Friday, November 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Karen!!!!

Happy Birthday to you,...
Karen, Hope you had a great day and an even better year!
I was intrigue to try to paint the thing we don't bother to see and pull out the interesting. I think I should have added cars in the background to complete the statement but I was having fun with the weeds and track. I forgot about the cars until I looked at this the next day.
Palette knife with oils on linen mounted on museum board. 8x10.
The Palette and Chisel Art Academy and Gallery will host it's annual studio clean out sale tomorrow (Saturday Nov. 21 11am-4pm). All art is $300. and less. Karen Phipps and I both have some paintings in this one day show. It's a fun salon style exhibition and a nice fundraiser for one of America's oldest non-profit art organizations.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

9"x12" oil on linen mounted on hardboard

I set up this still life with the opposite intent of the previous posting. I used dramatic lighting with definite shadow and lit areas and placed most of my objects in the light except for one apple. Also, after painting several still lifes with minimal color and in the lighter end of the gray scale, I was after a louder and more dramatic idea. Besides using the contrast of shadow and light to create my "loud-er" still life, I thought if I placed color notes which sit close together on the color wheel I'd get more zing, a "hey look at me," which is why I used my favorite piece of copper with the red delicious apples. Placing the green grapes (so hard to paint) behind was my neutral and transition into the background space.
Still looking at David Leffel, Jeff Legg, Henri Fantin-Latour, and my new addition this week - Morandi. Teaching gets me back into still life painting because it's a great way to study all those juicy art issues in the comfort of my studio. But I am missing the great outdoors particularly since we're now blanketed in heavy gray skies. Once I finish painting for my January show I'll be back to plein air painting.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

16"x20" oil

Playing around with atypical lighting for me. This still life was mostly in light using lighter fabric. I'm not sure if I'm finished because I'm wondering if I compressed the values particularly in the background and tabletop drop, would it make a stronger statement??? I've been re-reading David Leffel and Gregg Kreutz books as well as looking at Henri Fantin-Latour still lifes. From them, I'm guessing the answer is "yes."

Saturday, November 07, 2009

"Blaze" 48"x36" Oil on Linen

"Blaze" is the latest in this on-going series inspired by my neighbors Sugar Maples. I'm playing with abstraction and expressionism and realism and color and edges, all the usual stuff on my list of important art issues. But this series is large scale (large for me anyways) and the work is all palette knife. I can't quite get that intense redorangeyellowish hue found on this amazing tree. I like the physical exertion necessary when working large. It's a nice change from my 6x8s.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Peonys in Buds

"Peonys in Buds"
oil on linen

Over the weekend I was finishing several different still lifes and also repairing this painting which I liked but not quite, know what I mean? I really wanted the peonys to pop and didn't feel they were as strong in the original painting as they could be. So what I decided to do was compress the value in the background as well as go a bit darker and cooler. Also I was more decisive with the lighting on the surface which the vase sits. Now I'm happy with it. Which version do you prefer?

Sunday, November 01, 2009

"Colors From the Sideboard" 11"x14"

I have several paintings halfway completed and I'm trying not to start anything new. But looking at so much wonderful art creates more ideas which I throw quickly down on canvas in hopes to complete later. Now I'm trying to slow down and smell the roses and enjoy the journey of discovery with paint. For the first time ever, I'm investigating higher keyed still life arrangements. I'm defining high-key as a narrow range of values in the higher end of the value scale.

After starting this still life I realized it really didn't fully stay with my objective which is why I set up another and another to push to high-key paintings. I'll hopefully soon finish those and post them as well. The value variation in my background is very minimal and subtle. This is also new to me but I thought worked well to pop the foreground objects.

A very challenging element was textures. I had to scrape away the porcelain many times because I wanted a distinctly different feel of smooth compared to the other objects as well as I wanted the highlights on the porcelain to cause the most attention. This is an issue I'll have to address again and hope for better success in another painting. I've taken this piece as far as I'm able.