Namir at the Window

"Namir at the Window" in progress
"Namir at the Window" in progress

I’m working on a painting in between portraits, and I have to admit it’s not exactly “new”. I began this painting in January 2008, I think, then put it aside piled things in front of it, thought about it here and there, and finally decided I’d just get back to it.

I’m just learning acrylic painting with the gift from two different people of someone’s old stores of tubes of paint, brushes, canvases and other materials, and I decided that was about as clear a sign as I could get that I should start painting. And, just as I did years ago when I began drawing, my subject is inevitably one of my cats, the subject with which I’m most familiar and comfortable and I can therefore focus on the medium. This is pretty large, 18″ x 24″, and I keep forgetting that acrylic paint dries pretty quickly and I have to be orderly about how I work this so I don’t end up with paint caked on it in areas that I didn’t get back to before they dried.

It’s Namir looking out the dining room window where my window boxes hold flowers for most of the year, beginning with bulbs in pots in March and ending with chrysanthemums that sometimes have snow on them. I decorate with greens trimmed from my spruces through the winter to shelter the pots of bulbs that will sprout again in spring.

In summer, when the years-old pink geraniums I’ve saved year after year are again blooming with whatever else I’ve added to them, the color is astonishing, and because the flowers attract bees and hummingbirds and butterflies, there is usually at least one cat at the window wishing the glass or the screen wasn’t there.

I’ve got the basis down, but I need to get the reflection in the window so it doesn’t look like a big black hole in the middle of the painting, and I think I need a little more detail on the shutter on the right so it doesn’t just look like I painted the right side of the canvas brown just because. Because the screen is in the window, the lace curtain, which is actually antique white, looks creamy or tan, and I’ll probably change that. After I get the curtain decided, I can finish up Namir so he looks less like a grey coyote, though he does have big ears and a prominent nose.

I’ll post the next proof in a few days.

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