Friday, February 26, 2016

Maybe This Is Done?

I can't think of anything else to do to it that won't mess it up.

Palatka, Watercolor version, © 2016

But I still have a lot to learn about watercolor.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Apple #1

I think this one is done. Maybe I'll refine that right edge on the apple, but otherwise I can't see much more that needs attention. This is the first of the 9 apples from The Arrow of Time, Or The Second Law of Thermodynamics. It's a series of paintings based on the idea of decay. Each successive piece shows the apple growing older, smaller, more wizened.

The Arrow of Time, © 2016

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

More Oil

The oil version in the Palatka series has been drying for two days now, and because today is dreary and rainy it'll probably need another 24 hours before I can work on it again. That's the drawback to oils. I'll have to find something else to work on.
Palatka, oil version, work in progess, © 2016

Saturday, February 20, 2016

More Water Color

This little watercolor is drying as I type; I added some deeper blues to the sky and the water, but it needs some drama. Maybe more contrast in the clouds? I'll keep working, but am considering using a hot press support rather than cold, a la Burt Silverman. He does such beautiful watercolors using white gouache and a slippery hot press board.

Palatka (watercolor version), work in progress, © 2016

The cold press surface is nice, allowing for some quick and easy definition of clouds, but I might have more luck with hot press.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Palatka and Birds

The two pieces I'm calling the Palatka Series, that view from Amtrak passing through northern Florida at sunset (see older entries below), haven't exactly filled me with joy. Both are in mediums that I rarely work with— pastel and watercolor. Maybe I should make a concerted effort to use them more often; maybe I should just forget about it. But the pastel still needs a lot of work.

Anyway, I was disturbed enough to try the same image in oil paint. And despite the fact that I recently had a conversation with a good artist friend in which we agreed that the world doesn't need a single other impressionist painter, I'm drawn toward a looser style for this one:

Palatka, work in progress, © 2016

It's probably because I'm completely burned out after the weeks and months of my usual precise painting for the January show. Now I just want to "have fun with the paint," as one of my old instructors used to say.

Over the summer, I met an artist in Massachusetts who was doing really lovely landscapes. I asked her what colors she uses for her skies, and she said ultramarine blue, titanium white, alizarin crimson, cerulean blue, and something I'd never heard of before: asphaltum. Asphaltum turns out to be a transparent brown, and it does seem to do wonders to warm up the sky. In lesser amounts it neutralizes the brighter blues and makes them look more natural. So that was a good lesson to learn, much like when I asked P.T. about her color palette, and she introduced me to unbleached titanium and a darker version of ultramarine.

Meanwhile, here is a small painting I'm working on:

Waiting For the Birds To Return, © 2016

Originally it was supposed to have some gnarled, wind-bent trees in the background but now I think they might be too much. And I can see that the sky's too light.