Friday, April 29, 2011

"Magnolia" 20" x 20" oil on linen

I've always wanted to paint a watercolor or oil palette. This is my little Cotman I sometimes use when I travel. I seem to have lost the little water reserve that goes with it. The magnolia blossom I picked earlier yesterday. Then in the afternoon the skies opened up and the rains came. When the storms were over all the blossoms were on the ground. When I returned to my easel this morning the blossom I had picked was pale and limp, so I had to paint this flower from my memory, which is rather scattered and sparse. I really should go back to watercolors for awhile and take a break from oils. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"My Brushes and Apples" 11" x 14" oil on linen

Today was surprisingly busy just in my back yard. Just tree stuff, but enough interruptions to distract and redirect. I love painting these green apples with this turquoise pitcher. Needs a spot more of red, though. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

"Pedestrians" 10" x 10" oil on linen

 I've felt rather disconnected lately. There is just so much going on with not enough time to get it all completed. And now it is about grass cutting season. Yes, I cut my own grass, but only with music in my ears. Well, spring is definitely here, as there is a green haze in the trees....almost leaves. My little grandson, Max, is turning one in a few weeks, so I bought these Waldorf cars for him in a rainbow of colors. So, before I ship them off to him in Germany, I thought I would use two of them in a painting. I should have worked on drawing them for a few hours first! I didn't capture their shape easily. I thought of the orange slices as pedestrians in the middle of this traffic jam, scurrying across the road. I put my "Pink and Green" painting in a show today. Thought I would spend the day outdoors but that did not happen. Driving in the car does not count as being outdoors. I wish I could paint abstract. A painting friend of mine is now painting abstract and her colors and shapes are just beautiful! You can see her work at:
I think this painting is too tight. I usually begin very loose, but somehow lost it in translation.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Drawing in your Painting

I'm trying to pay more attention to my drawing in my painting, if that makes sense. I remember when I was in art school majoring in drawing, and the day in class I found that it was not the contour line of the figure or the shading, but some space in between that represented "relationship"  that I saw. Like lost-and-found edges. And this I had the power to control, which was where your eye moved through the drawing. I have always looked at my picture as a way to tell a story by means of a journey with your eyes down a road, up a path or over a bridge......don't quote me on this, but my picture is a map. So, in your composition you are setting up, through shapes, color, value and line a journey. I prefer a pleasant journey and I do this through color harmony, subject matter and value contrasts to name a few. A little tension is good, too. I'm working on the rage thing!

Friday, April 15, 2011

"Scattered" 10" x 10" oil on linen

I feel like I've exhausted my options on things to paint. The last two attempts have been wipeouts after two full days of painting. I tried to do a self portrait with my reflexion bouncing off the light of an old brownie camera flash bowl. Big. Silver. Round. Dull. The next one was a jar of colored pencils with a variety of other things scattered around. No good. Mistakes and failed starts are supposed to be good, I know. That's usually where I do my learning. So I cleaned the inside of my car, which I knew was a guaranteed success. I didn't learn much, but it caused me great pleasure to get into a clean car, start the engine, and move it 20 feet. Ever onward!
This painting, "Scattered", is for sale in my etsy shop at a lower price. Just trying to get that first sale.

Monday, April 11, 2011

"Five Plus One" 10" x 10" Oil on Linen

I'm still on the green apple thing I have going, but strawberries....I don't know. I'm so tempted to eat them. I had, I thought, a real challenge in front of me. I wanted to try to paint really red strawberries, but I just couldn't come up with a pleasing composition. So I actually pulled in the green apple to keep me in my comfort zone, being that I've been painting them a lot lately. I tried to indicate the seeds in the berries, but that was a disaster, so I just kept them "sterile". 

Friday, April 8, 2011

"Just A Spoonful" 10" x 10" oil on linen

Well, today has been rather interesting. I finally went back to my old palette, which is just a piece of thick glass with white paper underneath. What a difference it makes to work with a clean palette! I also did my "thinking hard" session of painting and think that it finally paid off. But I need to be able to pull this off 10 times in a row, with success. There's nothing like being hard on yourself. But if I don't crack the whip, who will? My house is a wreck, it's time to do spring clean-up in the yard and I have recently ignored my vintage etsy shop. Laundry is piling up and no food in the house but milk. But I just want to stay off to myself and paint. A gallery contacted me today...they are interested in showing my work. This scares me! I don't do business, but I guess it is time to learn. Can you tell in this painting that the bottle on the left is opaque ...different than the others? That was my problem today; to paint transparent and opaque and be able to tell the difference between the two. I always have to solve a problem when I paint. It takes my mind away from the hard academics of painting.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

"Apple Seltzer" 20" x 20" Oil on Linen

I don't post twice in a day, but I have a little backlog here. This is my third painting of the four with the pink flower.....I really ought to move on now. I love this shape of the seltzer bottle and hope to be using it more in my set ups. I haven't painted successfully green apples before, but these gave me fewer problems......or maybe I'm just finally getting it! The overall value of the apples might work a little lighter, but I'm pleased with the value relationship in each one. When I painted the apple in the back on the left, I remember thinking that I should leave it alone and not mess it up by working on it further, just because it was there, though I was taught that when working on a painting, to work everywhere all the time and not to "finish" up one area. If one area is finished to your liking early, you tend to hold that finished area sacred and will sacrifice other areas of the canvas visually you want the remaining areas to rise up and meet your little sacred piece. I thought of that the entire time I was painting; not to make that back apple sacred. It's very hard to do that; to possibly mess up a well-painted area for the good of the whole.

"A Pair" 8" x 8" Linen on Panel

I bought this new panel yesterday and I like it. This was painted on a panel stretched with a very fine linen on a MFD wood panel and treated with an acid-free primer. Centurion makes the panel in several sizes, but I went straight for the 8" x 8", which is a new size for me. I prefer a square format, always have, but occasionally will use a slight rectangle. I seem to be hung up on this aqua/cool red palette in the last few weeks. This little plastic pitcher is new to my stock. It was made in the 50's or 60's as a promotional giveaway with gasoline. Phillips 66 is printed on the bottom. It's another great find from etsy. I love to mix greens from the blues and yellows on my palette. I use no greens from the tube.