|"Andrea at the League" oil on canvas 16" x 20" by Hilary J. England|
I was basically working in a "phone booth" on this painting above. Not in a literal sense, as we don't have phone booths in the classroom, but I was physically boxed in between three painters, all working on tremendous canvases, so I would have to step out between them and peer at the model, and then scurry back into my "cave" and paint. This made tonal judgements quite difficult, since I did manage to position my palette out into some dim, precious light, but when I went back into the "cave," I had to rely on faith that my initial brushstroke and color/tonal choice was the correct one, since I was nearly in the dark, and painting in the dark is quite a hurdle to overcome.
Plus, if this wasn't handicap enough, the young Spaniard behind me, working on his six foot canvas that was literally an inch from my back, began beating on his painting with a mahl stick, in some new method of trying to achieve texture, so I felt as if I was in the middle of some tribal initiation, and with this insanity going on around me, I just couldn't help but to laugh, as it truly was bizarre and funny!
Anyway, all hurdles and handicaps put aside, I did manage to blaze out a coherent painting in four hours, with breaks. It's called, quite simply, "Andrea at the League," and Andrea enjoyed it, and so did I.