"There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion" Francis Bacon 1561-1626

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Leaf of the Day: Ants, and Water Plantain, Day 6

Some time ago I wrote about repatriating some ants to Leu gardens which, I know, had arrived here in the Bulls Horn Acacia thorns. (reason here) Since then, Pedro gave me another beautiful thorn with, of course, a couple more of the caretaker ants. These I have re-homed in remote parts of the apartment complex but I seem to be stuck with one that won't leave. I have put it outside now many many times but the next day it is back, so I give in and now seem to have a pet. I am not particularly fond of ants but my Buddhist leanings stop me just squashing it. There only seems to be this one at the moment so for now we have a truce. If the extended family arrive for a prolonged stay I may have to reconsider my largess.
It is a slender delicate little thing, extremely adventurous and fearless and spends a large part of the day running around my drawing table. I felt sorry for it the other day and gave it some honey which it spent all day eating. I didn't see it the next day so presumed it was sleeping off a massive honey hangover, but today it was back.. it's name is...Ant. It will feature in a painting soon and it's quite nice to have this diminutive little companion for a while. Painting is a solitary business.
It has been scampering about all day today and has been a welcome distraction from watching paint dry. However it's day 6 and I hope only one more day to go. I think it would be wise to stop anyway and get on with something else. I have made some mistakes and some progress but I always say that if you are happy with just one square inch of a painting it has been worthwhile.
I plodded on with the leaves but by lunch time I just had to get rid of the masking fluid. This may be a mistake, but I was just fed up with seeing the blue stuff and its sticks to your hand too.


Accidents?.. well 4 so far, one aphid which fell off my model and left a green smeary mark and 3 colour spots, one where I had paint on my hand. another where I dropped the brush, and the inevitable mystery one. All are on the parts of the paper which have to stay white .. but hey!..there is no point in worrying.
After another trip to find another flower head I started the stem. The green seed heads are quite a different green from the leaves.. really bright emerald but for this painting and in view of the comment the colours of my last submission I am keeping them subdued.
As I am writing this I have just noticed my other delightful studio companion, the house gecko. They are amazing aren't they? Just like moving fridge magnets.. Hmmm ...how compatible exactly are geckos and ants?

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Water Plantain, Stage 3


2 comments:

outofdoors said...

I love that you have an ant friend to keep you company as you work. Stage 5 is so nice; adoring the unfinished ghostly look of the flower bits...

Karen said...

Hey, maybe you've discovered a new "use" for aphids, some kind of pigment?? :)