Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Painting 64

I have a slew of wonderful photos from various vacations and decided since I've been in an uninspired mood, I'd make use of some for my painting. I'm not sure what drew me to this scene, but this is from a week spent in Santiago, during a walk in an old part of the city. I think it was the strong vertical lines and the blocks of color. It also had some nice play of light on the trees. I like this painting, but I don't feel it was that successful and I think it has to do with a lack of focal point. The eye doesn't have a place to rest. It wants to rest on the figure, but I don't think it's painted in a way that holds the eye's attention. As I study it, I think I should have put her in a color that stands out from the surrounding, like a red. Also, I could have hit her with some light. Perhaps moving her in to the light. My nature is to paint what is there, and I'm tentative when it comes to adding something that isn't in a photograph. Not sure why, but at this stage, I'm comfortable with only the known. As my confidence grows, I hope I can take bigger risk. I was happy with the leaves of the trees though. They look leafy and not solid like my trees from earlier paintings.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Painting 63

Still in the uninspired stage, so why not throw some paint on the canvas. Decided to do an abstracted city/landscape. Looks part skyline, part fall trees, but it all came from my minds eye. I'd rather rely on a reference when I do my art, but sometimes it's best to stretch a little. Played with the palette knife somewhat on this and it's an addictive tool. My follow studio mate, Linda, loves to paint with palette knives. I don't think she owns a brush, but it doesn't seem to hinder her because she does amazing art. One of the basic rules I learned was not to cut your canvas in half, and that is exactly what I did. Not literally, but you can see the "horizon line" is right smack dab in the middle. Abstracts are interesting because they can be just about anything, but it does help when you follow basic rules of painting. Abstracts are not as easy as they look. Oh, I could do that!, is what you hear so often in a museum or galleries. Well, my advice to those who say that is to try it and maybe then they'll have a better appreciation the abstract. A good abstract is planned and considered, just like any other type of painting. Still a little scared of the paint at this point though. Not brave enough to really goop the paint on the canvas, even though an abstract is perfect for a heavier application. The texture of the paint can add a nice element. I did sell this one and was pleased that my boss was the one who purchased it. She saw it in my trunk. So that's a trunk show. I had no idea. She's a good boss to support me that way. She see trees, by the way.

Painting 62

My sweet tooth has been satisfied and painting candy no longer fulfills my cravings. Not sure what to tackle next, so I thought I'd just do an Alla Prima paintings and quickly knock something out. Since I found myself ill-prepared for a night in front of the easel with nothing to paint, I rummaged through the studio and came across a pickle jar. Why not? I supposed something sour is a logical choice. Painting glass is a good challenge and the lettering from all the candy paintings will come in handy for this exercise. I had been painting in layers for awhile, allowing each layer to dry before the next round of painting. That works well for me since I paint so sporadically. Since I wanted to finish this in one night, I had to contend with painting wet on wet which has always presented issues for me, like trying to get crisp, clean edges on my letters. Not going to happen. However, I like the loose feel of the brush work and if I let go, I even like the roughness of the lettering. The composition is a bit uninspired and the drawing could be improved, but overall, for a quick painting, I was pleased. 

Monday, May 02, 2011

Painting 61

This will be my last candy painting for awhile. Ok, it's technically gum. I was asked to donate a painting for a fundraiser and if I did so, I was allowed to hang another painting to sell for myself. I didn't want to donate the Dots or Good 'n Plenty, but I did want to see if I could sell one of them. I decided to paint another painting to donate to accompany the others and this is the result. My second attempt at bubble gum. The painting sold, so it did the job to raise money and that's wonderful. If you read my posts, you know I like to critique my work, but I hate to do that to a work that sold. If I purchased a painting and then came across a posting of the artist trashing the work, I'd be very unhappy about it, so I'm not going to chance that happening. But I will point out that during the "candy period" my attention to rendering even and consistent coverage of paint really stands out. It was definitely intentional because I was going for realism with a pop art feel. I love realism in painting, especially with non-traditional still life. The marriage of traditional technique and modern subject matter and composition is very exciting to me. I also love a loosely rendered painting where you can see the paint mixed on the canvas and the brush strokes are evident. Not sure what I like more, so I’ll just continue to explore until my own style emerges. Perhaps at painting 100.