, and, to commemorate, Pam wanted something similar in subject matter to a piece she and Richard fell in love with at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
What kept me awake all night long, two days ago, to finish this painting was Lev Yilmaz' very quirky, cool, deceptively naïve animations on the Redroom.com housewarming party page. I suddenly realized I have all the tools and equipment necessary to produce little stop action animation films. I had thought Youtube strictly the realm of the young and animation for the savvy.
When I am happy and excited, I do not feel tired or hungry. I don't think my mind has been this active for years, ideas agitating like Mexican jumping beans inside my head. Since I couldn't sleep, continued working on "The Bird Fanciers."
When the sun came up over the Santa Lucia mountains, I sat on the drizzly deck, munched a banana and listened to myriad bird trills, squawks, ping-ping-pings, chip-chip-chip, chewee-chewee, zik-zik-zik arising from the arroyo willows in the canyon. The cypresses were strung with jeweled hammocks woven by the spiders. I've not been up with the sun in a long while and was overwhelmed by the purity of air at 5:30 A.M.
So, I finished "The Bird Fanciers" by 8 A.M. and slept . . . until 2 P.M.
Chinese paintings are about the negative spaces. I painted this piece slowly, adding one element at a time. I did not want to overpaint, since it is not as easy to correct as overwriting, where, with highlight and delete, the problem is gone.
Yes, my palettes are empty tofu containers.
Below, the glorious mess at the end, just before cleanup! Oh, how I love the tools of my trade.
It is now 5:30 A.M. as I finish writing this post. I guess I've pulled another all-nighter.
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