Sunday, December 9, 2018

Small "Abstract" Watercolors

While watching the Pats game
I played with a small pad, marker and watercolors.
Trying to think abstractly 
I started with 5 shapes of varying sizes and color.
No reference.  

That didn't last long. 
This became the pizza we had during the game. 

This became an appetizer plate

And of course, a beach scene. 

It's funny how our brain reads shapes and 
we immediately identify them as something. 
I find it a challenge to think of 
just shapes and their relationships with each other. 

Monday, December 3, 2018

Works in Progress (WIP'S)

I've been working on the series of paintings using 
New England architecture as a thread. 
I currently have several 
"works in progress" 
of varying sizes, mediums, and surfaces. 
I'm working on them simultaneously 
and over numerous sessions. 

Still focussing on color harmonies, 
edges, and texture.  
Here are some of them in different stages. 
8 x 8 oil on carton board 

8 x 8 acrylic on Canson Canva paper 

 8 x 8 Acrylic on canva paper 

6 x 6 acrylic on canva paper 

I'm trying to let the paintings evolve over time. 
All of these need more "tweeking" one way or another
an some may not even survive.

We'll see where that goes!  

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Revisiting a Favorite Subject

Another experiement layering with acrylics.
Focussing on an old favorite subject;
New England architecture,
I'm exploring color harmony,
edges and texture.  

Hadley Heaven
10 x 10 

Thanks to my friend Page,
who shared the image with me, 
and here's the Procreate sketch I used as reference. 

"Finding my voice" 
one baby step at a time.
What an adventure! 

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Acrylics vs. Oils

I now have two set ups for painting in my studio. 
One for oils and one for acrylics. 

I'm discovering that acrylics are more suitable for 
the layering approach I'm experiementing with.  

Pink Chairs
8 x 8 acrylic 

You don't have to wait in between layers 
and you can keep on working 
without causing "mud."
It's very forgiving. 

That said, 
I still love the thick juicy strokes 
you can get with oils.  

I'm painting over old paintings, 
and have to be sure I only use oil
 over an old oil painting. 
Using acrylics over oils is never a good idea! 

Monday, November 19, 2018

Stretching is Good

I'm currently working on interpreting 
a favorite subject 
(beach houses)  
in new and different ways. 

12 x 9 oil 

For this one,
I focussed on texture;
applying the paint in thin layers,
letting them dry in between.

This is new territory for me.
I've been teaching the
"big strokes, lots of paint"
approach for years.

Stretching is good.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Finding My Voice

The final session of the on-line class I'm taking
is "Finding Your Voice".
We've been gathering, compiling, and analyzing 
our personal visual influences; 
including paintings, as well as other art forms.
It's been a revealing and eye-opening exercise.

I recently submitted these pieces 
to the Copley Society Holiday Small Works show, 
where I noticed a common thread in my work.

Corner View 
14 x 14 oil

From Above 
14 x 14 oil

Sky Lit 
14 x 14 oil

Cross Roads 
10 x 8 oil

I clearly have a tendency toward a structural composition,
with "geometric clarity."

Stay tuned! 

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Still Life Collages

Yesterday for our "painting with paper" class at Linden Ponds
 I set up simple still lives, 
and let them "be designers". 

Here are just a few of the results! 

Some of the gals brought in their own  
inspirations to work from. 

The top is a photo her daughter took, 
the bottom is her collage! 

This gal brought I a favorite wooden bird. 

Our daughter just had our fourth Grandchild;
June Everett Colwell 
arrived on Saturday (after many false alarms) 
at a strapping 10 lbs. 

Our oldest, Nico Colella, had his 3rd birthday on the same day! 
4 Grandchildren in 3 years....
life is GOOD! 

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Joys of Teaching

I am newly inspired after teaching a 
 two day workshop last weekend a North River Arts.
We had a terrific group of multi-talented artists 
who were willing (and able) to try anything. 

 Designing with Three Values 

Translating Value to Color 

Two Value, Crazy Color Exercise 

"Pattern" Painting

Collages from Paintings

Paintings from Collages 

(I was so excited about all the work we were doing, 
I didn't get as many images as I'd like.)

As always, it was incredibly fullfilling 
to share ideas, exchange thoughts, 
and just talk "art" for two full days. 

The joys of teaching!

Monday, October 22, 2018

Abstract Exercises

Last week in Nancy Gruskin's class 
we were to integrate the model into a still life. 

This was my attempt using this Milton Avery painting.

Here is the model. 
 I just focussed on her shoes and that fun skirt. 

These are terrific exercises for me;
helping me think less literally
 and be more inventive. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Collages to Abstract

I'm taking a wonderful abstract class
 at Concord Art with Nancy Gruskin.
This week we had a terrific model
who sat for three poses.
We used cut paper as our medium.

I loved those blue suede boots! 

 She had some wonderful outfits! 

We ran out of time for the last one
so I just focussed on her sneakers.

"Painting with Paper" is a great way to break things 
down into big shapes 
and force yourself to simplify! 

Here is Nancy Gruskin's interpretation.

I just love her approach and simplicity. 
It all works on so many levels.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Life Long Learning

The Fall session of Life Long Learning started 
this week at Linden Ponds, 
an Independent Living facility nearby. 
I'm teaching a "Painting with Paper" collage class
similar to the one we did in the spring. 

We started by cutting 5 differet shapes,
different sizes and color. 
Then they all just went to town.    

It's great fun to spend an hour with these very 
intelligent and fascinating people
while they create something.

And the conversation is priceless. 

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Cape Cod Art Conference

I'll be doing a demo at the 
Cape Cod Art Association's
"Mastering Your Mark"
Art Conference 
this Sunday October 14.

My presentation will be the  
"Limited Stroke" exercise;
geared toward loosening up and using more paint. 

Come join in for a day of talking "art"! 

Friday, October 5, 2018

Paint Application

While looking closley at work by some of my favorite artists, 
I'm becoming more aware of differerent paint applications 
and the use of edges. 

As a quick exercise I set up a simple still life 
(a red apple on a white plate on a blue cloth) 
and painted it using four different approaches. 

(I will use these for teaching) 

#1. Large brush, simple shapes, lots of paint, dark to light
(oil a la PKR)

#2. Drawn with a ruler, flat shapes of color, sharp edges
(oil a la Catherine Kehoe) 

#3 Layered acrylics thinly with a small brush, without outlining any shapes.
(A la MDN)

#4 For this one I didn't use a reference, limited the number of shapes, 
applied thin layers of paint, scraped, wiped...just experimented. 

I'm not entirely certain where any of this will take me,
but I'm learning what approaches suit me (and my muse) best.
I tend to want to paint quickly and use a lot of paint,
so slowing down, layering, and using a small brush 
is a bit daunting!