Sunday, August 29, 2010

plein air painting with mike

My friends Lisa and Mike came down for a couple days late last week, and gave me the perfect excuse to ditch work and enjoy the beautiful weather.
 Mike wanted to paint ... outdoors! Maybe I'm wrong, but I think such intrepidness is unusual in a beginning painter? And even in people who have been painting for awhile, like me: I really need someone else to spur me out the door.
We painted outside for a few hours Thursday and Friday, first at the Chalfonte Hotel in Cape May, and then down at the party boat/whale watcher dock.
The first three paintings here are Mike's--again, the great greens! Mike also draws well but doesn't let the drawing confine his painting. And his colors are so bright and fresh.

I really love the colors in this one: that bright blue in the roof and the reds in his greens. Those dots on the left are delightful--they make me think of David Hockney! ;-) 

This is a view of the back of the Chalfonte, a large and complex building. Mike's cropping makes the most of the various angles; and again there's a modern or abstract element, in the  blue- and yellow-filled square windows.
And here are two of mine. Mike wants to learn from me, but looking at the results of our outing, I'd say I have a lot to learn from him too!
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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

coming about

Trying to get back into the swing of painting, if not daily, frequently. Once you get out of the habit, it's hard to work it back in ... but necessary.
I found a site today that will print your blog in book form: Blog2Print. You can print all the posts within a range of dates or pick and choose posts ...
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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

wip: peg and dan

These are my parents, Peg and Dan. I took the picture I'm working from when I was working in Manhattan, their hometown, and they came up to visit me and tour the neighborhood where they grew up, Yorkville. I took them on a handsome cab ride through Central Park, something none of us had ever done. They're looking at the buildings around the park, and their faces are rapt.
I started this with glazes of raw sienna, permanent rose, and cobalt; then added some burnt sienna. And now I'm a bit stymied--I don't really know what to do next.
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Thursday, August 19, 2010

wanted: inspiration

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!


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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Thursday, August 05, 2010

mike's vi paintings

Ever seen the TV show "Worst Week Ever"? That's this week for me: every day one or more things goes wrong on one or more fronts. I just hope it doesn't turn into "Worst Fortnight Ever"!
When things are at the worst is when you have to rely on your friends, as I'm doing in this post ... I haven't anything to add to my blog this week, so my friend Mike is letting me post the paintings he made in April in the Virgin Islands. 

Aren't these superb? I really like the way Michael handled his greens: he didn't know how scared we all are of green. Look at how he varies the greens in the receding hills or added red to the greens behind the William Thornton, or Willie T as it's called. (He must've painted this in the morning after all the naked revelers had dinghied home. Lots of opportunities for life drawing there! )
I'm not 100 percent sure but I think these are all postcard-size.

And in all of them I love the simple, straightforward description of the water: a dash of blue.
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Sunday, August 01, 2010


More fishing boats. I feel like I've lost a little energy in this one, though there are parts of it I like.
I'm going to change subject matter for a bit and come back to the fishing boats later.
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