Friday, February 27, 2015

Cabin Fever / Winter Weary

 Whatever you call it, it's happening.
I'm "escaping" by playing around with images
having anything to do with tropical sun light.  

Straw Hat
9 x 12

This started as an idea for a class exercise.
 I ended up taking it a bit further,
because I didn't want to
leave the scene!


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Design Decisions

Doing a quick Four Value study
before you begin painting  
is a great designing tool.

This week I gave my class random photos of simple subjects in strong light, 
either found on line or taken by me and printed on copy paper. 
We outlined the big shapes with markers, 
then "assigned" each shape one of four values,
making our design decisions.  
D -Dark
DG- Dark Grey 
LG- Light Grey
W- white

 We then mixed up a pile of each value, using black and white, 
 and filled in the shapes, focussing on the subject first.
The background values were then based on
what would make the subject "pop".

My 20 minute demo
I chose Light Grey for the background so I wouldn't lose the hat. 
And added the highlight to the rim.  

This gal made the background (table cloth) the dark value,
only to realize that left no room for the shadow!  

Look at how much more dramatic it is after she changed it to white!

Here are just a few of the amazing results:

The purpose of this exercise is to help you see VALUE more clearly. 
By simplifying everything in to big shapes, 
you learn to make necessary design decisions. 
The results are stronger, more dramatic paintings. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Google Inspiration

I was googling around looking at paintings of beach scenes 
and came across this gem from a
Los Angeles Modern Auction blog written in 2010. 

"Cagnes" (Three Bathers)

"The composition of three women talking casually at the beach is, 
at first glance, fairly straight forward. 
But the more I look at it, the more interesting it becomes.  
I think there are sly references to the classical, time-honored subjects like 
The Three Graces and Sirens come to mind.  
Also, more recently, the artist is apparently tipping his hat to Wayne Thiebaud 
and/or the early California 50’s and 60’s  work of Diebenkorn."

I have to be careful when I do this. 
Hours can go by without my even noticing! 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Staying With It

I've worked on this for the passed three days. 
The larger format really exaggerates "the wrinkles"
and every mis-quided stroke stands out! 
I took an image of the painting at the end of each day,
only to then realize something was always "off".
I did a lot of scraping and re-arranging and 
had to use a lot of paint to keep the colors clean. 

Low Tide Jersey Shore 
20 x 20 

This is a frustrating way to work for me. 
 It's hard for me to keep the spontaneity and 
freshness when I go over and over an area.  
It starts to feel too forced! 

When the amazing artist Jane Filer was asked,
"How do you know when a painting is finished?"
she said;
"When I feel really good about every inch of it." 

What a great lesson. 
That said, I almost feel like doing this again.
Now that I know the pitfalls!   

Monday, February 16, 2015

Nothing is normal

 Nothing has been "normal" since it started snowing in mid-January. 
The intense weather has been very challenging 
and rather disconcerting at times,
so it's been hard to settle down enough to paint. 

 Today I finally got a chance to try an idea
 I've been thinking about 
for my Expressive Painting classes. 
The idea is to choose a mood or feeling 
and create a painting (from photos) 
gearing every stroke toward expressing that feeling. 

"Summer Celebration"
16 x 20 oil 

I wanted to express that glorious 
"hot summer day at the beach" feeling. 
After looking at all this snow 
I needed to get some color in my life. 
And boy, did that feel good!    

I can't complain. 
While I've been warm and comfy inside, 
my husband has been doing this. 
Instead of a Snowbird, 
I'm afraid he's become a Snowblower. 

Thanks Honey! 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Looking Forward!

Maybe this will give anyone in New England right now
something to look forward to!

Two Day Workshops:

30 minute demo
8 x 8 oil 

"Learn how to take and use photos as a reference 
for more expressive paintings. 
The “One Hour Painting” approach will be covered as we 
explore ways to loosen up and disregard details in photos. 
Through demos, exercises and critiques, we will discuss how to 
manipulate photos in order to tell a story in a simple organized way."

Schedule so far:  

Cohasset, MA
April 30, May 1

Rockport Art Association 
Rockport, MA
May 28 - 29.

Barnstable, MA 
September 19, 20 

Be safe and warm! 
We WILL get through this. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Beach Volleyball

Last winter we met some friends at restaurant on Deerfield Beach in Florida 
where there was a beach volleyball tournament going on.  
I thought that would be a great subject for a painting
and took a ton of pictures.

I just found them and got inspired to try one. 
Still working on a title. 

16 x 20 

A fun subject. 
You've gotta love the uniforms.  


Saturday, February 7, 2015

Color Taking Center Stage

 I did this quick experiment yesterday using bold colors,
with little to no concern about value. 
Again, this is new to me.
Especially since all I talk about in my classes is
Value, Value, Value!
("Color gets all the credit,
value does all the work")

12 x 16 oil

My pal Sue Dragoo recently sent me a link
 to this incredible artist Paul Norwood .
I got inspired to let COLOR take center stage for a change.

"Low Tide" 12 x 12 oil 
by Paul Norwood 

Fun stuff!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


When the Pats won the Super Bowl, 
I started thinking about how I could express that 
moment of total exhilaration  
with paint!  
Talk about a Celebration! 

12 x 16 

This was more difficult than it looks. 
I had to force myself to just make marks.
Spots of colors and their relationships to each other.  
I wanted to keep the colors bright and clean so
instead of middle grey,
I toned the board with yellow acrylic
 and did the map in red acrylic.

This approach is totally foreign to me.
Not having any value patterns to work with, 
I find I have to be more creative! 

Thanks to all the storms, 
I've been "stuck in the office"
 for hours on end. 
Not a bad gig.