Monday, March 30, 2009

monday class

More little value studies, which I'm finding are very useful--for making decisions about the composition, like what to leave in or take out, where to put the horizon, etc., but I also find that seeing the shapes in the value studies is helping me think shapes, not things, in the painting, which I hope will lead me to think more about color choices and paint and brush handling.
These two little paintings based on the drawings got a little too wet, especially the bottom one. But I'm learning to live with it!


Which brings me to one of my favorite poems from the collection What Book!? Buddha Poems from Beat to Hiphop:

Learn to live
with yourself

never do

Then learn to live
with one another

even fewer
manage this

Then--if you ever
live long enough--

learn to live
with everything else.

-- by Cid Corman
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Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Daffodils

The Daffodils
by William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A Poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

"spring is like a perhaps hand"

(11x15 bristol board)

(5x7 each)

(5x7 each)

The magnolia in my sideyard is blooming. It's such a pretty tree, so Eastern-looking.
But the flowers don't last for long, and every year I work on the magnolias till they're done.
These are the first. I tend to overpaint white flowers--these are a milky pink to yellow-white inside; plumy-pink on the outside; the goal is to do so less and less as I repaint the subject.

Spring is like a perhaps hand
by E. E. Cummings


Spring is like a perhaps hand
(which comes carefully
out of Nowhere)arranging
a window,into which people look(while
people stare
arranging and changing placing
carefully there a strange
thing and a known thing here)and
changing everything carefully

spring is like a perhaps
Hand in a window
(carefully to
and fro moving New and
Old things,while
people stare carefully
moving a perhaps
fraction of flower here placing
an inch of air there)and

without breaking anything.

(from the website Poets.Org)

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Thursday, March 26, 2009


Another painting from the current Different Strokes reference photo.
I thought I might call it "Neither Out Far, Nor In Deep," a play on the Frost poem:

The people along the sand
All turn and look one way.
They turn their back on the land.
They look at the sea all day.

As long as it takes to pass
A ship keeps raising its hull;
The wetter ground like glass
Reflects a standing gull.

The land may vary more;
But wherever the truth may be---
The water comes ashore,
And the people look at the sea.

They cannot look out far.
They cannot look in deep.
But when was that ever a bar
To any watch they keep?

I just want to thank and acknowledge Mineke and Rhonda, both of whom have recently passed along the Passion for Painting award to me. Thank you both very much for thinking of me!
Like other blogging awards acceptance entails paying it forward and linking to other art bloggers; I'm working on my acceptance post and hope to have it up soon!
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Wednesday, March 25, 2009




Two paintings from the current Different Strokes from Different Folks challenge, which ends on April 1, at which time a new reference photo will be posted.
So you have another week to join in.
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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

march vsd

(7x11 watercolor pencil)

(5x7 watercolor)

This month's Virtual Sketch Date image. You can view other people's versions here.
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Monday, March 23, 2009

finishing unfinished paintings

I couldn't make it to my class today, so I pulled a couple of paintings--these two from last spring--out of a pile of unfinished paintings and did some work on the them.
I prefer to finish paintings in one go, or two or three, close together, at most. Usually if I put a painting aside, I won't go back to it; I have trouble re-beginning ... where to start, how to finish?
But, as long as I still have them, I might as well try to finish them: there's nothing to lose.



This is the next one I want to finish, before the magnolia blooms again, which should be within the week!


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Saturday, March 21, 2009

My finished third study from Monday.

I had two other subjects ready to paint: 1) daffodils--but they never opened and now are drying up!; eight bucks down the tube, and 2) the drawing for another fabric study--I spent a long time on the drawing and was rather pleased with it, but when I started painting it, found the paper was uncooperative: instead of flowing on the surface, the paint sunk right in. I used a block and even took the precaution of tearing off and discarding the top page. I doubt I'll be able to go any further--it's just too frustrating.
This has happened to me before: I don't know, but I think sizing must be affected by age.


I'm having company this weekend, which usually means no painting. See you Monday!
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can you see me now?

I'm sorry, for some reason in several recent some or all of the art has not been visible. I don't know why or how these links get broken; all I can do is re-post!

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Friday, March 20, 2009

I went!

Well, I went, despite the cold and rain, and had to laugh when I got back to read all the comments saying "go"! I think I posted yesterday knowing if I said I might go, I would have to go, so as not to disappoint you! Your encouragement really gave me a boost--thank you.
It was a small group (due to the weather, I imagine) and we had a clothed model, Amy. Amy's not a professional model but she had a wonderful quietness or composure. I loved the way her shoulders sloped and her long neck; she made me think of Modigliani.
The way the group works is the first Thursday they do croquis, the second Thursday one long pose. (This seems to negate what I think of as the purpose of croquis--to warm up and to get to know model and what you like about him or her, but that's how they do it.)
Tonight was the long pose.
I began with this 20-minute sketch to figure out the pose. Doing it, I realized what I really liked were the dark shapes of her hair. So in the next two 20-minute-ish (the proctor forgot her clock, so we usually went over) poses, I just concentrated on the head.



I won't go into everything I think is right or wrong with these. I'm just glad I went!
I don't know if the group will be a good fit for me, but I'll do a couple of session before deciding.
And there's another group beginning, for a limited time (six or eight weeks I think), April 21, and I may try that one too.
The place of concentration life drawing takes you is addicting!
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Thursday, March 19, 2009

ready for life drawing?

From one of my last life drawing classes, several years ago.
I've just found out the Ocean City art league offers life drawing the first and third Thursday of the month. Tonight they're have a free session to bring in new people. I'm thinking of going--1 hour to decide!
It's not a class, just a monitored session and I'm debating if I have the courage to attend on my own ... But I've been seeing so much lovely figure drawing and painting on other bloggers' sites that I may be tempted enough to overcome my fear.
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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

different strokes from different strokes

The current Different Strokes challenge; I think I made it just in time. But this was so much fun. I'm doing another, with the chopsticks (which you can hardly discern here, on the left) in a better position.
When I was painting the lettering on the chopstick wrapper, I was wishing I had Hopper's Chop Suey in front of me--it would've been fun to do a take on that painting for this challenge!

Monday, March 16, 2009

monday class

(5x7 each)
Marie set up an eye-level still life of various objects from which we were to pick and choose. I finished two studies, above. I mostly wanted to show the backlighting, but didn't get the objects dark enough until Marie helped me with the values in the bottom one, darkening the lime and the short vase helped.

(divided 11x15 sheet)
I drew but didn't get to paint my larger version in class; if I paint it tomorrow, I'll have to make it a green apple!

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

fresh go

I apologize to everyone who came over and saw a post with no pictures. I've tried re-pasting them in, but apparently it hasn't worked.
So, here's a fresh go.

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moderated hopes

Packets of seeds that I'm going to start indoors, along with Chinese lanterns and sunflowers.
My yard's in terrible shape--it's mostly weeds. And I've been unsuccessful in trying to grow the three things that everyone grows effortlessly here: azaleas, rhododenrons, and hydrangeas. I've also tried peonies several times, with no success. Last year, I had one peony!
I have one quince and one lilac that I'm trying to keep alive!
Over the years I've tried to establish beds for shrubs and flowers, but the weeds and the ivy always take them back.
I surrender: the weeds and the moles win. I don't have the time, the money, the energy ... As a last-ditch effort I will try to grow some paintable flowers in pots on the deck.

Thanks to everyone for your get-well-wishes. I had intended to do some work on the blog this weekend, and to acknowledge an award given to me by Mineke (thanks again, Mineke!), but a week of flu has put me behind schedule.
I do want to "accept" and pass on the award--and also acknowledge the art bloggers I first started following and who provided the impetus for me to start my own blog--and will in the coming week.
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Friday, March 13, 2009

practice pages: flowers

I've succumbed to the flu the last few days and so haven't painted. But I did spend some time going through my piles of paintings and flat files, looking for recent paintings for my show in May.

From my flat file: a couple of pages of flower practice.

And one arrangement:

I hope to recover before the tulips I bought earlier in the week are past their peak.
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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

more stargazers

(about 12x12)

I started this yesterday, when I painted the flower on the right; today I did the one one the left. What a difference a day makes--I wish I had painted both yesterday! I think I'll let it alone overnight then do a little lifting tomorrow to try to correct the most egregious mistake: the way those pistils are lined up so unnaturally. Maybe I can get back some white too.

It must be about 65 degrees here today, though gray and humid, and I used some of my painting time to sweep the deck and get my bike out of the shed ... so maybe my mind wasn't on painting!

Many thanks to Sandy, Ruth, and Deb for their suggestions in their comments on yesterday's post about how to cut pieces from an unwieldy and uncooperative roll of watercolor paper. (You can read their suggestions here.) I measured and cut a piece 36 inches wide today with much less frustration.
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