I have been working on this and preparing for Christmas since my two children will be flying in........I can't wait to see them! As soon as I posted this painting the other day, I realized that I had mistaken the size - it is actually 22" square. Since it is so complicated I have been working on the drawing and the values more than the color. I don't like doing those kind of adjustments until I have covered the entire canvas.
Wednesday, 18 December 2013
Saturday, 14 December 2013
This is my second beginning for this painting............the main reason I wanted to do it was the look of the shadows of the fire escapes on the buildings. Because of the complexity of the scene I got a bit lost in the first version so I began a second one working in a fashion that I normally never use. I actually drew it in pencil first and then did a wash drawing over that! It encourages a semi-tight approach but I didn't know how else I could do it. I now feel like I understand the structure better but it is certainly time consuming.
Tuesday, 26 November 2013
I feel fortunate to even get these updates/photos on here - somehow my camera has refused to send photos to iPhoto in the last week. I finally had the brainstorm of sending them to my laptop (windows 8) and it has sort of worked.....we shall see if I actually get this posted. The mom & girls is nearly done and I have begun the fisherman on the top. I am trying a yellow underpainting again and I used walnut oil when I toned the canvas to slow down the drying period. This might get wiped down for that very reason since it doesn't seem to be drying at all. I wish a Happy Thanksgiving to all.
Saturday, 16 November 2013
We have had a very fall-like week here in SC. It was actually too cold to paint in my studio for a couple of days so I need to figure out what sort of heating system I can use with the fumes and an unventilated space - I lasted a few hours at most when it was under 50 degrees. But I am making some progress on this painting and began another………I also decided to use up some tubes of paint that have been cluttering my paintbox before they were too dried up to use. For some odd reason I previously thought that cerulean blue and manganese blue were pretty much the same color….warm blues and all. Wow, was I wrong and am now in total love with cerulean blue.
Sunday, 10 November 2013
I began this after a couple of days painting outside and totally enjoying the process - the fresh air and the sounds…….I feel like I learned a bunch and have no desire to save either of the two things that I did. Came back very comfortable, energized and eager to get into the studio. I am finding that this is the way I survive as an artist……never get stuck on the "product." Treat your schedule as you would a job (in a rough sort of way) but never, ever lose sight of why one paints in the first place. Paintings are simply not a product for me - they have to come from somewhere else and be something else or I would just as soon make a quilt or work in the garden (both of which are pretty wonderful in their own way). At any rate, this is just the beginning so I am working the values out here more than anything.
Wednesday, 6 November 2013
I finished these two for the most part.............since they are on my drying wall, I may see some things that annoy me but I consider them complete. Then I spent most of the day "getting into" another nearly done one that I realized had the values wrong and now I hate it. I might go out plein air tomorrow to break myself of the discouragement that hits me when I cannot do something to my satisfaction!
Wednesday, 30 October 2013
Just a bit of an update.........the two kids are nearly done and I began the top one yesterday when the "kids" were wet enough that I had to put them aside. I have four or so paintings that I need to finish that are in this drying/setting process and am going to attempt to finish them in the next couple of weeks. In addition to that, it is plain air weather in SC again! One thing that is great about down here is that you get the same angled, side-ish (not a word?) light that you get in New England without the wind and freezing temperatures......it was 75 today. Anyway, even if I don't show them, I do plenty of "studies" outside and really think of them that way - studies for me to learn and use.
Monday, 21 October 2013
I started this one when the "dragon float" painting was simply so wet I was lifting paint off when I tried to apply it. Since I really like working wet into wet and prefer working larger than I am able to finish in one sitting, I have had to find strategies for this situation. When things get too sticky, I have to put them aside and then get myself re-motivated to complete them after moving on......often I end up totally re-doing areas that bother me and sometimes, it can be difficult to get back into them.
Tuesday, 15 October 2013
I have been working on this for the past few days.......finally got it to pull together. The more I work with grays, the more astounded I am by their power and subtlety. Ir's finally cool enough to paint outside so I plan on doing some in the near future. We are having our fall Art Walk in Beaufort on Saturday, October 26th and, since I am in charge of it, I have been bugging every artist and gallery in town! So, if you are around, please drop in from 5-7:30 pm.
Wednesday, 9 October 2013
I realized with a certain sense of shock that is already the 9th and I had totally forgotten to post on this blog! I have been working on a few things at once and lost track of the time completely. When you work on larger things, the days sort of merge together. I've done a lot of thinking and scraping and paint applying so far with this painting but it's moving along.
Friday, 27 September 2013
The dog is done and I began a new "beach people" that is nearly done as well. I also decided that it was time (in a spirit of organization) to transfer all of my photos from the backup cd's I made before moving to my new computer. This has had several affects on me........first, I am beginning to comprehend the mac system better (and it takes constant repetition to undo my windows sensibility) and second it has triggered a mix of missing where I was and being glad I left at the same time. Weird, but I think I am fusing my past home with my new one via my visual sense of each place. I mean how can the grungy convenience store around the corner from my home in Fall River trigger such a sense of longing even as I delight in the beauty of my current woodsy/oceany home if it doesn't represent something else? Figuring those things out and representing them in a painting is what keeps me going.
Tuesday, 17 September 2013
I started this today for my new neighbor.............her dog died right after I moved here and I felt really bad for her since it was totally unexpected and the dog was quite young. I should be able to finish it in the next day or so since it's going pretty smoothly. It finally cooled off a little and we have a breeze which actually startled me, it's been so long!
Friday, 6 September 2013
I am exhibiting four paintings (including "Blue Tubes") at a group show at University of South Carolina at Beaufort and the reception is tonight from 5:30 - 7:00 pm. This show features artists from the Beaufort Art Association (BAA), the Society of Bluffton Artists (SOBA) and the Art League of Hilton Head - I am quite pleased to be included. Obviously, the bottom painting is just an update........I had to move from my little studio into the house so the photo isn't great. The heat has so totally permeated the studio that it takes half the day to get it cool enough to paint in and I fear that my electric bill is going to be huge! Well, cooler temps are coming soon and, for now, the house is fine.
Tuesday, 3 September 2013
I have had to change a bunch of things in this picture to make it work better and am still mulling over further changes....we shall see. I have been trying to pay close attention to values - something that can be quite difficult to judge from a photo so you have to rely on all of the knowledge gleaned from the unsuccessful studies you have done outside! It was quite hot here the past few days so I wasn't remotely tempted to paint outside.......plus the traffic to the State Beach I live near is awful on weekends and holidays. Now that Labor Day is past, it should de-congest (is that a word?)
Wednesday, 28 August 2013
I began this after a week of supreme busy-ness and plein air painting squeezed in. At any rate, I felt a true desire to escape the heat and brightness so my studio (with its AC & absence of windows) was just the remedy. I am attempting to retain the looseness I have developed while painting outside this summer while working inside using photo reference.............I am liking the fact that I have given myself the opportunity to just work outside without worrying whether it is a "good" painting.
Monday, 19 August 2013
When I first moved here I discovered these ferns......I didn't know what they were called and I only saw them after rain and not really very often. They grown on my live oaks and I have numerous live oaks on my property. These ferns are quite amazing - within hours after it rains heavily enough to make the oak branches wet, the ferns grow quickly. They die nearly as soon as the sun hits them or pretty quickly if there is no rain. Their visual impact is quite complicated so there is no real way to spend time drawing them.....you just have to go for the gesture and feel of them. I think this plein air is pretty successful plus I just love the name of them (my neighbor told me).
Sunday, 18 August 2013
I had to get out today since it's been raining so much the past week.......I left a rubbermaid pitcher on a table right before it started to rain (I was watering plants) and it's nearly full. When the sun came out this morning about 9, I was in the car. I had to work fast because of the bugs so I decided to use an old panel and not worry about drawing. I have really been looking for color anyway........hey, I didn't wipe it down.
Friday, 16 August 2013
Thought I would post an update on this painting - it has been a lot of work so far and I feel like I have learned a ton that I couldn't have learned if I had become frustrated and thrown it aside. The major problem (in my opinion) with working exclusively alla prima, plein air and the like is the sense that we must get tangible results quickly or at least in one session. I have struggled for a week now with the sense that I was "overworking" this but have found that, as long as I am working from life and really looking, that isn't likely to happen.....the effects may appear to be less spontaneous-looking but it has its own, different quality which is valuable. I have been working outside with improving results but I can rarely take it for more than an hour - August in SC is pretty intense. When the bugs invade my ears and nose and the deet has run into my eyes after mingling with my sweat, I head for the air conditioning!
Thursday, 8 August 2013
As I have mentioned in prior posts, I have never had a place where I could set up a still life.............now, my rudimentary studio (with zero light) has become a place I can do that! I have been working on this for a couple of days after making some progress with plein air stuff but still not being satisfied enough to take photos or not wipe down an outdoor effort. At any rate, I have been completely enjoying working on this painting and feel like I am learning a lot. It seems that I have no true idea of the actual color of objects! I am fighting my own mind while mixing every single color.......this is way different than working outdoors or on something figurative. Or maybe it's not and I am about to discover how little I know about those things as well. I am completely excited again after getting sidetracked by moving and am actually rethinking my idea of putting in skylights! (Just kidding on that one)
Thursday, 1 August 2013
Just an underpainting but considering I have wiped down every damn thing I have done for the past week or so, I thought I would post it anyway to get August off to a somewhat normal start. I know to expect that I will get a bit derailed after a major change in my life (like buying a house & moving) so I don't get as down on myself as I used to get when I felt like this. It's also been raining a lot here so I focused on getting into my studio rather than working outside. It is the first time I have really had a separate place to work and I love it. I haven't even remodeled it yet and it has no windows or natural light but it's awesome anyway..........well, looks like the sun might come out for the afternoon!
Wednesday, 24 July 2013
The first day I have really been able to paint since I began moving! This is actually a pretty good representation of what today looks like but I didn't care how gloomy it was......it was still awesome. I had plans to paint half days while moving but quickly realized that I wouldn't be able to concentrate until it was done and just put my head down and did it. Kitty has adjusted and my family has come and gone and NOW I can paint and squeeze in the remaining work of moving and renovation. Since my son is a builder, he gave me great ideas for my studio but, until that is done, I have set up a space in my house so I am good to go.
Wednesday, 12 June 2013
It's nearly 100 degrees here (and humid) so I have been working on this painting inside. After a very stressful period of document-producing, I closed on my house yesterday!!! Wow, I never want to do that again....... now I just have to move. It will be more convenient this time so I am determined to keep to my normal schedule (of painting, etc.) and sandwich the moving in around that. I still have innumerable plastic storage containers (some of them unpacked from the last move) and my house is only 11 miles from where I currently live so it will be much easier this time.
Sunday, 9 June 2013
Sorry about the little "things" stuck onto the surface of the painting....it was so windy they were flying about in the air and I couldn't get them out without messing up the surface. It is kind of hard to find elevation in the Lowcountry and these trees were actually on a little hill that is part of an elevated edge of the bridge to Fripp Island. I have never been on Fripp because you have to live there to get through the security gate. I am getting the hang of palmettos - they are a really good way to practice simplification. It is very easy to get lost in the linear complication of them and lose the entire gesture and feel.
Saturday, 8 June 2013
Wow, I figured out a quicker way to upload using iPhoto! It was a beautiful day to paint outside and, since I will have a bit less time to do so until I am fully moved in to my new house, I had to take advantage of it. I supposedly close on Monday and then have to have some plumbing work done before I begin moving in in earnest. I really don't feel right, though, if I don't get out to paint at least twice a week.......working only in the studio without that outdoor time makes me feel edgy and unfulfilled.
Thought I would post the "nearly done" photo of the marine scene I have been working on inside.....we had a very unsettled weather week so today was the first day I could have really worked outside anyways.
Sunday, 2 June 2013
Well, it took me only a few minutes to get the image up today so I suppose I'm making progress! The weather was very changeable today and by the time I got to this site it was pretty much fully raining.....it did slow down and I managed to get this study done.
Saturday, 1 June 2013
Damn, just getting this photo here made me tired.....I think it's going to take a while before I can remember how to do these things on iPhoto! At any rate, I have been working on this in between gathering tons of paperwork that the mortgage company has required. It seems like I will be done with it soon though and then I can begin packing and moving (yippee) and then I plan on never moving again!
Monday, 27 May 2013
Sorry about the bad photo but I am just thrilled that I managed to get it here at all! I love my new computer but it will be an adjustment to figure a few things out.....luckily I have had an ipad & an iphone for quite a while so the operating system isn't foreign. iPhoto will be a bit more of a challenge but at least things aren't shutting down for no apparent reason. Actually this post is a combination of practice and missing New England (probably by the imminent purchase of a house and its concrete commitment to the south).....so I have been in the house and decided to work from a pretty old photo.
Thursday, 23 May 2013
I am almost done with this painting - I pretty much hate plastic but find myself fascinated with it in this type of situation. I wanted to get the feel of it as a transparent filter for the bright sunshine - the way bodies look when they are seen through it as well as the way the sunlight/shadows change as a result of the light passing through the plastic. Just a note: my new computer has arrived!!!! I am hoping for a smooth transition but know enough after having done it several times that it may be "time consuming." So, I hope to be back online by tomorrow afternoon (at least my fingers are crossed)..........we shall see.
Sunday, 19 May 2013
This is the best crop-job I could do with my computer in its current condition - thank goodness my new one is due to arrive next week! It was a beautiful weather day yesterday and I just had to go to Hunting Island Beach to paint rather than work on anything inside.
Wednesday, 15 May 2013
I have been having MAJOR computer problems for the past week and figured that I had better get this mostly done painting posted before the computer just chooses to tell me I am "working offline" again (I thought you had to select that). At any rate, I just ordered an imac this morning so will have a new computer soon............I'm not sure why I put it off for the past three months but it's done now and I am excited that I will be problem free soon.
Wednesday, 8 May 2013
It was so damn nice that I decided to go outside to paint today rather than finish the painting I have been working on (bottom) inside. I decided to work on a larger canvas (top - 16x12") than I have been using outside and was really happy that I did since it felt so much more "correct" than the smaller canvases I have been using. Sorry about the little shadows at the top of the photo............I took the photo outside on site. The "Taste of Beaufort" festival this past weekend was pretty much a wash-out since it was raining so hard that the paint wasn't even sticking to the canvas and I used nearly a roll of paper towels sopping up the water on my palette (while under an umbrella!).......some days are simply not meant for plein air.
Friday, 3 May 2013
Tomorrow is the "Taste of Beaufort" festival at Waterfront Park..........I would love to tell you more but I'm unsure of what it is exactly. I'm pretty sure that it's a showcase of the many restaurants that exist in Beaufort......unfortunately it is supposed to rain all day. The reason I am sharing this with you is that a group of us plein air painters will be painting at the waterfront for much of the day.............so, if you are close, come visit. I am prepping myself for a rainy day! At any rate, I have finished the girl at the beach painting and have begun another painting of the view I see when I look across a large marsh (near my house) at a small white house on the other side. I have been pondering how to compose this picture for months since it looks totally different depending on the time of day and the level of the water.......sometimes the view is quite boring. Both paintings shown are 18x24," a size I am really comfortable with.
Tuesday, 30 April 2013
I am nearly finished with this painting now - had to spend much of yesterday at the house I'm buying getting a septic system inspection and a plumbing estimate. No one was on time and I suppose I should get used to that since that seems to be part of owning a house. I really love this place, on a dirt road, surrounded with live oaks covered with spanish moss - a stable and a marsh within sight and the private beach a short bike ride! One of my southern friends said "you'll learn how to paint spanish moss for sure now." This is a reference to my nearly constant plein air practice of the same! It's exciting to move again despite the fact that the sight of plastic storage containers makes me cringe..........I believe this will be the last move I do for a very long time!
Sunday, 28 April 2013
Just a couple of updates..........the top painting is 16x20" and nearly completed and the bottom one is 24x18" and at the mid stage. I have been really busy recently and working on larger paintings or studies and they don't always lend themselves to posting so I have been somewhat absent!
Tuesday, 16 April 2013
I am making good progress with this one (that means no obsessive scraping off) so I am happy about it. Controlling the values can be a challenge on a backlit painting and I am pleased that I am managing and excited about working on the painting. Another condition I am accepting is working through the inevitable drying of the paint without becoming unhappy.......on something larger it simply must be delt with. I cannot withold comment on the explosions in Boston yesterday since I graduated from Boston University, lived in that area for most of my life and have so many friends and family there. I only moved south a year and a half ago and Boston remains the city of my coming of age. My heart goes out to everyone there and to the spirit of those streets I know so well.....Boston is a beautiful city and this violence has got to stop.
Friday, 12 April 2013
When I saw the first summery clouds that I have seen in months I had to stop working in the studio and get outside..........I had about an hour before the skies opened and I had to run for the car! The spot I went to is one that I will be able to ride my bike to after I move (fingers crossed that the home inspection goes well and there are no problems).
Thursday, 11 April 2013
It's warm again! I am thrilled because I am already spoiled by living in the south and this winter seemed way too cold and dark for me. At any rate, I have nearly finished the girl with the red sunglasses and placed it on my drying wall. I have begun the painting at the top - I really like the grouping of these girls and the abstract design of the group reflected in the wet sand/water. Had to put aside the square "girl in the wave" painting because I had re-done her face and found it wanting so many times that I just blocked it in with a neutral and will let that dry until I attempt it again. I have found a house that I totally love and am in the beginning stages of buying it (moving again....sigh) - I will be able to walk to the beach and there is an outbuilding that I plan on making into a studio!
Friday, 5 April 2013
I have been remiss about blogging recently for many reasons.........First of all I've been doing a lot of studies outside and just don't want to share them because I feel like they are information collection rather than finished paintings. Secondly, I am house hunting! I have made an offer on a lovely place near the beach and am now waiting for the buyer's response so I am pretty much pacing the studio just waiting for the realtor's call.! At any rate, I was able to do much of this painting today (and feeling incredibly guilty about not posting, I decided to post) and hope to finish it tomorrow.
Friday, 29 March 2013
I am determined to learn how to paint the complexity of the Lowcountry woods.........they are completely different than New England's. The foliage seems to twine together more complexly and there are many spots where light shines through in very diffuse ways.........to top it all off, spanish moss hangs from most limbs and creates its own pattern over everything else. Today, the woods (right at the edge of a tidal stream) were everything all at once - warm and cool, dim and bright. For some reason I decided to save and post this one.
Sunday, 24 March 2013
A little bit of everything today! "Winter Marsh (top)" won the Founder's Award at the Beaufort Art Association's spring show. I have been busy painting outside recently (and wiping them off) and doing my taxes and painting inside as well. I have made a little progress on the girl in the wave after wiping her face down numerous times - I am still happy with the concept. It remains cold and stormy here but the azaleas are blooming everywhere so I had to brave the weather today and try and paint them. Thought I would finish this today but a band of severe thunderstorms hit and I had to get in the house.....with a metal easel the lightening was a tad close.