Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Pink! Pink! Pink!

Here's the beginning sketch.  I've used Art Spectrum Colourfix fine tooth pastel & multimedia primer to coat a stretched canvas.  I slightly sanded the last coat to knock off the extra texture that is necessary for using with pastels.  

I've been  using this primer for all my work lately.  I provide panels primed with this stuff for my pastel & oil class students too.  Last night, one of the students brought in a canvas panel to paint on and said she really noticed the difference and preferred the texture of the colourfix primer.

Here I'm establishing my lights and darks and filling in the background.

This is the finished work on the easel.  I decided to show it this way and cropped so you can see all the edges.  I like leaving some of the canvas surface showing....not "finishing" the oil painting 
edge-to-edge.  I guess you could call this technique a "carry over" from drawings and pastels paintings I've done for years.  Nothing like being consistent. :D

~click on images to enlarge~
.....and the final piece cropped.   24"x 18"  Oil on stretched canvas.
(editing note.....the purples (darks) in the painting aren't as intense as shown here.  The digital camera really picks up some colors more then others.)  

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Chart in the studio....

For a change, I thought I'd share something I do with my students.  Above is a photo of the shelf area in my home studio.  It was meant for holding items for still lifes but as you can see, it holds so much more.  

Top shelf.....objects, next down - small panels for oils and pastels. It's also where I can place wet oils to cure.  On down.....paint mediums, jars, you name it (under the mixing chart are more objects for still life set ups.

Next to the bottom shelf holds CD's, paints, and hanging is a favorite painting by my friend 
Carlene Dingman Atwater  and a postcard inspiration from my daughter Mika Sorak.  
It's image is by artist, Susan Seddon Boulet.

Here's a closer view of the paint chart my oil class did last week.  We mixed 4 different versions of  reds, yellows. and blues with all creating interesting color value ranges.   I'm leaning more about color by using a limited palette all the time.   Doing color charts sound borrowing, but it's exciting to see how color combinations can change with adding just a little white. (painting charts is like practicing notes on an instrument....gotta take the baby steps to finish a musical piece.)

The artwork on the far right is a painting by my granddaughter Phoebe.  She is 2 1/2 years old and this was my 2014 Christmas gift from her.  It's a collage that includes leaves from her yard.  

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Lovely in Red

24"x 18" Oil on stretched canvas

I apologize for the sorta out-of-focus picture here.  I angled the painting so I'd cut down on the wet paint glare and the glass looks weird too. (still managed to pick up that "special sparkle" from wet paint at the top of the picture too. Sigh!) 

I'm still working on taking better quality pictures.  I've read about several ways to accomplish this but I still mess up sometimes.  Because I was anxious to post this painting, I decided to use this image anyway.  It isn't daylight yet outdoors (my main source of picture taking light) so, later today, I'll take another series of shots and see if I do better then what's here.


Saturday, February 21, 2015

"Then there were Two"

Click image to enlarge
10"x 8" Oil on stretched canvas

  It's such a challenge for me to make a yellow or white rose look like what they are. There's more color going on there then you notice at first.  Grays, dull purples/ have to mix some of these in to create the value range needed to make the flower Pop.   

Of the flowers in a bottle paintings I've posted so far, I think this one is my favorite.  I'm finally managing to loosen up - how I apply  my strokes....LEAVE THEM ALONE.....not go back over and over and start creating too many sharp"edges" or completely blend color together on canvas.   

If I keep working the paint, I begin to dissect my subject and get rapped up in the details.  That's not my goal when I begin a painting.  Sound familiar? subject of "overworking" a piece?

 The more I paint, the more I focus on the bigger shapes before me.  When I worked exclusively in pencil, I would focus on showing even the smallest detail (like eye lashes) when doing a portrait.  Yes, I'm re-training myself to not get so tied up in the details.

Hmmmmmm., sounds like life posters I've seen...."Don't get hung up on the small stuff". 

I also have to share a quote I have on a posted note by our computer.....
"Art washes away from the Soul the dust of everyday life." - Pablo Picasso 

This could be said about music too!  I think that's why I love hearing my son play when I visit him.  Reminds me of listening to my dad play the violin...his true passion.  My Dad could make the instrument "sing" and my Son does the same thing with his guitar.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Oil Sketch......

Oil sketch on canvas board - 8"x 10"

Here's a break from my usual subject matter.  There's a "Life Drawing Group" that meets twice a month in Fairfield, IA.  There is one model for each session held.  The space is large enough that everyone attending has a unique perspective and lots of natural light to work from.

Pose sessions begin with quick sketch exercises.....starting from 30 seconds and going up to maybe 20 minutes.  Then a long pose for 45 mins. to 1 hour.

I used to attend these sessions years ago and I'm so happy they are still meeting now.  This was my first time back in say....5 years maybe?  Too long....I don't remember last :( first time using oils as my medium of choice for the long pose.  I used a flat brush for the entire work here.  Not sure the #, but I'd say approx. width as being around 3/8's? 

Proportions aren't exactly "correct" here....but this IS meant to be a study and I was pleased I captured how the light from the windows fell on this model.

Monday, February 16, 2015

John Preston Oil Demo

This past Sunday afternoon, the ICON Gallery in Fairfield, IA was the place to be.  30 to 40 artists and art patrons gathered to watch artist, John Preston, give a lively oil painting demonstration.  I state "lively" because he's a very good speaker (and is very humble about it).

Here are a few pictures I took of the event. Enjoy!

This is Cindy showing off her new line of hand made Soft Pastels she and John have been working on.  She's yet to give the assortment an "official" name for marketing but had them out for all of us to try.....and.....THEY ARE GREAT!  Just the right consistency and color saturation.  I'm anxious to collect every color they've made so far.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Whisper White

10"x 8" Oil on stretched canvas

I'm on a roll........loving the glass/flower compositions.  Now, to see how many I paint! This one was a challenge in keeping the petals pure "white".  Gotta have color there somewhere.  Gray just makes it look lifeless.  

I absolutely LOVE Roses......but......find them to be hard to paint!  So, that's the challenge!!! :D

Monday, February 9, 2015

Pretty in Pink!

Oil on stretched canvas - 10"x 8"
Yep.....most definitely thinking of warmer weather!  When I begin to paint flowers, my thought process is a given. I'M READY TO PLAY IN THE GARDEN!

I've been teaching (on going) an oil painting class at the Courtyard Gallery & Studio in Bloomfield, IA on Tuesdays.  One of my students asked specifically to learn to paint glass.  What I've shared with her is that I approach this material the same as painting anything else. ........don't let your mind trick you in just thinking "glass".  Look for the value ranges in colors and "record" what you actually "see" before you. 

Breaking any scene down in this manner gives you more of a likeness. ALWAYS a challenge for me is getting that curve of the bottle to look the same on both sides.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Thinking of Spring.....

Oil on panel in wood frame 22"x 18"
I like "spilling over", so to speak, on my wood frames sometimes.  I've created several oil paintings the past few years where I incorporate the frame into the finished image.

This arrangement of Tulips caught my eye several years ago in an antique store. I'm so thankful for cameras.  I'm inspired to paint so many different things.  I loved how the light came through the window here and made wonderful contrasts in values. (There was NO WAY I could set up an easel and paint in this busy location.)

My picture taking skills are still ...."a work in progress".   I've managed to catch the glare off the wet surface at the bottom of this work.  Still, I wanted to share how this painting turned out. 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Poppy Love

Here's the "set up"......  I've taken a canvas sheet and mounted it on archival foamboard.  I love Poppies.....wish I had them in our yard but there's truly no room for a nice patch of these beauties.  :(  (Oh, and Yes, that "ghostly figure in the background husband is in the other room watching SouthPark)

Here's the initial sketch .....I really like how the undertone looks so I'm making it a part of the composition.

.....and the blocking in of color values begins.....

Here's the finished work!  (There's a little glare from the overhead light at the top of the picture)
"Poppy Love"  20"x 16"  Mixed Media (background is Acrylic - painted image Oil)