Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Two Yellow Apples on a Plate, 8 x 9"

Here are two apples we picked late September in Ipswich, MA. (Yes, they waited patiently for me in the refrigerator for a few weeks and were still tasty!) When the painting is small enough, I prefer to scan it once it's dry, rather than photograph it—the brushstrokes are more apparent in the scan (and my picture taking skills aren't consistently good yet). With the weather getting very chilly here in New England, I'll be painting en plein air a little less often, and enjoy the focus on still lifes (and I hope, some figures).

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Trellis Angel, 8 x 6"

Painting Trellis Angel was an experiment in lighting and technique. I wanted to keep the effect of the back lighting, yet keep her face visible. I wondered if I should increase the brightness of the background to heighten this effect, but I'll let it sit for awhile and think about it. The autumn day I painted this was a bit brisk, so I couldn't resist adding a touch of pink to her cheeks! To keep some passages thick and sharp, I used a palette knife more than I usually do. If you have any comments on this challenging little painting, I'd love to hear them. I enjoyed doing it. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Portrait Sketch, Tineke, 12 x 9"

Tineke posed for me while working on her laptop. The lighting was fascinating. There was evening light coming in a nearby window and cool light from her laptop screen below, shining up on her face; there was also warm light from a nearby lamp. I realize it's time for me to get new glasses: colors I had painted right next to each other were not as accurately placed as I thought! Even so, it was great fun to paint.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Three Amigos, 6 x 6"

I painted this still life awhile after taking a workshop with Carol Marine. It was great to see how she works. She shared a lot of useful information, some of which got me "blogging"! Getting the almost overhead perspective on the bowl was a wee bit challenging, but fun, too. I want to thank those who have commented on my recent posts; feedback is always so welcome. Still being relatively new to this, I didn't realize they were there until today! Now I know where to look.  : )

Friday, November 12, 2010

Breakheart Reservation, 6 x 8"

This painting was done en plein air*, in the beginning of the summer. I'll be posting recently finished paintings in the next few days, but thought I'd revisit a warmer day today, since right now my feet are chilled in my studio! This was my first painting in Breakheart Reservation and I remember feeling eager to catch the light before it all changed. Although there are elements I could tweak, I think it's a successful field study. When I work on small paintings outside, I'm interested to capture as much as I can in those 2-3 hours, and learn as much as possible to fill up my "memory bank" and increase my collection of studies. Someday, when I'm more consistently good at plein air painting and I have that knowledge stored up, I'll be able to use all of that to create larger paintings from my studies. I've done a few already, and love how my memories of the day return while I'm painting.

*In case the term is new to you, plein air painting is done outdoors, directly from nature, often in one session. It's one of the more challenging ways to paint, since the artist contends with changing light, wind, weather, bugs...but those who do it love being in nature and find it's the best way to learn about painting it! SOLD

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Snuff Mill, Byfield, 9 x 12", finished

Here's the finished painting of Snuff Mill, Byfield, with more accurate color than my earlier post. (Sometimes photographing a painting can be tricky!) It was a gorgeous autumn day. I and the other members of Band of Brushes plein air painting group loved this location and hope to paint there again. The changes I made are few and maybe a bit subtle. If you enjoy a visual challenge, you could compare it to the earlier post and see if you notice what I've altered—kind of like the feature in Highlights Magazine, that children used to read. (Do they still?)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Kitchen Aid Cherries, 7 x 5"

When I set up this still life in my kitchen, I was at first interested in creating a simple still life, using playful colors. Then, two things caught my fancy—the careful, artificial act of setting the stage for my cherries and then the unplanned, real life setting beyond. I liked the juxtaposition of the two and the shift of colors from the foreground to the background, with intense colors upfront and the more subdued and subtle grays behind. There's a sketchpad linking the two, with a touch of blue. SOLD