Friday 30 January 2015

a little old and a little new

This painting was very hard to photograph........I finished it the other day but hated each picture I took - and then it was too dark to take another. It still looks kind of awful in the photo even though it looks pretty good in real life.....the light was different today but it doesn't seem to help.

This one - 12" square - is new. I am in the mood to work from photos again after spending nearly a month working solely from life. I have gone out plein air several times but mostly for practice - and, it's been really cold and rainy.

Monday 26 January 2015

No Blizzard here!

I know this title has absolutely nothing to do with the post but I have been listening to the radio in the studio today and the AP News has been so frantic about the blizzard, it has wormed its way into my head! Plus there were all of those years that I had to drive to my job in whatever weather happened (being "essential personnel") and my extreme gratitude that I don't have to do that anymore. 

The top still life (12x12") is the last one I will do for a while - I basically threw all the leftover stuff down in a pile and tried to see what I could make of it. I had a great time and learned a lot and did about 15 of them. The pressure of unfinished work on my walls got to me though, so I got in one of my "finishing stuff modes." The beach scene is 20x16" and was begun several months ago - I'm nearing the finish line on this one. I have 2 others that will be done this week as well - yipee!

Friday 16 January 2015

Red - 8x8"

This might just be as "red" as I can get for a bit. I am really having fun with my still-life practice the last week or so. I might just have to do a non-red thing tomorrow. I know this could have been a lot better but am trying to portray something as complicated as the mola in the background without drawing the detail precisely but painting the visual object-ness of it. I collected a bunch of molas (appliqu├ęd textiles) when I spent some time in Colombia in 2006 - my daughter and I bought a bunch of them in Cartagena at a street vendor's during a total downpour and I just rediscovered them the other day......expect to see them again!

Tuesday 13 January 2015

the gloomy south!

It has barely gotten light here for the last two days - with heavy rain and rather dark fog............confirming my certainty that I could never live in Alaska or Ireland! Luckily, my studio is now cozy and lit and I have placed myself in "education mode." So, despite the fact that the sunny south is dreary and cold and my cat is approaching clinical depression from the rain; I am happily painting. I am amazed by how hard it is to mix accurate reds, yellows and oranges........I am learning that yellow is rarely yellow and red is never red. Today (in the top 7x5"), I tried to make yellow by combining colors that aren't yellow and remaining "loose" at the same time. In the bottom 6x6" I was just trying to be accurate. I already find that I am becoming impatient with accuracy alone.

Friday 9 January 2015

respect for still life - 6x6" I have a new respect for the still life (and also for the color and shapes of peppers)! It's not that I didn't before but I was always drawn to other subjects more. After a successful show last fall and most of the studio renovation complete, I decided that it was time for a period of self-education without worrying about the pressure of producing paintings to frame/sell. I really think that I have to do that every once in a while. My mission is to really learn how to see and mix brighter, natural colors than I have been doing. I must say, I have noticed my limitations of mixing accurate reds in many of my other paintings so I decided to begin with red and orange objects. I also wish to be able to scale down the size of my pictures if I wish...........small canvases have always made me feel trapped or cramped somehow, another limitation. So, I bought the "still life stage" which was mentioned in Carol Marine's book and is sold by Connie Nobbe (you'll have to google it) - it is very affordable, goes together easily and I LOVE it! It has really helped me control the light on the objects I arrange and has helped me "frame" the subject better so I can scale the size down. So, while it has been almost as cold down here in the deep south as it has been up north, I plan on doing some brightly colored little things and learning a ton from doing it.

Tuesday 6 January 2015

Happy New Year & a studio exterior!

I thought that I would post some photos of my nearly complete! Obviously the top two are of the exterior and the bottom two are of portions of the interior. My son was here for nearly two weeks and transformed the exterior from a dingy grayish shed to the shingled beauty you can see. The inside remains a bit messy since he only left on the 2nd and I had to work at the gallery and then promptly got a cold (minor but I had to sleep for a day). It is supposed to be terribly cold here for the next couple of days so, after I played around with a still life for a while, I had to get my living room ready to accept all of my tropical plants so they don't freeze! I am still debating whether to paint the french doors.