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Quiet Getaway 6.5 x 5.5 Watercolor on paperProcess shots begin at the bottom of this post

My friend, abstract artist Nancy Eckels works really large on both canvas & paper, like 20″ x 30″ and 4′ x 6′, and if you look at this post, you’ll see a photo of her standing next to her work for a sense of scale. Nancy knows I like to work small, especially when my time is chopped up with travel and a jammed schedule, so being a kindhearted and generous soul, she saves the scraps leftover from cutting her paper down for paintings, and brings the little cut-offs to me in a bag. There’s usually an assortment of papers: Fabriano Artistico, Rives BFK, Arches, etc. So it’s a little like Christmas when she drops off her loot. If I had a tail, there would be broken nick-knacks in the low lying areas around my house from sweeps of enthused wagging. The photo of my counter at the bottom of this post was taken after one of her deliveries. I used my paper cutter to size and sort the stockpile, and then boxed everything up when we moved last December. This week, I opened that box and pulled out my petite paper stash in all it’s variable white and subtly textured glory. The painting above was the first of the season on Nancy’s paper. It’s party time in the studio. And on airplanes. And in hotels. And out and about – anywhere I can get away with painting a little quickie on these lovely scraps of paper, whose other parts are adorned with Nancy’s big, bold, colorful abstracts.

Using a reference photo of AJC, I sketched a quick outline of face, torso and book as a map to get started.

Sorting the stash

Art Quote
I’ve been looking at what I painted last winter & the previous summer & they have made me very sad – I actually suffer when I look at them. They are so far from what I thought they were – poor & thin, labored & bad. Nothing I have begun shows yet the slightest promise & there are such a lot of them lying about my room. It is notably a chamber of horrible stupidities… Dennis Miller Bunker 1889

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