It's been almost two months since I've written in my blog. Time sure does fly! In October I attended a workshop with Daniel Keys in Putney, VT and this is a piece I painted in class. Each of the three days was spent watching Daniel demo in the morning a different approach to how he begins a painting. Then we tackled our own set ups in the manner he showed. What a challenge it was to paint out of my comfort zone and follow his lead. Daniel did an awesome job attending to each student's set up and helping them "see" more clearly. A lesson I surely need to cultivate.
I began this painting in August and its finally finished. Red is my favorite color but awfully difficult to photograph. It took me quite some time to get the warm and cool reds to read correctly. I generally start by blocking in the colors then building more values to add depth. I'm going to miss the summer flowers come winter! Available on Ebay.
Recently I painted with the Rancocas Valley Plein Air Painters and found this great spot called the Canoe Launch at historic Smithville Park in Mt. Holly, NJ. It was a very windy day and my easel ended up taking a dive but I managed to scrape away the dirt and finish the painting.
Today I painted a bouquet of Peruvian Lilies. Wow...what a challenge! I began by blocking in each color family then started with the shadow areas. The next step was to begin laying in lighter values all the while squinting like crazy to simplify the basic shapes. The background color is a mix of my palette colors grayed down quite a bit. This style of painting is out of my comfort zone but I wanted to try something new. I normally paint on a dark background (see the dark foam core board I propped up behind the vase) but thought I'd try something different.
Week before last, I attended a still life workshop with Elizabeth Robbins hosted by the Highlands Art Gallery in Chester, NJ. The workshop accompanied her One Woman Show at the gallery from June 5 - June 30. I had a feeling the workshop was going to be special upon arriving at the Gallery. Liz had shipped a full set of props and fabrics from her studio for our use in setups. In addition to the props, the Gallery supplied a vast array of amazing high quality flowers from local growers. We got to choose from several varieties of peonies, daisies and David Austin roses. Fresh fruit and vegetables were also available for the choosing.
Liz started the workshop with a three hour demo where she talked about her thought process behind putting together a setup. Topics she covered included lighting, composition, concept, edges, values, temperature and texture. After lunch we gathered the elements we wanted to use in our designs and began our setups. The remainder of the day was spent blocking in our designs and putting a little color on our canvases. Liz reviewed each setup and offered advice on how to improve the arrangements.
Day 1 & 2 Set Up
Day 3 Set Up - Gay Paris Peonies
During the second and third days of the workshop Liz painted mini demos focusing on brass, silver and leaves. She was truly interested in helping us improve areas we struggled to comprehend. This was evident throughout the workshop as she repeatedly asked for feedback on the techniques she covered. Her premise was not to teach us to paint but to teach us to "see".
Not only is Liz a truly gifted artist, she shared what she knew to all her students without hesitation. It was a great workshop.
I've been looking for a local group to paint with for some time. A friend of mine introduced me to a group called the Rancocas Valley Plein Air Painters. It meets every Tuesday afternoon at various locations in south Jersey. Last week we met at Allen's Farm Museum in Southampton, NJ. It's fun to network with other fellow artists and take my painting on the road.
This small 6 x 8 study is my version of a scene where I used my artistic license to modify the painting for interest. The tree on the left, red blossoms and fence are fabricated from my imagination. It's available on Ebay.
I began this painting last spring when these Knock Out Roses were in full bloom. Between the light source and all the floppy petals, I put the painting aside thinking I would finish it when I felt more confident. Sometimes a painting doesn't go well on the first go around and its better to let it be. I'm pleased with the results and can't wait to gather more this year and try my hand at it again. Stay tuned! Available on Ebay.
I've just about had it with the snow and am dying to sink my toes into the nice warm sand at the beach. I dug out a photo of a jetty in Cape May, New Jersey that I thought would make a great painting. It was fun (and challenging) trying to paint the rocks that were sunlit next to the those covered with ocean spray. The cool and warm colors show the contrast in temperature I saw in the photo. Can't wait to paint at the beach this summer!
A friend of mine vacationed in the Outer Banks last summer and took this photo one evening. The snow this winter is getting to be a little much this year, so I just had to paint this scene to remind me of the many beach vacations I've had over the years. Can't wait until spring! Available on Ebay.
As soon as I saw the Mexican pottery on the shelf I knew I had to get it. It was one of those items you see and it speaks to you. The shape of the pot was tricky to get right. I used a mirror, turned the canvas upside down then I finally took a picture of it and viewed it on my computer screen before I could see what was off. What a challenge!
When I painted the Calla Lily I premixed the warm and cool colors I saw in the set up. Lately I've been painted this way and it seems to help when I look at the subject instead of brush mixing. As I mix the colors I hold them up to the area I'm trying to duplicate for accuracy. One of the things I struggle with is painting shadows that are way too dark and I think this helps.
Copper is one of my favorite metals to paint. I especially liked it together with the small persimmons. Even though this painting was difficult to photograph, I think it finally came out ok. Available on Ebay.
I started this painted a while ago and finally got around to finishing it. The peel of the clementine was so long I had to use my artistic license and shorten it a bit. The colors are bright and remind me of summer. Available on Ebay.
I've been having a lot of fun painting this drip pottery vase. It is so interesting, as every side looks totally different. My favorite color is red and I thought this gerbera daisy looked beautiful on the teal cloth used as a backdrop. This is my first painting of 2010 and I plan on doing a series of daily paintings that I will post on Ebay for sale.