Thursday, August 19, 2010

wanted: inspiration

(9x12)
I haven't had much time, or, more accurately, haven't made time, to paint lately. I've had a lot of work to do--and maybe have been too left-brain oriented.
After the complexity of the fishing boats, I was looking for something simpler, and thought of my favorite still life painter, Giorgio Morandi. I'd never tried to imitate his clustering of simple, matte (often ambiguous) objects at eye level ...
It's not so easy to make something so simple pleasing: after this first attempt it seems to me what's important is 1) to have some kind of tension, in the objects or the negative space, and 2) the quality of the paint. I've missed it on both counts, but that's okay because I'll try again.
One thing I have to get are some matter, or opaque, objects! It seems I have a mania for colored glass. (4x4)
Also, and this is turning out to be way too anxiety producing: I'm trying to prepare for a Ted Nuttall workshop next month. He wants us to come to the workshop with our drawing already done, which is a great idea--no missing out on painting time while you struggle to get the nose right. But I'm having a hard time finding the "right" sort of pictures--ones that are interesting to me and paintable!
I started this poor girl, below ... The lighting is very dramatic, which is helpful! I have to remember, when painting people, NO BLUE ... at least not a lot and not right away. (And, thanks to Frank's comment, I've reconsidered this and will amend it to: not so much blue?) But you know I go right in there with the blue!


 
(10x15)

Since I posted awhile about my little rolling painting table, I have been trying to find someplace that sells them, and I finally it in Daniel Smith's recent catalog, if you're interested.
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13 comments:

Charlene Brown said...

I had a look at the Ted Nutttall link you gave us, love his work and can see what attracts you to learning from him. I would be overwhelmed at the thought of preparing for his workshop, but you don't need to be... I think your clean spontaneous style will get you off to a great start.

Frank said...

Why no blue when painting portraits Laura?

Liana Yarckin said...

the top glass object painting grabbed my attention immediately. very transparent and "watercolory". the way i long to paint.

i think it is a great start on the girl.

Barbara M. said...

Hi Laura,

I love the blue. I took classes with a fellow who taught us to do yellow, then red, then blue washes. So I think it's completely up to you. You paint so well. Quit stressing. You're so good.

XOBarbara

Carol Blackburn said...

Hey Laura, I've always used blue under the chin. What I've read about portrait painting, and practiced with my own painting, is to use yellow in the forehead area, reds at cheek level, and blue chin and lower. But, it is ever so subtle a color change. Try a lighter hand with the blue on the neck area and see what you think. I'll have to check out Ted Nuttall. Enjoy your evening.

Sandra said...

If you have seen any of my recent 'sterile and stiff' still lifes lately, you would understand why I like these so much! I am really inspired by your loose approach - So thank you!

AutumnLeaves said...

I think your work is always fabulous, Laura, and these are no exception. The woman reminds me of Suzanne Berry or a painting I've seen done by her (I think the latter). Now...if you find that inspiration, can you please send some my way? I so hope that things are going well for you and your family!

RHCarpenter said...

I really like the top bottles and how they are done. I might perk up the color a bit with a touch of red here and there behind them to draw our eyes. Sure, listen to me, like I know what I'm talking about!!! ha ha I know your style and Ted Nuttall's will merge well and I can't wait to see what you do in the workshop - have fun, create something beautiful, and learn to fly!!

A Brush with Color said...

Oh, my God--you are so hard on yourself, Laura. You're one of my favorite artists out there. I'm glad you're going to take the Ted Nuttall class--I think you'll really like him--he is just such a nice, approachable man and he really helps. He didn't make me nervous at all. I can't wait to see what you do--these are all lovely and I recognize the Morandi influence. If you want to paint blue on a face, go for it . Trust your instincts--you have a great eye. Incidentally, wait 'til you see Ted paint greens and all sorts of color into his washes on faces. At first it seems crazy, but the effects are awesome.

Cristina Dalla Valentina said...

Your attempt to paint with the inspiration of Giorgio Morandi is very good, Laura. I think you already know that Morandi painted also some watercolors, too... I wish you a good workshop with Ted Nuttall, I love his art work!

Carol said...

I know you'll be successful in Ted Nuttall's workshop. Your work is just wonderful!

Sparrowhawk said...

love the portrait despite all the comments you have made of the blue colour. Good luck with the workshop!

Carrie H. said...

As a person who has taken a couple Nuttall workshops I think you will get the most out of it if you do quarter sheet paintings that are close up on the face and features. Hopefully you can find something with a cast shadow somewhere on one of them and also consider bringing a drawing with facial hair. Hopefully, someone will bring a guitar. You are going to have a great workshop.

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