Monday, May 30, 2011

Plein Air at the Lake

This is sort of my first solo plein air effort. I went out to the lake, where I wouldn't be seen, and therefore embarassed. Not sure why I'm embarassed to be seen painting so badly but then I post it on my blog for all the world to see. Maybe I'm just certain I will improve. Oil on panel - 11x14

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Painting Class - May 18

This is kind of a bizzarre still life that Ron set up for a few of us. I didn't want to paint it at first but soon found myself immersed in the challenge of it. A reflective pig placed in this shell-like-something-or-other. The challenge I had with it was I kept getting into the details before I had the overall colors and values established. This is oil on panel (11x14)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

London Sketches

Pencil and watercolor sketches for a change. I must have lost my pen...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Bali Memorial, London

In 5x8 Blue Handbook Journal - digital color added in Painter 11

I didn't really know what this was until recently. I was in London over New Years and since I didn't want to visit the Churchill War Rooms with the group I was with, I found a nice place to sit and sketch - I thought. I sat on the little bench that is in the shadow of globe in the lower photo and started drawing. It was pretty empty when I started the drawing but within about 5 minutes there was a crowd of people taking pictures and I realized I was sitting in some kind of monument. I got up and left and walked across the street to a park and sketched the little scene on the right hand page. Today, going through my sketches, I googled the "peace dove globe" that I was drawing and found out what it really was. It is a memorial dedicated to the 202 people killed in Kuta, Bali in 2002, 28 of whom were Britons. There are 202 peace doves carved into this 5' round marble globe representing every person that died in that bombing.

I hate terrorism. It's the worst part of humanity. I don't understand it. It's worse than suicide, worse than murder, worse than lying, or cheating, or stealing. It is absolutely the worst thing a human can do. I also hate war. There are better ways to deal with conflict. This drawing on the left hand page means all sorts of things to me now and has all kinds of layers of feeling it didn't have before. I've been dealing with this heaviness for 2 hours now since I found the sketchbook drawing. It didn't seem finished so I worked on it digitally and in the working on it I discovered more about it and more about me. It doesn't feel right to pour it all out on this blog but I think it's one of the reasons I love drawing/sketching and painting. I learn more about the world and in that learning I discover more about who I am and what kind of person I want to be.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Wheels on the Bus

From my actual Sketch Journal! I've been posting so many paintings lately, I'll have to rename my blog. Well actually, the way I see it, they are all sketches or studies - a sort of record of my life/artistic growth. This was from a family trip way back in December. I was waiting with Alex outside of the tennis courts at Pomfret for Valerie and felt compelled to draw the school bus in the parking lot. I stood outside and finally my fingers got too cold to draw! This is in my 5x8 Handbook Journal.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Painting with Colin Page - Day 2

Yellow Pepper (Oil on panel - 11"x8")

Two Oranges (Oil on panel - 11"x6")
2 Apples (Oil on panel - 8"x10")
Reflection on Green Apple (8"x10")
Day 2 was rainy so we painted in the studio at the Farnworth Art Museum in Rockland. Colin had set up some still lifes and started the class with a demo. The morning exercise wast work with a limited palette of Cadmium Red, Cadmium Yellow, and French Ultramarine Blue. Colin described these colors as a warmish palette versus the palette he limited us to in the afternoon when we only used Quinacradone Red, Lemon Yellow, and Prussian Blue. In addition to using a limited pallette, he also limited our brush size to a size 8 flat brush. Here is a short video of Colin introducing the afternoon exercise.
So it was kind of hard to tell at the end of the day when we stood back and looked at all of our paintings which pallette was which but kind of interesting that this limited palette pushed us toward finding the colors we needed. The top two paintings were done in the morning and the bottom 2 were done in the afternoon. It was a great class and I met some great folks and learned some great things.
Some other great things to note:
  • Put stroke down and leave it alone.
  • Paint faster in the long run by slowing down.
  • Clean brushes
  • Don’t fuss.
  • Stay with a big brush as long as you can.
  • Be intentional.
  • Show everyone how much fun you are having

Friday, May 20, 2011

Painting with Colin Page - Day 1

Oil on panel (approx. 5"x7")

Oil on panel (approx. 5"x7")

I've enjoyed Colin Page's work for a couple of years now. Colin is a plein air painter that lives in Camden (my hometown). When I saw that he was doing a plein air workshop, I signed up early. At that time (back in early March), I had never before painted with oils. The first day was overcast but not threatening to rain so we drove up to the Camden Yacht Club. He started the class with a demo and then we spent the rest of the morning on a value exercise. We painted in only black and white, dividing our 11x14 panels into 4 sections and then painting one panel in 2 values, one panel in 3 values, one panel in 5 values and the last panel in as many values as we needed to represent the scene.

In the afternoon we added ultramarine and burnt sienna to the palette to study both value and temperature. The studies above were done with this palette. The top one is a 3 value study and the bottom one was not limited in value - just color. At the end of the day we lined up all of our paintings and talked about them. You can see a short video of that here.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Painting Class - May 13

A lesson in edges. They get fuzzier as the recede and sharper up close. This isn't really new information but it is amazing that I still need to remember it - and apply it! Oil on panel (12x16)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Painting Class - May 11

Another exercise in getting the color right. Peppers are not easy objects - they absorb and reflect so much light and color plus they have this delicious transparency. I felt more successful with the watermelon. Oil on panel (12x16)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Greenville, Texas

This painting study was done in my studio between classes and is from a photo I took a couple of months ago when I went down to Texas. As a kid, I used to wander around downtown Greenville because it is where my parents grew up and we would visit my grandparents there during the summer. I started a sketch of the Texan theater but ended up walking all over town photographing the places I used to go. This is an old grain mill and I love the composition of these elements. It was a frustrating study because it felt overwhemingly complex to deal with the detail in the foreground. I hope I come back to it. Oil on panel (11x14)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Painting Class - May 6

An exercise in seeing color, mixing paint and putting it to canvas. Oil on panel (11x14)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Copy the Masters

I showed the image of the old man I posted yesterday to Ron at Wednesdays class along with a reference photo I had of a John Singer Sargent painting - Old Man with Dark Turban. I told him this was the effect I was after in my painting. His suggestion was to copy the Sargent painting. I learned a lot from this painting and in the end, I was pretty happy with it. It is oil on toned canvas board (11"x14").

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Painting Class - May 4, 2011

The top painting is oil on toned canvas board (12"x16"). If you have been reading my blog for awhile you may recognize the image from a couple of years ago. The sketch I worked from can be found in this post. I did this the morning before the class and about 40 minutes into it I was very excited and happy with it. I proceeded to make a mess out of it but even so it was a successful study for me. I'll do this one again when I have more experience. It is definitely moving in the direction I want it to go.

The bricks, ahh - still in the brickyard but I am now using color on simple shapes. The effort here is to get the colors as I see them. This is oil on toned canvas board (11"x14").

Monday, May 2, 2011

Painting Class - April 29, 2011

I'm still using just black and white paint. I haven't yet "graduated" to color. Here I'm working with more complex objects - a glass jar sitting on a yellow brick with a small dark blue vase - and painting the values I see. I painted on a wooden panel (12"x12") that already had a color painting on it so it was a bit confusing at first to find my own drawing but it began to emerge soon enough. It's just a study but I do like the way the color comes through from under the paint.