Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Shield for Me 8"x10" oil #139

This is another mandala that I did with left over paint. It is a fun exercise for me to do this and just go loose graphic. The colors are not based on any theory or artistic method, they are just some of those blobs left on my palette.

Friday, November 26, 2010

20 minute pose 8x10 oil #138

To paint at this angle I sat directly in front of the model on the floor. I wanted to get the most intense foreshortening that I could with the pose. I am overall happy with the results, although I did not spend much time on the arms, hands or face, and I think it would be better if I had worked on those areas a bit more. Her right arm looks a bit like Popeye's! It is all about learning, finding out what I do well, working on what I don't do well and finding meaning in the process.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

10 minute poses 1&2 8x10" oil #136 and #137

Happy Thanksgiving. I have very limited access to computer for a few days and missed posting yesterday so I am posting 2 today, both 10 minute poses. I want to keep doing these fast oil sketches with the goal of improving my ability to capture more of the important aspects with accuracy.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Creative Block Revisited 8"x10" oil #134

This doesn't count as a new painting, but I reworked numerous ones and did a lot of framing, so I am showing this one. I didn't like the background or the block, so that is what I re-did. The Chinese characters say, "Creative Block". I have to admit that I have a love affair with Chinese calligraphy, although I am not proficient at it.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Vermont Falls 5x7" oil #133

Vermont has a zillion waterfalls and I love waterfalls so I painted these. I can see now that there is a glare on this...but I can't redo it now.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Morgan 8"x8" oil #132

This horse has the longest tail I have ever seen. I took a photo of it at the Morgan Horse Farm annual horse show, as this one was heading to the ring. What a beautiful animal, tall and strong. I went with two of my adult children and it was a memorable day. I have been doing so many really small paintings that this one seemed roomy which is why it is pretty relaxed. I have recently gotten some advice to soften some of my edges which I will work on next week. I will be doing the holiday events for a week and a half, so I am going to post paintings that I have done in the last few days and will be working on pastel sketches for a while because they are easier to travel with.

Friday, November 19, 2010

4 U oil 5"x7" #131

There is a method to my madness. In order to keep some consistency to my work, I do a series on a subject. However, I work on numerous subjects at a time because it helps me stay interested and I may be a tiny bit ADHD. Currently I am working on figuring out how to do better landscapes, getting faster at capturing a live model accurately, doing a series of gift package paintings, occasionally doing a still life, doing my painting story pieces, and interesting animals. Today I am posting a gift package. This one represents the most elemental of gifts from a child or innocent to someone they love. It is called 4 U based on the childish images on the can. I liked the idea of a child giving their all to do simple drawings on a can and adding an awkward bow. It is a can full of love, but it might also have something else in it.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Valley oil 5"x7" #130

I took the advice of Australian painter Mike Barr ( and added reds to my greens and used only a flat 3/4" brush and only added highlights for one minute at the end. He suggested that I repaint a previous landscape doing this, but I chose to try it on a new one. I will eventually go back to the other, but I want to put some space between us (me and my landscape) for a while. I used the edges of the brush a lot to get the detail. I am wondering if I am still putting in too much detail, but I am getting closer to what I want. His advice is good and I am hoping he will give me more. I like the moodiness of this.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Free Range 6x6" oil #129

Freezing rain was falling the other day and I stopped on my way home from working out to take some photos of it.When I saw this sign dripping in icicles, I thought of little feeted eggs with bald little wings running all over the yard, but instead I painted the chicken!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Party's Over 8"x10" oil #128

This is another quick oil sketch. I like the suggestion of the face without much fuss. It is unclear to me if the addition of the dress was helpful or not.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Creative Block 8"x10" oil #127

This is a 20 minutes portrait and I didn't have the best angle so I called it "Creative Block." I read a list of "creative block-busters" which included the suggestion to do something counter intuitive. I think this is actually a helpful idea, but my favorite is just to do it and know that every piece is not going to be a masterpiece, but in the big picture, continuing to try will teach me lots of unexpected things.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Dreamer 8x10" oil #126

The reason I love to do these very quick figurative oil studies is that the model only poses for 5-20 minutes and for me to capture any kind of realistic image, I have to work really fast and not think. When I think too much I start to fuss at my painting and I inevitably create problems with the painting. There is definitely a reason for doing longer poses, even poses that are repeated over several days, but I don't have that kind of opportunity right now, so I am trying to get as much as I can from this exercise. The better I get at capturing a position, the body weight, the proportions, and the values, the better I will be in getting spontaneous poses on the street. There is a terrible glare on this. I tried to rephotograph it, but it didn't come out any better. I will try again later in better light.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

On Second Thought 8x8" oil #125

"This is no difference for any creative individual whether it's a painter finding his way to the easel or a medical researcher returning to the laboratory. The routine is as much a part of the creative process as the lightening bolt of inspiration (perhaps more). And it is available to everyone. If creativity is a habit, then the best creativity is a result of good work habits. They are the nuts and bolts of dreaming." Twyla Tharp from 'The Creative Habit'

Friday, November 12, 2010

Nature's Confetti 5x7" oil #124

I am back to brilliant colors today so there isn't anything subtle about this one. This is the view of the yard in front of my studio. It is vibrant and over the top, but on a clear day like today, this is what it looks like, in the fall. I will have to do a winter scene in a few weeks. It is a complimentary color painting, with mostly mid-tones, secondary darks, and a smidge of light.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Not a Whisper 5x7" oil #123

I painted this one with a limited palette of greens, blue and white to try and get a more muted, subtle and quiet effect. I also painted it on canvas with a light neutral underpainting (there is a term for this but it eludes me). I have been looking at some other artists work which inspired me on this one. In particular, Mike Barr, and Australian artist who does the most beautiful seascapes in very peaceful and limited palettes. Last night this looked really dull (in a good way) to me, but today it looks more vibrant...still dull next to my other recent landscapes, but more punchy than I thought. I love to try new things and this is what this blog is all about for me.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Jump or Hop 5"x7" oil #122

This woman has 3 active kids, owns and runs 5 restaurants with her husband, teaches water aerobics, runs marathons, has endless energy and looks like she is 20 years old. She also has a very cool (as in hip) and amiably approachable personality. She just can't figure out whether to tell her students to jump or hop (as far out of the water as they can get). I chose this pose because her hair was flying up. Her full front 2 piece bathing suit is just a bit up revealing her 6 pack belly. I like the wall lamp streaming light and the streaky windows. She really is a task master and it is amazing that we all keep coming to her classes, but it is because we love her! I have a lot of numbers in this message! This is the last piece of my PICO series.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sneezy Landscape 6x6 oil #120

Mountains in the distance and layers of fluffy clouds are the backdrop for this loose rendition of a field gone goldenrod, which is my allergy trigger. A few strands of wheat indicate the foreground. It is a sneezy but lovely scene which is all that much more brown today. I have dedicated 6 birch panels to landscapes and am finding that the many layers of gesso are sucking up the paint so I don't have that slick surface to slide the paint around. It is different and different always challenges me ultimately in a good way.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Landmark oil 6.25"x5.75" #119

I carry my camera every where I go and am constantly taking photos. The day I took this photo was one of those incredibly perfect fall Vermont days and I pulled over to snap a photo of an east looking landmark view of Camel's Hump. I have felt the need to paint a landscape this week so I pulled this one up and was surprised to see the lamppost and fire hydrant were in the shot, which I thought was funny as it was in the country. Then I thought how property taxes are reduced in proximity to a fire hydrant...for this piece of land...I don't think that would make a lot of difference.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Mine 4x4" oil #118

Originally I painted this with a cheerful sky blue background, but when I thought about what it represented...that moment when delight and surprise turns into selfishness and possession, I decided to darken the background without getting morbid, so I chose purple. I remember having the biggest present of my four other siblings one year and there were wicked selfish thoughts in my mind. This is when the generosity of parents reaps materialistic monster children. I thought about calling it "My Precious" with a nod towards Tolkein, but that seemed a bit insidious.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Open Heart Pose 8x10" oil #117

Makes the blood rush to my head! This was a tricky perspective with her lying on the floor, her hand almost at my feet, and her legs propped up. It is an exercise in getting all the rolling forms, but I wonder if it would read better if I had forshortened her lower legs even more. This was the angle I was seeing it at, but I am learning that sometimes you have to make changes for it to read in a logical way. It is all part of the journey (that is probably my mantra for life). I painted this in 15 minutes on red mat board. I like these quick exercises I do on Thursday evenings. Today I will get back to painting packages and I want to play with some etchings.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Blessing 5"x7" oil #116

My fellow painter/friend Shirley Fachilla (who paints with the most luscious colors has encouraged me through the comments she leaves. She mentioned the importance of talking about the process. I am just getting comfortable about that. This painting is a bit of a change for me in that I wanted to keep it really loose as the last few I have done were pretty tight. I didn't want to define anything too closely, but keep the shapes somewhat abstract. I also opened a tube of Grumbacher titanium white and it gave me fits. It is so sticky I can't handle it. I don't know what the problem is, but it is a 5oz. tube of wasted paint. I also dropped this one face down in my lap as soon as I finished it. These are some of the more mundane problems in the process. There is a connection between the hands and the gift in this one. It is representative of the blessing both spiritual and tactile that we receive from others.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Temptation 5"x7" oil @115

The finger is unconsciously curling around the ribbon on this one, ready to pull it off and reveal what is inside. This painting represents that overwhelming feeling of temptation that leads to unknown consequences. It is a good thing but it can also represent those temptations that are not good for us. I am a compulsively optimistic person and don't often paint about the dark side, but it exists, and often reveals itself in pretty packages. On the other hand, children are so excited about the unknown gift.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Candida 8"x10" oil sketch #114

I follow a number of blogs that painters produce. One of them is Dana Cooper ( who has been taking a workshop with Carolyn Anderson ( Carolyn's work is very fresh and understated. Her brushstrokes are exciting and thinly applied and she captures the essence of the subject in her work. I worked to smooth everything out in this painting of Candida. She looks separate from the board. I am always asking myself how far to go with the quick oil sketches. Someone in our live drawing session said she thought my work looked unfinished. My husband likes this one because he also likes a finished look. I don't really feel that way. How much do you need to say? There is such beauty in seeing an image barely immerge from a canvas, like someone coming out of a fog. There is a real connection with the process...the brush strokes and the paint. I am going to think about this when I go to the Chaffee on Thursday.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Bad Hair Day 4x4" oil #113

This one was a real challenge. I think it might have been easier to do on a larger format, but getting all the highlights on the ribbons was difficult. It reminded me of how I feel when my hair just looks goofy.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...