Tatiana and Olga 2010

Tatiana and Olga  2010

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Two years and counting

July 25th 2014 marked the 2nd year of my current Romanov painting of Tsar Nicholas and his son Alexis in 1916. I'm still painting

The Tsar , Alexis and the River 1916

The good news is I am no longer painting the Tsar's tunic. Which took about 10 months  of this time  and I finally had to abandon the photo I was basing him on and use a new one. So the painting doesn't quite looked like this photo. Alexis  however is the same

There to fore I would strictly stay with the Romanov  photo I was basing the painting on...well no more

When I started I didn't even have this fine copy of the photo and so made many  mistakes that never would have  been resolved since I was looking a fuzzy photo. Just one example :  I can see now half of the Tsar's chest area is his side. No wonder it didn't work when I tried to make it all the front...

Thankfully the tunic is done... I am now painting beach,  grass and sky. Wow it's great  painting something besides a tunic!

The Tsar's tunic was made a thick wool it looks like to me.  And he like wearing it loosely. Consequently  those sleeves would bunch up oddly and  looked like a over head photo of  the Alps , but a photo of those mountains  on its side !  I still had difficulty with the 2nd tunic I went to in desperation . " Ordeal by sleeve"  as it was known around here

I was like Jacob who wrestled with an angel and would not let the angel go until it blessed him. People have  lauded me for sticking with it , but what else was there to do? Quitting would be much worse than keeping on and I have to say I enjoyed it 90 % of the time and learned alot

We have this idea everything must be instant...why?

Now   is the fun time of a painting. The tweaking time. When the accomplishment is achieved and one is after the  many details . It's like coating down a hill, a fun ride ...AT LAST

Bronte Novel

I have  written so much and add more daily . Once my  current Romanov painting is complete,  I will be doing the novel full time for a few weeks at least. 

My problem is not writing, that seems endless, my difficulty at the moment  is  organizing.  So I want to devote all my working day  to the novel to get a handle on it all.

I'm finding investigating the family's Irish background revelatory. The Brontes  were Irish . They certainly were seen as such in Haworth. Given the strong story telling tradition in the family ( grandfather Huge and father Patrick) the sister's writing abilities do not seen as out of the blue as it did  before .

One of  Mrs Gaskell's aims  imo  was to affix  an English  veneer firmly  on  this Celtic tribe . One can say yes but there is the Branwell side. Indeed...but that's Cornwall and still Celtic. 

Charlotte loved  being English and all things English. But that meant a state of mind  more than blood because any over view of English history will show they are almost as much mutts as we in the States are! ( I said almost)

The first people,  Romans,  Angols, Saxons, Danes, Normans, it goes on and on...I'm sure I have forgotten someone 

Irish history at this time  also plays a large role  with two strong Irishmen on the scene ...plus I've done  more Church research. Charlotte was not simply Evangelical...she favored the Board Church movement. It's enough to say she and Arthur Bell Nicholls could not be further apart in their views and still  remain within the Established Church of England. How they over come that divide is a good part of the book because over come it they did .

 I was about to work with a researcher in the UK when I felt I had to tell them  the book I was working on was a novel. I was concerned that would not find favor and I was right They were gracious, but no longer interested. I'm just going to have to prove novel writing can be serious history too...well serious enough to call for  respect 


July 30th was Emily Bronte's 196th birthday.  I wanted to do a drawing of her and her beloved dog, Keeper, but wound up just doing Keeper!

Keeper is a fascinating name for Emily's dog. Did it mean this animal would be kept? Some of the Parsonage's animals were not as we know. Or did the name mean he was a "  keep" , a source  of security and protection .  I rather think the latter. 

With Keeper at her side, Emily could  roam the moor night or day. She would not be free to  do so other wise imo. She writes so often about the night, I put Keeper on the moor in the moon light . He is  watchful, on the alert and ready for anything. I advise you not to trifle with his mistress! lol

Keeper on the moor

 Okay , back to work!