The City Art Gallery in Greenville, North Carolina(http://www.cityartgreenville.com/) has been representing my figure paintings for the past few years. This year several of my lastest works will be included in their group show. This is a sample of some of my paintings to be exhibited. The show opens April 2, 2009.
The first and third paintings were first oil sketched, on location, on tiny canvases, 6"x8" -8"x10" and then later repainted on larger canvases in my studio.
"Night Shimmers" oil 30"x24"
"Swwwish" oil 24"x12"
"Buddies oil 12"x12"
(The gentleman holding the bag wasn't happy that I painted him. But in the oil sketch he looks like a blob)
These paintings are also shown on my website, www.hong-sammons.com
For those of you who are in or near Chicago, The Palette and Chisel Fine Art Academy Gallery (1012 N. Dearborn (312)642.4149), will host it's annual fund raiser called "Under $300." this Saturday, March 28, 2009. Most members donate art and/or proceeds from the sale to benefit one of America's oldest non-profit art organizations. I hope you can stop by and see (and buy) hundreds of beautiful paintings. I will be submitting six oil paintings. Two which have been on my blog and shown once again here.
I've been trying to do a figure study in charcoal or pencil at least five times a week to improve my drawing and painting abilities. These studies are under three hours. (It's sort of like going to the gym to lift weights when I'd rather do something cardio) I am using casts from Michaelangelo and Greek sculptures. The contour studies in particular, show me where I need improvement. I'm trying not to use mass, which is how I prefer to draw, and limiting personal expression. My focus for these studies is accurate form and getting that more quickly.
This is a rather large painting for me, 30"x40." It's almost finished. My previous post was a detail of one of the flowers. One of the challenges was learning how to get back into this painting after letting it sit unattended, sometimes days. Normally I try to finish the bulk of a painting in one session but then, those are smaller paintings. Still working on chiaroscuro.
I ran out real quick to try jot down a few notes before dark and more rain. This is a bit of a painting mess. Shows what happens when I'm not calm. But it helps me remember the values and colors. Perhaps later I can paint this again with more thought. It's about our flooding rivering. Even though it leaves such a mess, there are really beautiful colors.
My favorite and most challenging subject to paint is portraits. This is a 4 hour oil study. I wish I had had 40 hours. Besides trying to capture a likeness, I wanted to capture the glow of her youthful skin, the feeling of structure- bones, muscles, life, and interesting brush strokes, attention to edges, correct values,... When I get frustrated at my progress I remind myself that it's all a beautiful journey and to enjoy the process.
I haven't worked on my Bitty Bite series, where I investigate a solitary subject on a square canvas, in quite a while so today I chopped up a lime. Maybe this composition and cropping is awkward??? But I was really attracted to the tactile quality for this painting and had fun using just a palette knife.
I call this painting "Brambles" because I kept snagging my thumb on it's tiny torns while working on the arrangement for this piece. It seems to take me such a long time to create a set-up even though in my mind I see exactly what I want. But the objects don't always comply and flowers seem to move as they wilt and open. Once again I'm investigating chiaroscuro, creating the shapes from shadows and light, against a dark setting.
Painting is a passion similar to someone motivated to throw a perfect fast ball or win a marathon. It takes some natural abilities and a whole lot of work and determination to get it just right.
My inspiration to paint is from the beauty I see in my day to day life. Sometimes that amazing beauty is discovered in a simple bin of onions purchased from a farmers market, or the inspiration is found traveling through the southwest, beachcombing on the Jersey shore, or exploring through Spain. Regardless of where I am, there is always something wonderful to paint. As a result my paintings are mostly created ‘en plein air’meaning, on site and from direct observation, not from a photograph. During very cold winter months I will take my smaller plein air paintings and use several to create a larger piece. The common relationship shared between my plein air and studio paintings is that they were inspired from the simple beauty of our lives.
I feel quite blessed to have a loving family who overlooks my messiness while I am absorbed in a painting and on a quest to make one stunning piece of art.