Day three. First day painting.
After a second 11 hour day to get to our starting place, my Mom really wanted the comfort of a hotel and its restaurant. Then, till I located my last painting spot from last year and drove 50 km east from there, it was after 11 am by the time I started painting. A gorgeous day, blue skies, good breeze to keep the insects down. Not too arduous for woman or beast, I think. Though my Mom was impressed by how hard this is, how noisy the road is, and so on. She kindly made me a nut butter sandwich when I got hungry halfway through the first painting.
Paintings along the Highway of Tears had to be different. To just paint the landscape without acknowledging the missing women along it seemed wrong, seemed like painting something over, making something disappear even further. So I’ve altered my technique. I do my initial drawing in pencil rather than thinned paint. This is so that I can use masking tape to mask out a dress shape. The drawing allows me to figure out what scale the dress form should be. I draw it on, put tape over it, trace it, cut it out and reapply it. Then I make the painting over it. When it’s a little dry I’ll lift the tape off, leaving a void in the painting surface. The posters, billboards and other signs along the highway make a clear impression, but I wouldn’t necessarily catch any of them in my paintings.
masked dress added. Closeup of masked dress:
Painting taking form around the dress
Uploading is taking awhile here; you can imagine how the dress gets painted into the landscape. In a couple of days I’ll peel them off. That will be interesting.
These dress voids in these road paintings make the paintings very different from the rest.. It will be interesting to see how they work. They will certainly stand out in the exhibition. It seems to me that having the dress form in them gives them a character, a story, and a tension that’s categorically different than the other paintings.
Small inconveniences so far – though I put sunscreen on, standing in the sun at the tailgate of the truck to paint for 3 hours, I sunburned the back of my knees. Guess I put it on streaky. I don’t usually burn so I was kinda slapdash.
Got through 3 paintings today. Ye gods, it’s a rough haul doing 3. We’ll see how many days like that I pull off. Better go to bed now.