Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Friday, November 17, 2006
In the summer I took a few not so great photos--not enough light--of a simple porch in Cape May and, now, for some reason, I sem to be obsessed with turning them into something .... Anyway, I keep trying. It's the surrounding space/foliage, I think: it's a challenge, trying to make it "readable" (i.e., that's in front, that's far away ...) but working with not so much information and not wanting (or being able) to reproduce the scene in a more realistic way. Onward.
Finally finished (I think!) the painting posted below, under 10-10.... Was hoping to start another right away, but the Thanksgiving holiday is breaking my very short-lived momentum!
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Here's an unfinished effort last Monday, 10/23 that was. The white area in the middle is a porch on a house in Cape May. I wanted to try to "vignette" the edges, that is, not paint all the way out to the edges ... it's a little too blocky still, but I like the subject and will try it again.
The next effort, started yesterday, 10/30, and worked on a bit today, but also not done (I think) is this study of some dying branches of beachplums that I picked while walking Itchy. There're a few trees on an empty lot by the bay, and I find these milky orange-pink plums irresistible. Sadly, the last couple of years for some reason--temperature? dampness?--the leaves have not been so nice, spotted and dropping early. I was about to chuck these when I thought the dying leaves had a not bad draping effect!
Any suggestions on the background? I'd leave it white--the easy way out--but I may need to pull some of the blue-greens in the vase into the upper background, and some of the yellow-greens in the leaves into the bottom half ...
Friday, October 13, 2006
And here are two 20-minute poses, where we were trying to integrate figure and background, by pulling colors from the model into the background and vice versa. I'm sorry these photographs don't really show the lighter colors! My flash is too strong ... I'll try rephotographing them.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
These pages show 5-minute poses. Here, we could use a simple contour--and I did--if we wanted, as a preliminary, a guide. We painted only the dark and midtones, leaving anything light as the white of the paper, which is why I needed the contour ... I can't see the shape, or perhaps more accurately it's that I can't make the darks connect around the spaces, without the boundary: something to work on.
In my Tuesday class, I spent the day setting up a still life and drawing it on a full sheet; next week I'll start painting it. In a boost to my setup-making confidence, Lois, the classmate who I mentioned is the best ever at setups, said she'd like to paint my setup when I'm done! I was stunned ... that is progress!
Jennifer, another Tuesday classmate, has arranged for our class to have an exhibit. It should be an impressive display as these painters are very good ... They'll all be contributing still lifes, and I'm sure I haven't anything that can compete with their work, so I was thinking of sneaking a seascape in there to make it stand out--and so there'll be no comparisons made!
Monday, September 18, 2006
Tomorrow it's back to Berwyn and large still lifes.
After taking an amazing and exhilarating book-making workshop last year, I thought I 'd try to make little watercolor-paper sketchbooks. This is one of the first; a simple fold-out book, about 3 x 3 inches when closed. I used it to do a small study of the Chalfonte scene, which covers two panels; there is room for two more two-panel paintings on this side of the book. Flip it over, and there are six more panels to use. I'd like to fill it with various landmark CM scenes. The second photo shows one cover of the booklet; I used cut-up bits of unsuccessful paintings for the covers.
This is a nearly-finished painting from the last day of Marge's summer workshop. It's a house on Hughes Street ... The day before I had pored through my E. Hopper books hoping to absorb something that I could transmit to my painting. And, while the perspective is a bit off and there, I do think the uncharacteristically muted palette I used here may be thanks to Hopper.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
This is my first "painting-a-day"-type painting. It's about 4 x 4". The subject, I think, is spot on: simple, modest ... but with drama. Sadly, my drawing of the chair is off ... rushing through the drawing to get to the painting: always turns out to be a mistake! Adirondack chairs are hard to draw! I like the subject so much, I think I'll try again ... (Did a small painting of an adirondack chair on a dock in Florida on our last vacation in the Keys; it's currently hanging at mom and dad's but I'll try to post it here for somparison ...)
Didn't so a painting today, so I'll make an extra effort tomorrow. If I can't do a painting-a-day, perhaps I can shoot for a painting-every-other-day!
Saturday, September 09, 2006
Art classes start again soon ... So it's time to unpack my huge, backbreaking art-supply carrying bag from last spring and repack it for fall. Time to clean and replenish my palettes, and reassess my brush needs and paper choices--size and make and finish.
Above are two 10 x 14" pages of croquis (sketches)--Cornelia (she of the black tights; I did my best life painting so far of her back ... I'll include it in my next post) on the left and Jim, I think, on the right. These are probably 5-minute poses (going to keep better track this semester).
The croquis we begin the class with are usually the best work I do all day--low expectations yield the best results; annoyingly if you think of the corollary; I'm generally not happy with the longer poses--no doubt because it's a bigger "commitment" and I try harder ... which is all wrong. I have to plunge into the long poses with the same (relative!) abandon as I do these quick poses. That is the goal I am going to try to keep in sight this fall.
This is an unfinished longer painting of Jim, the last painting I did in my life class before summer. Since I'll never have the opportunity to finish this painting with Jim, I'm seeing it as almost finished as is! With a few judicious touches, I think it might look complete ... the problem is figuring out what those touches should be and then adding them! I rarely go back to a painting once I've put it aside ... I don't like to; I like to think a painting gains a certain momentum and going back later feels forced; I feel stymied since usually I just paint without thinking about it!
One thing I do like about this painting--see if you agree--is that, the more I look at it, the more it look like Dylan!
And last but not least: the painting I was working on in my all-day Tuesday class, where I paint with very talented and ambitious painters.
We meet at Carolyn's house and set up our own individual still lifes in her basement, where she has a treasure trove of objects to choose from. It usually takes half a day to select from the bounty ... and if you're lucky, Lois will help you! She is the very best making setups; watching her set one up is an education--the shapes, the colors; and then she paints beautifully ... and always on a full sheet (which is 22 x 30").
Which inspired me try: this unfinished painting is my first effort on a full sheet. It is nearly finished, but I do think I need to resolve some of the white space. I plan to extend the pale blue flowered drape into the upper left quadrant; after that, I'll reaccess--maybe it will need more, maybe (I hope) not.
In the Tuesday class, with the encouragement and inspiration of the other painters--they are a stimulating group!--I've been trying to select more challenging, complicated subjects. Before, I studiously avoided printed fabrics--which is a serious limitation if you're painting still lifes! As you can see in this painting, I'm struggling with it; I have to train my brain to not be impatient when I get lost in the print and the folds ... it's alternately frustrating and tedious. But when I look at a Matisse or a Vuillard, I know it will be worth it, someday.
I'll ask the other painters in the Tuesday group if I can photograph the paintnings they're working on for this blog ... Their work is various, but uniformly interesting!