Thursday, December 16, 2010

Bird and Pitcher, 8" x 10"

Here's the black and white value study I painted several months ago of my bird sitting with a pitcher. I was very interested in honing my ability to understand values. While I work on my second truck painting (yes, there is another one underway), I may do a few 6 x 6" still life paintings featuring my bird. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wishful Thinking, 6" x 6"

I painted my bird on gessoed illustration board—a very different surface for me. The texture reminds me of the way moisture sort of "pebbles" on a window. Next time I paint a 6" x 6", I'll sand the gesso beforehand to see how I like it.

For whatever reason, I love the subject of birds...It could be a symbol for the spirit, the idea of flight and the imagination, or freedom. Sadly, this bird won't be going anywhere, tethered as it is to its base. I sense its desire, though, for all sorts of possibilities!

Months ago I painted a black and white value study of this bird and a pitcher. I'll post it tomorrow. Feel free to comment or critique! I'd appreciate reading your thoughts on them. Thanks for stopping in today!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Truck and Pear, 12 x 12"

Well, what can I say? This subject matter is a bit of a departure for me, perhaps, although an earlier still life that included a toy truck has gone the way of other "learning" paintings and was collected by a different kind of truck some time ago!

One thing that links this painting to others is my interest in the subtleties within colors, whether they are the whites of garlic, the reds of a truck, or the yellows of a pear. I experimented a bit with the application of the paint, to reflect the rough and tough qualities of the truck and suggest the wood of the table and some reflections. I was also very interested in capturing the quality of light on the passenger pear. I'm realizing I need to draw more often; it was a challenge to get the truck drawn just so!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Garlic in Bowl, 10 x 8". I've been thinking a lot about color.

Did I mention that I'm an older person, but a "young" artist?* Although I majored in painting as an undergraduate in college, it was during the heyday of abstract expressionism and conceptual art—visual and not-so-visual approaches very far from my own sensibility. I often feel like I'm trying to fill large gaps in my art education.

I set up this still life because I loved the colors. I also wanted to focus on the subtle shifts in the white of the garlic, as well as the temperature and color shifts in the distressed interior of the bowl. I learned a lot from this challenge and may try it again with the goal of using thicker paint and fewer brushstrokes. While I continue to paint during the next month or two, I plan to do color charts (finally, for those who know me), and other color experiments. Anyone want to join me? We could create a color chart support group.  : )

*James Gurney encourages older artists on his blog:    Keep on painting!