Friday, July 3, 2020

Luscious

Another of the "This makes me hungry" paintings:

Strawberry Shortcake, Guilty Pleasures Series, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Thin Line Fatigue

Painting the lines of the wood grain is a challenge. The wood is mostly a warm color, and the grain lines are very dark; then the values change depending on whether there's a cast shadow or a highlight on a water spill. I'm trying to add a little dimension to the color as well, with some orange and deeper earth tones here and there. But it's fatiguing.

Two Spoons, Guilty Pleasures Series, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Revisiting 4th Street

The emptiness of the right side has been bothering me, so I went back to this one after working on the Somerville painting this morning.

4th Street, San Francisco, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
And I have to admit to still being flummoxed by this one. I've been studying leafy shadows for a week or so but am still unable to translate those observations into paint applications that make sense.
 
Light And Shadow, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 

House Painting

Painting straight lines is tedious, so I avoid them as much as possible, but today I had to bite the bullet and work on the lines of the house and the nasty picket fence. I'd rather be doing the flowers.

Somerville Roses, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

4th Street

I know it doesn't look like much work got done on this today, but I did add a lot of form to smaller areas, mostly in the center. I like the variety of people.

4th Street, San Francisco, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Monday, June 29, 2020

A Good Day In The Studio

Today I felt very relaxed, calm, and able to focus without a sense of urgency. Maybe because I listened to music instead of the news?

Sara Driving Across The Desert, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
All of today's work on this painting was on the left side: Sara, the view out the window behind her, and the inside of the car's roof.

The Big Repaint

I've never been satisfied with this painting, and after retrieving it from the basement and taking a hard look at it, I realized it was unfinished, anyway. So in the interest of finishing the Postcards series, I'm repainting it. There is now a wide swath of green where there used to be clouds and hills; I moved the skyline way up on the picture plane.

A Bend In The River, Postcard Series #13, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Gratification

There is something nice about being able to paint in a looser style, so I'm concentrating on landscapes lately. This doesn't mean I won't get back to the tighter stuff soon; that fire extinguisher is begging to be finished. But I did enjoy spotting in the yellow sunflowers this morning.

Bluemont Vineyard With Sunflowers, Virginia Vineyard Series, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Sunday Painter

I really felt like working this morning. I'm probably going to leave the sky alone going forward on this one; sometimes clouds are easier to paint than other times, and I think the fact that the structure is so clear in the reference photo helped a lot in this morning's session. I like the way this is shaping up, though it's a bit gloomier than the rest of the Postcards series.

Queens Cove, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Finishing, and Some Fun With The Palette Knife

After a two day break from painting, I got to work and finished two pieces:

Contra Costa Marshland #4, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
The marshland painting finishes up the Contra Costa series, so that's one set I can check off my list.
 
L'Auberge Provençale, February, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
I repainted the rabbit on the porch twice; am not 100% sure about it, so will wait a few days to decide. But otherwise, the painting's done.
 
Moving on; I played with the palette knife, trying to get the feel of it.Some angles are better than others, and it seems you have to collect the paint on the underside of the knife to apply it.

Untitled, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
And last, I evened out the sky, but it did obscure the tree branches, so I'll have to plot them out again.
 
Tidal Basin, Postcards Series #15, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Dry Pants

It took well over a week for the waiter's pants to dry, but now that they are, I was able to get in and do some work on this one. Today I glazed a combination of warm hues over parts of the ceiling, and darkened the far wall; also the interior of the framed painting.

Specials Of The Day, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

A Fourteen Brush Day

I decided to start with the inside left corner of the case and work from left to right, and top down, using only three colors plus white: Payne's Gray, which tends toward the blue; Ivory Black, which is supposed to be neutral but I find it to look rather warm; and Gris Froid. There's a lot of value change due to the  reflections on the glass, which required a lot of brushes. But it's moving in the right direction. This is on my list of priorities for finishing.

In Case Of Emergency, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

I'm Just Not Sure About That Rabbit

This is about as close to being finished as it could possibly be; the only thing that looks like it's going to need touch-up is the wooden white rabbit that sticks out like a sore thumb, as we say. The rabbit is the mascot, if you will, of the inn, so it should be in the picture; but it needs to be toned down to match the atmosphere.

L'Auberge Provençale, February, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Monday, June 22, 2020

And Two More, Before The Rain

There's a thunderstorm on the way, so I want to get these published before we (possibly) lose power.

Bluemont Vineyard With Sunflowers, Virginia Vineyard Series, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
Variations on a Theme 2a, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 

Two Little Landscapes

The heat of Summer is beginning, so I'm trying to finish up the big tasks out in the yard before it becomes unbearable. But in between, I'm working on the landscapes today; will get to the Bluemont with Sunflowers one next.
Contra Costa Marshland #4, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
 

Queens Cove, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Jumping The Gun

I should have waited another day for the dark tree branches to dry. You can see the streaking. Oh well; fixable.
Tidal Basin, Postcards Series #15, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
Also: repainted the house in the background:
 
Somerville Roses, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
 
 


Friday, June 19, 2020

Turns Out Alizarin Was The Right Choice

Last time I worked on this painting I mused that perhaps Alizarin Crimson would be a better choice for the smaller, darker roses. So today I tried it, and it looks good. I also added a lot of green leaves and modified some of the roses. It hasn't been a very productive day but at least I got something done.

Somerville Roses, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

The Last Of The Postcards

Well, it's a start. I figure if I brush in the most obvious lines of the trees in a dark color, when I paint the blue sky over them, they'll show through. This will finish up the Postcards series, which I'd always intended to comprise 15 paintings. The color of the cherry blossom clusters is such a peculiar mix I can't wait to start working on them.

Tidal Basin, Postcards Series #15, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Discouraged

In an attempt to get rid of the yellow cast on the upper right hand corner of the case, I got confused about which colors to use. Payne's Gray? Gris Froid? Ivory Black? My friend S. is right; I should always write down the combination of colors I use on every painting for future reference. So, I botched it today; the paint was either too warm or too cool and I can't remember what I used on it the last time. Plus, the blending is difficult. You get to the end of a long stroke, and when you go back to the start of the blend, you've got a color value on the brush that's either too light or too dark. So now it looks streaky.

In Case Of Emergency, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
And on top of everything else, that upper right hand corner— on which I used straight out of the tube Titanium White— STILL looks yellow.

This Makes Me Hungry

Aside from the fact that there are hours to go on this piece, it's shaping up reasonably well. Today I attacked the plate, the spoon on the left, and added some more detail and color to the upper part of the table.

Two Spoons, Guilty Pleasures Series, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Sara

The way the light falls on Sara as she drives creates the most beautiful colors: pale cerulean, shadowy umber, rosy pink and ochre. Some of it is from the light coming through the window; then there's an orange glow on the jawline that seems to be reflected light from whatever she's wearing. I'm trying to do it justice and also get the drawing right; am having trouble with the nose and lower lip.

Sara Driving Across The Desert, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

No Rain Yet

...so I am off to the garden, but here's today's work so far:

Bluemont Vineyard With Sunflowers, Virginia Vineyard Series, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

A Summer Of Learning And Experimentation

I'm signed up for a Zoom course in painting with a regional artist who seems to know his way around paint, so that's exciting, and I hope to learn a lot from it. Also, have been trying to emulate the way other artists whose use of color and brushwork and glazing I admire. Some things are going well, others... well, let's just say they need some serious problem-solving.

Here's the little postcard painting with the sky painted in a wet-into-wet method:

Queens Cove, Postcards Series #14, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
I spent a long time staring at this next one today. I didn't like the way it looked in pink and blue; it was too saccharine. The dark shadows I painted in today are too dark, though, and now it's chaotic. I can't seem to align the paint with my vision of how this one should look.
 
Light And Shadow, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
And then there's this one: the color is way off here; the top third is actually a light turquoise. It's just supposed to be a recreational piece, and I'm thinking of using a palette knife instead of a brush on successive layers.
 
Bright Sky, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
We've had extraordinary weather for the last two days, which accounts for my lack of easel time. I've gotten so much done in the garden, despite my gimpy (but healing) knee. And through some miracle, the mosquito population is was down this year, in spite of a very wet spring. Now the weather forecast is for rain, rain, thunderstorms, and then more rain for the next 5 days, so I should be doing lots more painting.
 



Sunday, June 14, 2020

Finishing

None of us knows what the future has in store; with this (and the pandemic) in mind I decided to finish some series work that has been left incomplete over the years. Just looking around the studio, I can identify 7 different series that need one or two pieces to finish them. These two are a step in that direction.

Queens Cove, Postcards Series, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
Contra Costa Marshland #4, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Green, And More Green

I put together a palette of greens (well, plus the colors that combine to make them) and some earth colors, so since that's ready I can use it on several paintings. Here are a couple I worked on this afternoon.

Bluemont Vineyard With Sunflowers, Virginia Vineyard Series, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
Variations On A Theme 2a, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 

Two Desserts

Those rounded plates are trouble, especially when seen on an angle. And the colored rings don't make things any easier.

Île Flottante, Guilty Pleasures Series, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
Banana Cream Pie, Guilty Pleasures Series, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 

Finished!

This one came together rapidly toward the end. I couldn't justify it as "After Eaton" anymore because I really don't think it qualifies as a tonalist painting, so I'm changing the name.

North Country Sunset, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Friday, June 12, 2020

Slapdash

I still don't feel like working on anything that requires a tight hand, though I might try to pick up on one of the desserts later. I blame today's poor working session on multiple interruptions, bad brushes, equally bad decisions, and the knowledge that there is an absurdly beautiful day going on in the window behind me.

I changed a lot of the color in this one; not sure that the carmine I picked for the red roses is correct, though when mixed with white it produces a pretty pink in the whiter roses. I think I want something more like an Alizarin, something cooler, more towards a purple. Anyway, the old brushes I used make it impossible to paint a straight line when it's needed, like on the pickets. So I overpainted them and will trim them back with the darkest shadow color.

Somerville Roses, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Thursday, June 11, 2020

The Blue Vase

I had planned to work solely on the snapdragons today, and maybe even finish them, but the lure of the oddly colored daffodils was too much to resist. So only the snaps at upper left got any work; the dafs are still unresolved but the fine tuning will have to wait until they dry.

The Blue Vase, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Art Therapy

Once in a while, everyone has a really bad day. I won't go into personal details, but that was today for me. Couldn't focus on the paintings that need attention to detail, so I worked on a couple of landscapes. The Contra Costa one will be the fourth and final one I'd always planned for the series.

Contra Costa Marshland #4, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
Untitled Sunset, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 

Monday, June 8, 2020

Starting The Week With Dessert

Hard to believe I spent almost two hours on this painting this morning, but that's what happened. I paid attention to tiny details in the wood grain, the water ring, and the shadows on the plate; also the little whipped cream blob in the upper left. 

It's a rare, beautiful day outside, so after painting I worked in the yard; probably will put the brushes away for the rest of the afternoon.


Two Spoons, Guilty Pleasures Series, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)


Sunday, June 7, 2020

So Much Blending

This is another one of those paintings that I find difficult to work on. I used 18 different brushes on this today, trying to get seamless blends on both the box and the fire extinguisher, and I can't say it looks much better than it did before I started. And for the life of me, I can't understand why the top of the box always photographs with a yellowish tinge.

In Case Of Emergency, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Last Dessert For The Week

There's so much more work to be done on this painting. That large area on the lower right of the plate will eventually have a lacy white doily on it; first, though, I have to make sure the underlying tones are correct. There's a place, for example, where there's some reddish reflected light. And I need to get the shape of the bowl right. And there's some chocolate that spills out over the rim. But here's today's adjustments:

Pot De Crème, Guilty Pleasures Series, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Friday, June 5, 2020

Making Changes In Small Corners

In the interest of making this look more 3-dimensional, I added some dark touches and some glazing here and there. Also a little work on the spoon handle.

Strawberry Shortcake, Guilty Pleasures Series, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Swamp Flowers And Stars

Adding the details of the whitish flowers outside the window and the stars on the blouse have made a huge difference. The painting looks more finished (it's not) and it has more feeling.

The Promise Of Evening, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Now I Remember Why I Shelved This Series

Because it is beyond tedious.

4th Street, San Francisco, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Loosening Up

Worked on this solely as a tension release this afternoon.

After Eaton, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)