Monday, November 24, 2014

Changes, 24x30

Life Changes

A Young Girl Just Beginning Her Turn....

.....around the next corner of life, leaving behind the stuffed animals and toys....but never to forget them.  Toy Story all over again.  I should have named this 'Don't Go Changing' but, really, the change is nice to watch and we all wish them the best.  Ah, I'm getting nostalgic.

I thought it was portrait day at our small painting group so brought a large canvas.  If I had remembered it was still life day I would have brought a canvas formatted differently....but I think this worked out.

I had fun with this, although it was hard to compose and I think I'd try something different if I did it again.  At least this one alludes to a story.  Someone once told me that illustrations tell stories, paintings play with color and shape.  That doesn't make sense to me but there might be some element of truth there.

With that in mind I can't help think of Jamie Wyeth's painting of pumpkins with carved faces being thrown over the cliffs of the island he lives on.  It is both story and that makes me laugh every time I see it.  There is something about the grotesque grinning faces cascading down that tickles me.

Maine painter Carol Douglas has an image of those freed pumpkins on her blog HERE.

How did I get off on all that?

Friday, November 14, 2014

Oksana, 10x12

Take a beautiful Russian model, throw in.....

......homemade potato soup, a glass of wine and excellent company.  All the makings of a delightful afternoon....and it was.

Since I had just driven back from Montana in some very cold weather and gotten back very tired late the night before I didn't plan on painting.   However, once I saw the cool lighting and backlit colors emanating from Oksana's face I couldn't resist.

Contre-jour lighting, meaning 'into the light', is hard on the eyes but great for color explorations.  Charles Reid does a lot of it, mostly in watercolor but also a few oils.  Shadows have a transparency about them allowing for transparent or semi-opaque color possibilities.  It feels like you can almost reach into them.

So I had some fun.

Come have some fun yourself in my Marker Workshop on Friday, November 21st.  Learn to draw in a different way using gray toned markers.  It is amazing how quickly you can make simple drawings come to life using these markers.  They are also great for planning out your next painting.

Join us.  We have a lot of fun!  Oksana might be there....    

Monday, November 3, 2014

Painting Pixies

Appeasing the Painting Pixies.....

Last Thursday I was talking with Pam Fermanis about a curious thing.  That's the day I get together with a small group of accomplished artists to paint portraits...and sometimes still life.

Pam was feeling that it was 'just one of those days' as nothing was really turning out for her.  Our conversation veered quickly to how one day can be so creatively different than even the day before.  Using the same paint, brushes, canvas and what-all, one day can be so successful that it almost feels like you could just walk away and let the tools finish the painting.  The next day, no matter how hard you try, or how mentally aware you are, nothing seems to work.

Same tools, same artist, similar subject....yet nothing works.  Sometimes it leaves me speechless....or swearing....or ready to quit painting for the 1,000th time.

Scientifically speaking, I've decided it's the Painting Pixies.  There is no other logical conclusion.  One day they like you and the next they don't care a whit.

While I felt for Pam, I was having a good day.  The PP's had blessed me with their magic.

The first painting I did was of my friend Francis and took about 2 1/2 hours to complete the 18x24 canvas.  He was in motion, making it fun to try and have it all work and still get a likeness.

Since I had almost an hour to go before we quit, I slapped on a 20x24 and did the still life in less than an hour.  See.  The Pixies were liking me that day.  I could have dozed off and it still would have worked out.

Two paintings in four hours.  I sure hope they don't expect anything in return.....