Monday, March 14, 2011

sunday on the porch with mike

My painting

Whenever I visit my friends Lisa and Mike now, Mike and I set up a little still life to paint. We paint, Lisa knits, and we talk and drink Mimosas. Not a bad way to start the week.

The setup this time consisted of a pewter vase, a pepper mill, a red bell pepper, and a leek. In our first drawings we both included all of the still life (and then some), but for the second try, both sensibly edited.
I love Mike's bell pepper, but am really impressed with the vase, which he has endowed with a luminosity it doesn't possess! Mike's painting

It also just works better in the composition than mine did; mine is dominating and boring. I may try to fix it by adding the pepper mill, but may also just move on!
My first start
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Saturday, March 12, 2011

touch of spring

The last two days--sunny, 50 degrees--have brought on spring fever. I had to stay in and work, but I went to the store and bought a small bunch of daffodils from Ireland; mine aren't up yet.
I painted these without drawing first, which helps me from getting too rigid ... although I did overdo these just a bit, as you can see from the in-progress one, below.

The daily poem from

The Uses of Poetry
by William Carlos Williams

I've fond anticipation of a day
O'erfilled with pure diversion presently,
For I must read a lady poesy
The while we glide by many a leafy bay,

Hid deep in rushes, where at random play
The glossy black winged May-flies, or whence flee
Hush-throated nestlings in alarm,
Whom we have idly frighted with our boat's long sway.

For, lest o'ersaddened by such woes as spring
To rural peace from our meek onward trend,
What else more fit? We'll draw the latch-string

And close the door of sense; then satiate wend,
On poesy's transforming giant wing,
To worlds afar whose fruits all anguish mend.
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Tuesday, March 08, 2011

thinking v doing

An imagined marsh: practice showing distance.
I want to do some paintings with skies that are not blue.

Ever since I found out I was accepted to Easels in Frederick, I have been thinking a lot about landscape painting, which is no substitute for doing landscape painting but which will be a good break from what I have been thinking about for the last month: decorating! I've been gathering paint swatches, flooring samples, and fabrics ... (Now I just have to teach myself how to sew ... and varnish floors and do mosaics ...)
But first, the requirements for Easels in Frederick: I have to write a short bio, which is something I really hate to do, or even contemplate, since I haven't done it. Do you think "Laura Starrett lives, works and paints in South Jersey" will do? Perhaps I can ask someone else to write it for me?

And I must submit a photo of myself, "preferably painting." These are my two choices: a photo my friend Shelby took of me painting at the Santuario del Chimayo three (I think) years ago or a painting Shelby did of me last fall when we attended the Charles Reid workshop together.
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Tuesday, March 01, 2011

another fine mess ...

A friend and I entered the Easels in Frederick plein air competion: 30 artists would be selected to paint in Frederick, MD, for three days in June and then show their work and compete for prizes.
These are the three paintings I submitted with my application: all painted en plein air.

The artists who were chosen were announced today and I'm one of them! I'm stunned, and terrified.
Most of the artists have websites where you can view their work, and the ones I've looked at are very professional ... and all oil painters.
I think they may have wanted to throw a watercolorist into the mix.

Anyway, I better get busy practicing my drawing, painting, and setup, and getting my legs and arms in condition!