Friday, October 16, 2009

Painting 41

I think I write too much on my blog. Sometimes there's not much to say about a painting, but then I stretch it out and I end up with paragraphs of text when the focus of the blog is merely to show my painting progress. From 1 to 100 and what happens in between. I really don't like to write and I'm not remotely good at it, but I do like to reflect on my paintings. Since I'm months, if not a year behind in my blog, the paintings I show now are old to me, and the amount of time in between allows me to see things differently. The gift of time allows me to be a bit more detached and therefore I can be critical and see  more than if I were writing about something that was just completed. So I continue on, already more wordy than I intended. Philosophizing and psycho-babbling, throw in an art critic and that sums up my blog.

So let’s talk about the tomatoes, another Alla Prima, finished in one sitting. They were purchased from the convenient Farmer's market, or they were found in the refrigerator, I don't recall. Trite composition, still a little too flat with the shadow too vibrant a hue, I believe there's glare on the photo which is causing some of my concern with the tones, but Carol Marine said this in her work shop I attended after painting this, she said "beginning artist always make the highlights too big" or something to that affect. I certainly agree with her here. I like the visible brushwork and there's no mistaking them for tomatoes. That's the positive. I didn't like the background, so I did repaint it a turquoise-ish blue a few months later, but it didn't seem to help much. In the end, not something I would attach a buy now button to.

I don't paint that great a lot of times, just like I don't write that great. Perhaps you may think I'm too hard on myself, but I find comfort in being critical because I feel I've learned something when I spot the errors now. My wish is to be able to see even more things wrong when I view this again. So being critical makes me happy because I am present to the fact that I’m learning and I growing which is, to quote Martha Stewart, a very good thing. Unfortunately for the 2 people who follow this blog, writing is also a part of that process.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Painting 40

Daily paintings—great concept, people make good money, great warm up, and you learn quickly. So why not paint everyday? I'm sure many artists ask themselves that same question. I would say it's because I have a full-time job, but then there's Qiang Huang who is a master at it and he works as an engineer and he doesn’t let that stop him. I admire him greatly. Another Daily Painter is Carol Marine. She doesn't have to work another job and she has a studio at her home, so she has it made. Both artists live in Austin, my birthplace, and I think that's just cool. When I discovered Carol on the Internet, I was so excited to share her with my studio mates, who were only too quick to remind me that they had been talking about her for years—so much for listening while painting. We discussed hosting a workshop for her, but we were going to have to wait a year to do so and then a workshop in Salado Texas came open and we all signed up. No excuses now, daily paintings are in my future.

 I purchased some melamine cups on Ebay because my grandparent used these at their lake house when I was a tot and I'm a nostalgic guy. I fondly remember being with my grandparent, especially my grandmother who was so sweet, even if she said I was messy behind my back. I was, and still am. The dishes were just a way to hang onto those memories a little longer. Anyway, cups, impending workshop, daily painting. That's how this little 5x7 painting came to be. Painted it from life, and the results were okay, as my quick paintings usually have been, but good practice. (I always say that when a painting doesn’t turn out well. It was good practice!) I never have liked the background color and another issue is the rendering of the inside of the top cup. I just didn't achieve a good result with getting the nice round interior, but it’s never been worth my time to make corrections. I guess because it would no longer be a daily painting. The point is to learn to get it right the first time. 

So begins the daily painting for a while; although, for me, it painting Alla Prima. I’ll never do them daily, but they are finished in one sitting, and I can live up to that expectation. I'll let these other artist pick up my slack.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Painting 39

Not sure why I stopped blogging because I was doing good for awhile. Must keep going! This painting was another painting I donated to a cause. Why do I keep donating paintings? The setting in Roaton, Honduras, circa 1990 or somewhere around that time. I was visiting my friend in the Peace Corp and we took a little getaway to the most beautiful island. That trip inspired Painting 20, and it inspired this painting as well. This little church along the beach was so charming and quaint, much like the entire island. The place was just paradise at that time and it was a lazy wonderful few days that have remained clear in my mind as though I just returned a few days ago. As I look at this painting, I'm pleased overall. I had a lesson from Donna in shadows, with cast shadow, and the difference with things in shadows, and warms and cools and I can't even begin to explain it. I tried my best with what I learned, but it's difficult when you paint from an old photo and not real life. Those subtle color differences just aren't apparent. The color differences in the shadows do add nice dimension and interest, and as I look at the palm trees, I wish I had added some variety to those as well. Perhaps the ones in the background should have been lighter and less vibrant. It's too much the same across the horizon and doesn't offer much for the perspective and depth. I would love to step inside the painting and enter that church and say a little prayer and maybe meditate as I gaze across the water. Then stumbling a few feet to the bar and down a few Margaritas. Ahhh! I wish every day was a day in paradise!