Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ocean in Motion

In January, The South Shore Art Center is hosting a Juried show entitled "Motion"
While thinking about things that are in constant motion,  I came up with, of course, the ocean! 
These are two quick studies I did to explore that as my subject.  

6 x 6 

6 x 6

Friday, November 26, 2010

Marching Bands

To me, there is nothing more emotionally moving and spiritual than a marching band. 
I get so worked up, sometimes I even cry! 

"School Spirit"
10 x 10 

 The reference photo for this was taken as the U Mass Marching Band marched by us at a football game.
I was enthralled. 
Our "Girls Just Wanna Paint" challenge topic this month is "Spirit" (Holiday or otherwise) 
This will be my entry.  

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Since I have been doing a lot of polishing, cleaning, baking, and cooking these last couple of days and not a lot of painting, I thought I'd post my all time favorite Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving painting.

May you all be surrounded by family, friends and lots of good food! 
(And be as happy this bunch!)  

Monday, November 22, 2010

Holidays are Here!

This Saturday, December 4 from 9 - 3 the James Library is hosting a Holiday Trunk Show. 
 Every year they ask local artists to paint or decorate something to sell. 
This year it's shiny balls! 
My pal Sally and I primed ours with Kilz and painted them with acrylics. 
Then,  I got a quick lesson on making a cool tag for it on Photoshop!

I guess I couldn't stop there. 
I had to paint the shiny ball, after I painted it. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Going Out With A Bang

Fall in New England is certainly going out with a bang this year! 

Late afternoon light on Union Street

My take on the scene
10 x 12

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Painting Interiors

It's that time of year when I start thinking about painting interiors. 
(I guess that happens when you're forced inside.) 

"Off Season"
10 x 10  
I did this from an image I took inside a seaside cottage that was closed up for the winter. 
I was after that sense of emptiness; a "time standing still" moment. 

Interiors present some interesting challenges.  
The "So What?" factor: Interiors are generally very personal spaces, so in order for the painting to be interesting, you have to offer the viewer something interesting; great paint handling, a strong sense of light and shadow, extraordinarily good values etc. 
Then there is the "Perspective Is Important" factor: Because correct perspective is key in such a static subject, it's really hard to go in with big, loose brushstrokes without drawing the key lines first, and doing that tends to stiffen up the painting right from the get go. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Magic of Plein Air Painting

At the last minute yesterday,  I was able to take an amazing plein air workshop with two very accomplished and talented artists; Page Railsback and Lisa Daria Kennedy
It was held on a privately owned piece of land that sits on a rocky bluff surrounded on three sides by water.  There are all kinds of very weathered, rather higgly piggly cottages, barns and boat houses out there, and the brilliant early winter light by the sea and warm temps made it all pretty magical.

Page's  demo
Acrylic on large paper stapled to a board.
I would never have thought to make the sky orange!

Lisa 's demo
Acrylic on a 4 x 4 panel
She puts a stroke down and leaves it alone.
Fun to watch!

Both artists use acrylics. 
Although their approaches are very different, they do not draw anything on the canvas before painting. They just start right in with paint! 
The results are some pretty amazing loose and abstract paintings. 

My attempt at putting strokes down and leaving it alone.
6 x 6


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Final Exam

For the last class of this session, we quickly reviewed all the lessons we covered in the 8 weeks.
I then set up a rather difficult set up so they could practice everything they have learned. 

My Demo
8 x 10

The results were amazing!
They each took new ideas, concepts, and techniques and adapted them to their own sensibility!
They are all still painting "like themselves", but they've got some new tools to work with.
And I'd say they definitely see better!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Holiday Sales

Tonight I am dropping off 20 unframed paintings for the Annual North River Arts Holiday Sale taking place this weekend.(Sat and Sun 10 - 4) Artists can put in up to 20 pieces, framed or unframed "priced to sell" (most selling in the under $200 price range)
This event poses many questions. Is it a good idea to "let your work go" at discounted prices?  Does it de-value your "good" work out there if you sell your "not-so-good" work cheaply? Do you really want your "not-so-good" work out there with your name on it?

Here are some samples of what I'm submitting

Distant 4th Cliff
6 x 12 unframed

9 x 12 unframed
Humarock Hills
12 x 12 unframed
 While I really like all the paintings I am putting in, most of them were done a while ago and it's time for me to move on and make room for new work! 
Besides, I'd rather have them out there making someone happy than hanging around my studio.

Better get there early!  

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Practice What Your Preach

Last week I had a chance to give a three hour workshop to a group of "mature and low key" gals (their term, not mine) who paint together and wanted "to loosen up!" It was a great opportunity for me to
"practice what I preach!"
My 20 minute demo
8 x 10
Strong light, big brush, lots of paint: 
I call it the "drive by shooting" version of painting. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

"Lost Edges" and "Keyed" Paintings: Simplified

 The lesson behind lost edges is that if two shapes the same value meet, paint it as one shape; the edge will disappear, and the viewer can fill in the blanks. Who knew?
The lesson behind "keying" a painting is to discipline yourself to using ONLY the three highest, or the three lowest, values on the value scale in a single painting. (Like playing a piano.)

The "High Key" set up

The "Low Key" set up 
Not the best images.
 (Both were lit with a full spectrum 75 w bulb, and annoying ambient light)

My 20 minute Demo 
 sample of class work! 

What a Challenge!
Try it.
You'll like it!