Saturday, June 29, 2019

Percy is a ghost now

A couple days ago I posted about removing varnish. I included a photo of my gloves, turpentine, cloth and my painting "Percy Wiseman" (the name of the rhododendron). Well, I did it but after removing the varnish the surface had some lumps and bumps of thick oil paint so I handed it over to husband Jay to sand those down to a more uniformly smooth surface.

Percy Wiseman is gone and the wood panel is wonderfully smooth. This wasn't exactly what I had in mind but there are areas of this ghost image that are very exciting. I'll pull out my reference photos and perhaps I'll paint Percy again.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

More on removing varnish

Yesterday I posted about removing Gamvar varnish to repaint one of my older paintings. Today I noticed "Percy Wiseman," a 24x24 inch oil painted last summer when I was enamored with the Dennis Perrin method. I learned a lot from painting in that manner but it was not a perfect match for me. I tried to remove the varnish with the Gamvar method then realized I varnished this one with Liquitex Soluvar. Today I removed the varnish with this method.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Saving my Orange

Months ago I painted my orange teapot with orange (fruit) and a candle. A fun exercise in orange but the painting has been moving around my studio without future plans. Today I removed the varnish - here is a video to show how that is done.    Gamblin Video How to Remove Varnish

Then, with the varnish gone, I began to paint on it again. I want to save the teapot and fruit; I want to lose the candle.

I painted over everything except the teapot and orange and found an orange cup and a pot of small purple campanulas to add.

After that, I left the painting on my easel for a few days while I was busy with other things. Today I took a large paintbrush with thinned white oil paint and dragged downward on the painting obliterating the awkward cup handle and the edges of the teapot. Added blue to the foreground and repainted the orange (fruit) with a large brush after I rethought the real subject of this painting. I don't know if it will ever be framed and make it out of the Studio but now I can sleep at night.

"Orange," oil, 14 x 11 inches

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

My short attention span

I think the older I get, the shorter my attention span. In the 1990's I worked in colored pencil and it was not unusual for a painting/drawing to take 80 hours. In the 2000's I switched to pastel - a much faster medium. Now, in the 2010's (2019) I'm working more and more in oil but if I spend more than a few hours total on a painting, it loses it's freshness and I lose interest. 

My method of working these days is to set up a still life beside my easel, take a reference photo (before the flowers shatter and the fruit rots), block in the composition with a sketch, paint for an hour or two, let it dry and then tweak it over the next few days or weeks. This suits me now.

My reference photo for "Strawberries"

Strawberries sketch

One hour of painting.

Strawberries, oil, 20x20 inches