Thursday, May 31, 2018

Bowl of Beauty Oh Oh

About a week ago I completed a 40 minutes oil block-in with a #14 Short Flat of my next painting. I was happy because I had manages to keep it loose and simple.

The next morning I was excited to start painting on it again. I put my apron and gloves on, refreshed my palette and began. Then I started getting confused. The set-up didn't look the same. It took me a little while to figure out what was wrong. The bud in the front of the bouquet had bloomed! What I learned: Try to paint cut peonies alla prima!

Bowl of Beauty, oil, 14x11 inches ©2018

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Percy Wiseman

I can't paint another minute on this rhododendron. Percy Wiseman, oil, 24x24 inches.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

cozy, shattered and blue

I've been absent from all my usual online sites for the last week due to gardening.
My studio garden is starting to look good but today is a rainy, cozy day so I am spending it in the Studio. I hope tomorrow will be dry for the planned plein air group here.

A week ago I posted the bouquet of Jay's Auntie Laura's red peonies that I hope to paint soon. I mentioned that they shatter quickly after being cut. Yep. Shattered.

Today I was able to get back to my Percy Wiseman bouquet to work on the blue background. You will notice that the bouquet is long gone but I have enough reference photos to finish.

Monday, May 14, 2018

The Studio Garden

Today is our Fourth Anniversary at Mill Pond Cottage and the Studio Garden is improving each year.
Absent from the garden photo is my early blooming red peony. I cut the blooms this morning because this one shatters in just a few days and it is 83 degrees today. I hope I can get a start on painting it before Auntie Pauline's peonies bloom - that is the white one you have seen in my previous paintings.

I have painted this red one several times over the years. Most memorable is a 15 x 11 inch colored pencil drawing in 1998  called "Turning Point" that was purchased by the University of Washington. Wow! that was 20 years ago. I've had this peony plant a long time.

Auntie Laura's Red Magic Peony - my next painting.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Advice to myself

Advice to myself that finally got me to about 80% complete on Percy Wiseman Rhododendrons, oil, 24 x 24 inches.

I’ve been an art instructor for more than 25 years and feel I give students excellent feedback on their work and possible changes for a successful outcome. 

When I get stuck I talk to myself as if I am my student. I am kind but I cut to the chase. For this painting, the conversation went like this: Hmmmm….  ( I like to start with hmmm as if I have been thinking long and hard about the problem and have just discovered it, so it doesn’t appear to be obvious which in this case it was but I was in denial). 

This painting started out as daffodils in one of my favorite vases. I set up the still life and took reference photos from slightly above the set up. After a couple days of blocking in I realized I had not corrected for the photo distortion even though I still had the real set up in front of me. Then I got busy and the flowers wilted and dried and I threw them out. Without the actual flowers I lost interest in correcting the composition so I began painting over that painting which was liberating and I posted an image on FB. After that post and before I went to bed, I took a big brush and painted over the flowers to create bigger shapes. Advice: I know you’re (I’m) excited to paint this but remember we first need big shapes that deal with value only. It was improved enough that I could fall asleep. But, in the middle of the night I realized the real problem.

Advice: I know you (I) really want to paint all the fun reflections in that vase but I think it is wrong for this painting for a couple reasons – the format is square and this vase and it’s delicate lines would work better in a vertical format unless you are willing to add enough supporting objects around it to support it as visual weight. Also, though these big fluffy flowers fit in the vase they can’t help but make it top-heavy which brings us back to supporting objects. Do you want supporting objects? No. So, lose the vase. 

Now, once I change out the vase, the flowers are in a different position so I have to start all over again. Set it up, light it, take a color and gray photo and begin again. I already have lots of oil paint on my panel so I gave myself the advice to scrape most of the paint off panel. Now, begin again and this time I (instructor speaking) would work from the gray scale photo only. Look at the real-life set up for composition and placement but when applying value, look only at the gray scale photo. Paint value and shape. Do not paint color yet and do not say the word rhododendron. Say this shape, this light, this shadow, this play against that. Use a reducing glass if you get lost. Pay close attention to the values and shapes and do not fake them. You will be glad later that you were accurate at this point. There will be time for “artistic license” later. Also, go slow. Blah, blah, blah. 

Take a progress photo. Walk away. Eat pasta. Go do something else for a balanced life.   

Thursday, May 10, 2018

When you lose interest in your subject...

...paint over it to begin again.

In my post of April 30th, I was excited to paint daffodils. Then, I got busy with other things and the daffodils wilted and dried in the vase. Finally, I turned the panel to the wall so I wouldn't have to deal with it. Today, our beautiful rhododendron, Percy Wiseman, is in bloom. I'm painting over those daffodils.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Day Two Pastel Demo

Demo today at the Black Diamond Arts Alliance 2018 Open Art Exhibit. "Begonias Again," pastel, 8 x 10 inches. Here are a couple of the steps. Ground is Canson Mi-Teintes TOUCH. Color of the paper is dark green.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Today's pastel demo

Demo today at the Black Diamond Arts Alliance 2018 Open Art Exhibit. "Saturday Bouquet," pastel, 10 x 8 inches. Here are a few of the steps. Ground is Canson Mi-Teintes TOUCH. You can see the color of the paper in the steps below.