Thursday, January 29, 2009

Show and Tell

It's been a while since Camille or I brought our work to jazzercise for a little "show and tell". It's a pretty good place to do it because there's a great long ledge to place our work and a vast, expansive room from which to view it. The lighting is kind of "eh", but it's daytime so there's that.
It was such a convenient way to show friends what we've been up to, instead of scheduling a time to come over, which has it's own hassles since our studios are in our homes and there is still a modicum of housepride beneath the oily veneer of paint in our psyches that says we need to clean up the place before we have people traipsing upstairs. I'd rather paint than clean any day!
Second best to seeing it in person is to post a picture (or two or three) online. The experience of viewing in person is so much better because you get a great feel for the space and dimension and texture that just doesn't come across in a little photo; especially if you don't have the photographic skillz, polarizing lens and Photoshop to present it in its best form. But, mainly, it's the 2 dimensional, flat aspect of a photo viewed on a computer that takes away half the power of an in-person view. One of the reasons that I like to visit art galleries and artists' studios.
So, boys and girls, what I have to show today are three paintings, in various stages of completion. There is the Grapes painting that I began blocking in the other day with a palette knife. It is from a friend's photo and will be a birthday present to her. I am in love with the colors, especially after working in such muted tones for the past couple of months. The colors will get toned down, but I like to work dark and intense in the beginning and layer lighter, more muted on top. Probably comes from my beginning of fine art drawing with Prismacolor pencils and the wonderful effects you can get from layering them, but I do love working that way with oils and acrylics. More depth for one thing and I think everyone enjoys seeing the underlayers peeking through.
Then there's the completed (or so I am thinking at the moment) bigass flower. This particular composition is a cropped version of one I have painted twice before as an exercise in color and light. The original rose is from a photo my daughter, Sami, took at Zilker Botanical Gardens a few years ago and it's a bright fuscia. When I painted the first one, the assignment was to take a black and white photo and create your own color painting. I worked and worked and could not get it to become a yellow rose. Ultimately it ended up a brilliant red and I called it done.
The second one that I did (don't know why) did end up with some yellow tones, over browns, and much more loose and fun. That was nearly 2 years ago.
This one was begun with the idea that it was going in my daughter's friend's apartment, to be done in shades of cream and purple. I guess I'm fortunate that she was in a hurry to decorate her apartment and found something else for that wall because I have had a lot more fun doing this painting in everything *but* cream and purple!
Lots of lessons learned about chiarascuro and color, so this fun painting has been very educational.
I took the photo for it yesterday when the sun wasn't quite sure if it would stay out. The wind was a little threatening, too, and I did have to pick the painting up off the patio after it took a nosedive. Proof that using well made canvases is a good thing.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

One Down and Many More To Go

I had some great success concentrating on my painting Tuesday night at Noel Robbins' studio. I'm glad that I can tune out conversation around me and work well. Maybe that's what I needed last week when I was the only student!
I was able to pull together all the disparate spots and create the cohesion and finish that it needed. I feel satisfied that it's the best I can do. Sometimes that is where you land, sometimes you come out of it euphoric.
Then there's this other painting that I started to distract me from my misery. It's been fun putting on the initial bright colors and then going for various purplish grays (Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna) that made it really entertaining. But, color won out in the end and what had started as just a little bit of yellow ochre in the flower's middle, ended up a full blown change to the whole canvas. It's lost some of it's depth and the thing going on in the top left is very distracting and unexplainable. So, onward I go, learning so many things along the way that this is still considered a fun distraction.

Friday, January 09, 2009

On The Road To a Better Plan

Sometimes you have to tear it down to build it up and that's what I began doing on Tuesday night. I'm having troubles understanding what my teacher was trying to tell me, but having it sit on the easel in the diningroom where I can look at it every day will help me figure it out.