Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Mark Daniel Nelson's book

I just received my back ordered copy of Mark Daniel Nelson's book:
"Learn to Paint in Acrylics with 50 Small Paintings"

I've been a huge fan of his work for ages 
so I'm excited to try some of these lessons 
and share them with students.
He takes expressive painting and simplification
to whole new level!

I highly recommend this well organized
and beautifully produced "how to" book
 to painters of any medium and level!  

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Representational / Expressive Experiment

 I tried an experiment here that I may present to my students.

Play Time 
9 x 12 

I painted this one from a photo, very representationally, 
almost copying the image exactly. 

Then I challenged myself to paint the same subject
more expressively. 

Play Time 2 
9 x 12 

In the end,  I think this may be one of those images that works 
so well as a photograph,
maybe it doesn't need to be painted? 

This is all about the red frisbee against the neutral white and grey. 
So changing that, changes everything! 

I have a new and improved website! 
Stop by and visit! 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Added Three Classes

This week we talked about making more expressive landscape
paintings from photos. 

Here is my quick 8 x 10 demo 

from this photo

Expressive landscape paintings should not look finished and detailed, like a photo. 
They should celebrate and show off the materials used to create it;
paint and a brush!
The result is something only a painter could produce.  

I have added three classes for the spring session at 
Mondays April 6, 13, 20
1:30 - 4:30 
Contact Laura to sign up! 

I have some fun exercise up my sleeve!  

Monday, March 23, 2015

Low Tide Leisure

Low Tide Leisure 
24 x 36 

I originally made the water really blue
then realized that at low tide, 
you see more sand than water. 

24 x 36 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Using biggest and fewest shapes possible

We did an exercise this week 
that focusses on the pattern created by 
shape, color, and line in a painting. 

The idea is to say everything you need to say 
with the biggest and fewest shapes. 

8 x 10 
In honor of St. Patrick's Day
I did my demo of a man at a bar in a green shirt. 

Here are just a few examples of student work:
I love how everyone interprets the exercise 
in their own style.  

Monday, March 16, 2015

Odd Size!

I love a long horizontal format.  

Lazy Day Line Up 
18 x 48 

I had to jury rig two easels together to hold this one! 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Hazy, Hot and Humid

Hazy, Hot, and Humid
12 x 12 

This painting did not have an easy delivery.  
I had it close to finishing but a 
largish male figure on the right side 
wasn't working. 
While wiping it out I dropped the painting on the floor. 
Face down. 

It had "good bones" so I thought it was worth saving,  
however it's hard to keep the freshness of the original strokes 
when that happens.  
I did a lot of wiping and used a ton of paint! 

I'm not sure about the ocean color. 
Darker may be better, 
but I wanted it to feel like glare.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Expression with Shape, Line, and Color

This week I had everyone choose an image that 
evokes a specific mood or feeling.
They were then asked to write down three words describing
 the feeling or mood the painting was to express. 
Then they wrote down ways they could use
shape, line, and color to evoke that in their painting. 

My 20 minute demo of 
two girls lighting a Sky Lantern. 

We planned our value patterns by using a marker 

on the big shapes directly on the photograph, 
then painted from that, upside down. 

My three words were: 
magical, fire light, nocturnal

The results were amazing. 
Here is just one example.   

Kim printed her photo (right) using a phone app called Pic Palette 
that blurred the lines and broke it down for her. 

Painting it upside down forced her to focus on just shapes.  

This exercise helps you loosen up and 
see big shapes in a whole new way. 
Almost like putting together a puzzle. 

Then it is such a treat to turn them over!  
This says everything she wanted it to.
Winter, Waiting, Patience

 As always I learn so much from these students!  

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Hot Sun Day

Hot Sun Day 
24 x 36 

I think I have finally developed a system for painting larger! 
I covered my Taboret table with freezer paper to use as a pallet
and only used the largest brushes I could manage. 

It is still a challenge,
 but liberating, I must say!  

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Art Snacks!

My sweet and thoughtful son gave me a three month subscription to 
Artsnacks for my birthday this year.
An ingenius concept for artists. 
My first box came today and it included: 
A chamois cloth
Small box of four white soft pastels
A Conte' black sketching pencil 
An orange double- tipped marker 
(a brush and fine point) 
a lollipop and 
an Aqua towel for clean up! 

My goal was to do a sketch using all of the items! 
 The orange marker 

joined by the conte' pencil 

joined by the white pastel and cloth.

And I enjoyed the lollipop while I was posting this! 

What a great idea. 
The gift that keeps on giving! 
Thanks Sebastian! 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Humanity at It's Best

Once I got the idea for this painting I knew it had to be BIG. 
 I had a toned 36 x 24 canvas in the studio, 
so I went for it! 

Humanity at It's Best
24 x 36 

  Spending summers on Long Beach Island, NJ
 as a kid, my Mom would point out how
 "primal" humans become at the beach.
They eat, sleep, play, drink, read;
everything they normally do behind closed doors. 
"And they're half naked!"  

Thanks for the inspiration, Mom!    

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Linen "Panels" at Michael's

I couldn't wait to try out one of the "linen panels"
 I'd found in the Craft section at   
Michael's the other day. 
($4.49 for a 9 x 12) 

The surface sucked up the paint so much 
it felt like walking in 3 feet of snow. 

It was a struggle every step of the way
and the end result was, well, 

9 x 12 
(Quick Linen Experiment) 

It was a fun experiment 
and I recognize the beauty that can be created with linen.
However, I think there is a reason they were in the 
craft section and not the art supply section.   
Oil painting isn't on the "ideal for" list. 
Maybe the clear gesso sealer should be on the front side?  

They also had "denim panels"on the same display. 
Painting on blue jeans?
I should have known.