Sunday, February 27, 2011

Spring must be coming! Sunflower Bouquet, 6 x 8"

I painted this bouquet while gallery sitting at the Newburyport Art Association last year. We awoke to three inches of new snow this morning and I'm feeling I'm eager for spring, buds and flowers. Winter can be great, but I am ready for the thaw!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Portrait in Progress

I just returned home the other day after taking my older son, seen here, to visit colleges. Its such an exciting time for him and for us. Unfortunately, I brought home a bad cold, too. Hoping to be feeling better very soon!

Since I usually work from life, painting from a photograph is a challenge for me. I'm going to consider this stage an underpainting and will spend today carefully mixing colors and thinking about my next moves! The size is 11 x 14, and what you don't see here is a little more of my younger son in the foreground on the left and a bit of the scene on the right. Technically, I'm nervous about how to it better to use retouch varnish? "oil it out"? scumble paint on top of what I've done? I imagine I'll learn a lot by doing.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Andrea's Shoe, 5x5", pencil

This drawing got me thinking about values and the challenge of keeping the light family separate from the darks. I'm not sure I entirely achieved my goal, but the thinking part is good! Sometimes when I paint, I feel like I need to slow down and be more thoughtful about my observations. I have a feeling that drawings can help. Hmmm, maybe doing more VALUE paintings would help, too! Now, there's a thought.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Andrea's Shoe, 6 x 6 "

My friend Andrea gave me a bag of wonderful, vintage sample shoes that I plan to explore in my still life paintings. I couldn't resist pairing this with tissue paper that caught the light and reflected colors of this amazing fabric.

You may have wondered, as my loyal art supporter and critic John has, why my subject matter is all over the place. I'm sure there's a thread of me tying it all together; right now I guess my paintings reveal that I'm drawn to a variety of subjects. My internal voice says, "Ooh! look at that! Ooh! did you see those colors? Can I do that?"

I expect I'll settle down soon. This shoe, for instance, deserves a few drawings and paintings. Let's see where it takes me. If another landscape or person pops in here and there, don't be surprised. I'm drawing people a lot behind the scenes and outdoor scenes appeal to me, too! ; )

Monday, February 14, 2011

Remembering Snow II, 6 x 6"

We've had so much snow this winter. As I drive around, I can't help but marvel at the beauty and subtlety of colors and values. Sometimes, it's all so soft I can barely make out the distinction of one tree against others. It's a shift of warm to cool within the same value. I really should carry a camera with me, too, since my memory fails me at some point in the painting process! But, it's fun to do these memory paintings now and then. Maybe mine will improve!

Friday, February 11, 2011

After Sargent, Head of a Capri Girl, 8 x 10"

Head of a Capri Girl by John Singer Sargent

What an experience, to carefully look and attempt to copy a painting by a master!

My darks could be darker and I should use more paint and medium, since the thinner paint seems to have been absorbed by the canvas. My drawing and colors are a bit off, which is so clear when I look at these small, posted images. (Want a good laugh? In my painting, her ears must be pierced in different places! The earring on our left is too high.)  In the future, I'll try viewing my work in a mirror and see if that helps. It was a lot to take on, but what a blast to do! I can definitely see the value of exercises like this.

In the meantime, I'm working on a portrait of my older son, from a photograph. Stay tuned, and thanks so much for visiting.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

10 Minute Pears, 8 x 16"

In an afternoon of fast-paced painting, I completed Carol Marine's challenge: Choose a simple subject and paint it in eight different "poses," 10 minutes for each pose. Whew! I have to confess, I think I "cheated"on two of them, painting for 12 instead of the 10 minutes. I think I got tired toward the end; it's surprisingly difficult to maintain the concentration to do it "justice". BUT, if you're a painter and you've tried this before, you know it's an excellent exercise. If you're a painter, and you haven't tried this (and really kept to the time), you don't know what you're missing! Join in and see the benefits! I plan to do more on my own. Here's the link for the Painting Challenges:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Face Sketches, 8.5 x 11" paper

I've been sketching faces lately, both real and imagined. If you've visited before, you know I've been working on my drawing skills so I can eventually draw and paint convincing portraits...and whatever else I'd like to do! It's been said, and I believe it's true, that drawing is the foundation of all art. For the kind of work I'm interested in doing, it's critical. So, practice I must! Five out of six of the heads here, I've created out of my own. You can probably tell which is from life. Why don't you tell me which and I'll tell you who it is? Each head here fits into a 2 x 3" area, just about. Small, huh?  Fun to do!  : )

Monday, February 7, 2011

Drawing of "The Innocence" after Mian Situ

If you haven't seen the cover of the January/February issue of Art of the West magazine, please take a look. I fell in love with this beautiful painting, "The Innocence"  by Mian Situ and couldn't resist drawing it. I'm trying to improve my drawing skills and understanding of values and color. I notice that when I feel challenged to understand something, my paint application is very controlled. Someday, I'd love to paint more expressively like this. With knowledge, confidence, and miles of canvas I may get there! I hope so.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Lemon and Garlic, 6 x 6"

This painting is in a narrow value range, but high key, meaning most of the values are pretty light. This was an experiment in color and lighting. The lemon and garlic are sitting on a white cloth, with a purple cloth (unseen to you) as a backdrop and overhead. The lighting created all sorts of reflected color. I was very interested in capturing the subtle grays of the garlic. If I were to tweak this painting, I'd take another look at that lemon to see what it needs. What a challenge to paint yellows! This was a fun experiment.