Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Painting for the Holidays

Green Apple and Pottery
Green Apple and Copper
 In the past couple of weeks I've been making lots of little paintings for two holiday shows.  These can be seen (and purchased) at the Wickford Art Association November 25 through December 19th.
Braeburn Apple and Silver
Orange and Blue Pot
Low Tide at Sunrise
Hydrangea Stem

Hydrangea Blossom
Sailing on the Bay
Holly and Ornament
Marsh Shadow

Single Wave

Monday, November 05, 2012

Just Paint

I think I'm going to postpone art classes for a while.  I enjoy my fellow students and instructors and always find something that strengthens my painting, but I've reached a point where I just need to paint.   And paint.  And paint.  The classes and homework gives me the structure and discipline I often lack, so I'll need to work in that, too.

Interestingly, as I'm making this decision, I came across a great article from Robert Glenn.  He talks about the career paths and success of  two recent art school graduates. To quickly summarize, it was the person who cranked out 2000 paintings vs. 11 large paintings who is the success and represented by a number of galleries.

Also, not to long ago I read the book "Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell.  In the book he talks about the 10,000 Hour Rule.  This is the number of hours you need to put into your craft to become a success. (20 hours of practice every week for 10 years.)  "The thing that distinguishes one performer from another is how hard he or she works. That's it. And what's more, the people at the very top don't work just harder or even much harder than everyone else. They work much, much harder." 

Hmm... that's gonna mean a lot of painting to get in my 10,000 hours.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

A Very Limited Palette

For a recent homework assignment, I had to create a painting using only two colors, Transparent Oxide Red and Ultramarine Blue Deep, and white.  We also created a color scale to understand the range of colors that could be created.

The results were rich "blacks", a broad range warm and cool greys, and some a nice skin tones.   I decided to see what I could do with these colors in a portrait.  I started with an imprimatura under painting using burnt umber.  (not one of the two colors, but it would be painted over)

The blue robe, background and the darks of the hair were easy, but the skin tones were more of a challenge.  Because the photo had a strong light source, I first used warm darks in the shadows (neck and chest area) thinking the skin should have more of the Transparent Oxide Red.  The face had some reflected light from the blue robe, so I tried blue-greys in the shadows of the face.  I also found some other "cool" areas of the face. This made me realize how many blue-greys were in the neck/chest area, too.  As you can see from the "mid-point" version, it now looks too red.  So back to the easel, and below is the finished painting.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Back to Still Lifes

Three Peaches
11x14 oil on linen
There is something about a chill in the air that makes me start back with still life paintings.  "Three Peaches" is a new painting and "Blue Vase" is one was started last winter.  With the Scituate Art Festival looming, I thought I'd bring it to completion.  I like the peaches as they have nice negative shapes, light bridges and they kind of look fuzzy (enhanced by bad photo)  Blue Vase has lots of "roundness", but there are a few triangle shapes created by parts of the arrangement to break it up.  Now to get my camera fixed.
Blue Vase
9x12 oil on canvas panel

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Many Minis. More Monday?

Sandy Road
Occasionally, I love working on small paintings.  I can get a feeling of accomplishment in one evening.  Because I don't have the luxury of working at painting full time, evenings and weekends are the only times I can find any time.  I decided to paint as many little paintings as possible in two weeks.  I first primed about eight boards and then found images where I could use a similar palette.  A couple of summers back, I took many photos of dunes on Cape Cod, so these became my subjects.  Now I'm hooked on capturing the beautiful colors in sand; the shadows and highlights at different times of day. I've also used work by other artists who were quite successful at capturing these colors as inspiration.  (If interested, these are all $50 each)
Empty Beach
Afternoon Dunes
Falmouth Marsh
Hazy Day
Dune Fence
Wild Roses

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Don't Call it an Art Festival!

Sara Two

Last week I was honored to be a "founding" member of a small Fine Art Exhibit in Sunapee New Hampshire.  I was told to refer to it as an art exhibit, not an art festival, and the experience warranted that distinction.  The caliber of artists was superb and I felt a bit like the rookie of the group.  There were only five booths and the foot traffic was slow, but the Quality, not Quantity, of the customers made the difference.  I was more successful at this event than the Narragansett and Wickford art festivals I participated in earlier this year, even though rain kept us zipped up for much of the time.  Thank goodness part of Saturday and all of Sunday was rain free.  Sad to see Sara Two go, but I had "fun" haggling with a gentleman from Iraq.  Nothing like wheeling and dealing with the pros.

Gilbert Stuart Homestead

The Quality of my accommodations was 5 star.  I got to spend time with my cousins Pam, Kevin and Erin.

The Quality of our hosts, Sunapee Landing Trading Company was superb.  They offered us shelter from the rain, caffeine in the morning, lemonade and hot dogs in the afternoon, flushing toilets and lots of interesting antiques to browse through when riding out a downpour.  They posted some pictures from when the sun was shining.  If you are in the area, be sure to stop by their store.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

When to Sign a Painting?

I've always loved the challenge of painting the human figure, but these paintings always seem to need more work.  With a still life or a landscape, the point at which I'm comfortable with adding a signature is often clear.       As I downloaded these photos from my camera, I could see so much that needed to be fixed.  For these two paintings, the deadline of an art festival next weekend is my only incentive to sign and frame.  If someone loves them and buys them as they are, I will be very happy, but next week they will probably be taken out of the frame and tweaked a bit.  I'm fortunately meeting with a group of fellow artists tonight for "critique night."  I'm sure my list of fixes will be enhanced after their insights

Monday, June 04, 2012

Back to Metals

Pewter Bowl with Fruit
 I feel like I've been in another world the past few months.  I've put my "recreational" painting on hold while I painted with my buddies Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore.  The joys of being a landlord!  I've also been painting for homework, but most of that is not worth sharing, just yet.  I finally got back to some little paintings that were left in the early stages - it feels nice to finish something, even if only 6x6 inches.   

Brass Bowl with Fruir

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Working with Metals

Apple and Copper
Orange and Pewter
Apple and Silver

With my latest paintings, I'm trying to get the knack of painting metal.  The challenge is capturing just the right color and the shape of the reflections.  Really looking at these components also reinforces skills to be used in all paintings.  After I scanned these paintings I saw some areas for improvement, but these are just little 6x6 paintings and I plan to make a few more.  Practice makes perfect!

Thursday, February 02, 2012

A Month of Firsts

They say things come in threes and that seems to be true lately.  Three wonderful events in my art career have happened over the past few weeks.

1) First Place at Wickford Art Association's "Still Life & Interior Spaces" juried exhibit.  My newest painting, fresh off the easel (framed this morning) was selected for First Place.  Open Reception: Sunday, February 5th from 1-3pm
One Pear

2) First article about my artwork  Erin Swanson from SO Rhode Island magazine wrote a wonderful article (I almost didn't recognize me in print) and Laurel Mulherin got a great shot in my studio (a.k.a. corner of my bedroom)

3) My first Solo show at Henry Carter Hull Library in Clinton CT.  A beautiful library designed to showcase art work with gallery rods throughout the building, beautiful lighting and patrons who really appreciate the artists who exhibit each month.

Life is Good!!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Getting Ready for My First Solo Show

Green Apples
9x12 Oil on Linen

There is nothing like a deadline to make me stop procrastinating.  I have a number of paintings that still need some work and I want to have as many paintings as possible for a solo show in February.  Here are two that finally got a signature today.  Two others were touched up and reframed.  Now I need to decide what else I can realistically get finished and framed in time. One more tomorrow for sure - maybe two?
Zeke's Creek
9x12 Oil on Canvas Panel
The show will be 2/2/12 - 2/29/12 at Henry Carter Hull Library in Clinton CT.