The Process: Day 5


Somewhere around the year 1995 I did an artist residency in Milledgeville Ga. This was where Flannery went after finding out she had Lupus, and lived on her mothers farm Andalusia. I lived and worked at the John C. Marlor Art Center. While I was there, a symposium of Flannery's works was held at Georgia College which drew people from all over the world. Milledgeville is also the site of the state asylum, so its fitting that Flannery would draw upon weird country people to play out her morality tales of redemption, salvation and grace. I do feel some degree of pressure to present this great author correctly and to have it be worthy of her. 

I thought I might start todays post with a shot of the studio. Its a wreck. Tomorrow I have to rearrange so that I can hang the painting on the wall. I need to look at it from a distance more now. I didn't get as much done today as I would have liked. Koby had a rough day. The dogs were restless so we played in the creek; I threw sticks for them and they chased each other until Koby ran through a yellow jacket nest. Im ashamed to say it was funny to see the moves she made; I slapped all the ones still stuck to her down. July and August are horrific here. It is buggy hot and humid.

First thing I did was dry brush the water and add the crutches. I paint them fully as if they are going to show and then as I worked on the water they became less clear. I am very happy with how they look now; not so clear but more of a suggestion.

I am not entirely happy with the water and will have to work on it yet again. Im almost embarrassed to say how much time I put into it and not be fully satisfied. Self doubt has started to creep in...typical in any piece that is a stretch. I couldve done one of my layered pieces that is bright and fun. This is a piece that is about something more than a decoration so it is harder.  But I do love being with Flannery every day!

Another awkward stage. I worked on the arms and will need to redo the peacock feather under the hands. Here you can see how the crutches look in the water. I am very happy with that. The photo doesnt show the water well - that worries me a little as I have to submit photos to get in the show. I will work on it some tomorrow. I also touched up Flannery's face a little tonight...just took down the shadow on her chin and I think it softened her face a bit.

Layered peacock feathers. I will tighten them up a bit later and make some of them bright areas of light for  contrast. I did a test near the bottom of the painting and it looks good.

This where I left it for the evening. Does it look like much happened? Not really!

Tomorrow: more water work, finish the peacock tail and wing, refine arms, and start the devils. I actually need to finish the devils. Sunday needs to be a day where I can just finesse a painting that is basically finished. Have a terrific weekend everyone. Thanks for tuning in.


  1. Like the swirly tail feathers!

    Why does the foreground crutch have a ferrule but not the background one?

    Great doggie pix!

  2. Another lovely view of your progress. I like how you have softened her face, the suggestion of the crutches looks good and I see you have added some land in the background ... great work.
    Your studio looks cosy, everything you need within reach.
    Have a lovely weekend sweet girl!
    xoxoxo ♡

    P.S. Are 'yellow jackets' a kind of insect, I hope Koby is OK?

  3. Yeah, the water! I was so looking forward to seeing it evolve (as well as what you would do with the crutches). Absolutely fascinating. Looks to me like you accomplished a lot today. I will be especially interested in seeing what you do at the “finessing” stage – even if you don’t get to post about it until after you’ve made your Sunday deadline. Yikes to the fact that you are not only trying to finish this painting but also need to photograph it in a way that will “translate” into getting it accepted for the show. But I have full faith and confidence – your many talents continue to awe me.

    P.S. Will there be a Chicky "bee" painting coming up? Hope Koby is OK and that your hand is better too.

  4. KOBY!!! Ouch. Sorry.

    Funny, but I was admiring the water and then read that you didn't think the water photographed well. It did. Or did to me. What's the longest time you've ever spent painting something?

    I would go insane in the South in the Summer; heat and bugy-ness would drive me crazy. Oh wait. A week from today I'll be in North Carolina. ACKCKCC. :-) xoxox

  5. Koby, oh you poor darling!

    The painting is looking awesome. I have loved following this series of posts and seeing the work come alive.

    Love you ...

  6. I love how float-y her dress, the canes and the peacock's tail are....really get a sense of watery motion/lightness of being even in the heavy element of water. May not have felt as though you did a lot, but it looks that way from an outsider's eye. This is such a treat, seeing the process unfold like this. I am getting so fond of Flannery and her bird.

  7. Land, water, crutches, tail feathers,tweaking ... sounds like a lot to me. The crutches are great; how wonderful of you to show them to us when they first dropped and then as they sank a bit. Love! Love! Love! the color balance in the peacocks tail to the backgrounds. On the photography ... won't it all look different once you take a picture in natural light? Will your entry photograph be taken in the studio or along your creek bank? The selection committee should pick this painting on color alone.

    How is Koby? Yellow Jackets are mean little buggers. We had an infestation this year of ground dwelling jackets! It was very difficult to get under control.
    I can commiserate with Koby, the stings from these creatures are fierce.

    Your postings are wonderful! It is certainly exciting for we followers to watch your vision of Flannery evolve. Concurrently our understanding of your life in the country is also evolving. Not too hard to understand what it means when one is advised to
    "country up!"

    Blessings on your day :-)

  8. Ah, heartthrob! Iffin' this paintin' doan git selected, Aunty will "select" it-- yore tribute to Flannery willl be happy on mah wall!

    More is happenin' in this work than ya know--youse detailin' to us'uns how the artist translates her vision onto canvas (board) wif' paint/ technique--an' in the process we"see" the Artist an' the viewer-to-be, as well as the image itself. Yore details are not accidental but thought out --use of each element has its place/ significance. nuthin' is in the paintin' by accident, but by meanin'.

    Writers--good ones--make this same journey, tho wif' a different medium. Here's a Saturday hug fer ya Pup : Flannery's own "show an' tell" methodology--ain't it amazin' how similar??

    "in good fiction, certain of the details will tend to accumulate meaning from the story itself, and when this happens, they become symbolic in their action...You might say that these are details that, while having their essential place in the literal level of the story, operate in depth as well as on the surface, increasing the story in every direction."

    I'sr in CAJUN land this mornin', but wanted to see what all ya done--an it is glorious. The water & crutches is amazin'--even all us "whole" folks will unnerstan' the liberation of "no more crutches"--an'...(smile!) do ya see a deeper meanin' in the paintin' emerge? The paintin' is "about" Flannery in particular, but for every viewer the message can be personal--we all yearn to be "crutch" free.

    Very keenly interested in that tree / land line developing on horizon. Adds psychological balance.

    awww. poor Koby. Sorry fer her--mercy.

  9. I've really enjoyed this look at the process. Thanks for sharing it.

  10. Aw, poor Koby. I want to give her a big smooch on her nose and make that forlorn face go away.

    Thanks for showing a pic of the painting in its entirety at this point. Now I can fully feel the vibration between the hot and cool colors and the repetition of the wave-like forms throughout. The physical, psychological, and spiritual contrast between the steadiness of Flannery's gaze and the swirl of color and form around her. And you nailed the crutches in the water. I'm diggin' it, girl!

  11. What MLou said.

  12. I LOVE the water. I think it photographed perfectly. I cannot wait to see those devils. Keep the iced tea flowing - you'll get it done! xox

    PS Tell Koby I'm sorry he was bitten. I hate wasps.

  13. Good morning Chickory,

    What Troll said.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.


© chickory All rights reserved . Design by Blog Milk Powered by Blogger