Wednesday, April 8, 2020

I'm Calling This One Finished

It is such a rare thing for me to finish a painting. Some of what you see in this blog, I've been working on for 2 years. Finishing this should be cause for celebration but it's a measly 4" x 4"!

Tiny Sunset, Leesburg, © 2020 (click on image for larger view)

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Bits, Here And There

Mostly just cleaned up a few spots: picked out a little more detail on the trees, evened out the blue shadow on the sidewalk, etc.

For Rent, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

A Clean Background

Today I'm trying to make the background as uniform as possible in preparation for redrawing the plate's contour, which is still a bit wonky.

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

Morning Cheer

Bright colors this morning; I'm working on the irises and extending the height of the vase.

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

And Another Attempt At A Luminous Sky


Forgot to post this one yesterday!

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

I'm going to paint over those small violet clouds near the horizon line; something else would be more interesting.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Maybe A Step In The Right Direction?

I lightened the shadow areas and made them somewhat uniform in color, and I think it looks better. I studied the Charing Cross Bridge paintings of Monet over the weekend, looking for ways to work some interest into the blue shadows. He used a little white, a little turquoise, but mostly just changed the values on the bridge supports. I'll mess around with it some more, but overall, I think this is an improvement.

Light And Shadow, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Cleanup On The Right Sides

Both of these paintings needed refinement on the right sides. I still can't match the vivid blue-purple on the tower of wine bottles, so this will have to do.

  Tuesday, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
And I cleaned up the floor shadows on this one:
 
  For Rent, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 

Stop Before You Ruin It, and Face Coverings

My intentions were good this morning: I set out to make the rim of the plate accurate, but things went wrong very quickly. Rule #1: DUST OFF THE PANEL BEFORE YOU START TO PAINT. I will never learn! The brush kept picking up extremely fine cat hairs and they in turn kept picking up wet paint and dragging it into areas where it didn't belong. Finally I had to stop. But at least a little progress was made.

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

My cat friend, who has very soft, very fine hair/fur, relaxing in his closet cave:

He is wondering why I feel compelled to take yet another photo of him and disturb his nap when I already have 3000+ pictures of him.

Meanwhile: I found an excellent tutorial on making face masks yesterday— or as they want us to refer to them, "face coverings," on YouTube by a woman named Leah Day. I'll link to it here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNX0cRrYj6U

I went through some of my sewing fabric stash last night and figure I can make some of these and donate them to hospitals. They have a pocket for easy placement/removal of filtering material, like paper towels or vacuum cleaner bag filters. Need to look into this more carefully, but what a great idea.



Friday, April 3, 2020

Hacking Around

I don't feel like I did anything useful on these four this morning, but at least I wasn't lying on the couch eating bonbons.

The first one: Maybe slightly better than it was? Still trying to get a handle on the color.

Light And Shadow, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
Next: Still kind of "meh." I'm going to look at a lot of photos of clouds tonight and try to find something that communicates the mood.
 
Sky Over The Sudbury River, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
Moving along: Trying to get a better sense of what I want the sky to look like, sort of more ephemeral. Added more color, let it dry a bit and then smooshed it around.

A Sunset For Karla, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
Finally, picking out some details in the bar window.
 
Waiting At Le Diplomate, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 



 
 
 
 

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Up And At It Before 10 A.M.

For once, I was ready to go early today. And I'd wanted to get back to the dessert series, which I've been ignoring lately in favor of more fun stuff. The red color of the Strawberry Shortcake painting beckoned, so I squeezed out some color and went at it:

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

Then moved on to this; forgetting that I had been planning to stick to finishing just a few of the desserts, I caught a glimpse of the close-up photo of the crackly-surface detail and hatched a plan on how to proceed; First, a midtone layer of squiggly, diagonal strokes in a combination of Yellow Ochre Pale and two yellows; then some Brilliant Yellow Pale (more squiggles) and highlights in white. Every stroke had to be rounded and organic, too.

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

 It looks more realistic. At the end, I placed a few spots of that odd dark color— don't know what the ingredient is— in just a few places here and there. Next time I work on this I'll have to tone down the table color, which looks too bright and very artificial. And every piece in the series needs some refinement on the plates.





Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Buckle Up, Buttercup!

Hauled myself back into the studio and worked on the decoration-laden left side. Those weird looking things are fake poinsettias and sparkly silver painted tree branches. They might be too distracting; I may have to knock them back a bit. Astonishing how much there is left to do on this one.

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

A Wasted Day

At least so far, it's wasted. I can't seem to get into gear with the painting today, and I blame the weather. It's ANOTHER dank, dismal, dreary, damp, overcast, miserable day. And the news isn't too good, either.

Moved one of the sunflowers forward, and it makes a big difference in the mood of the piece. Some of the white daffodils have petals that are unusually colored due to being in the shadows; painting those is fun. But I'm going to go do something else now and give up for a while.

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


This Needs Something In The Foreground

Also: not happy with those parallel purple clouds near the horizon.

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

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Clouds

Worked for a while on the clouds today; started with some warm neutrals that did not look right, so I had to cool them off with some Payne's Gray. Still much painting and repainting to do.

I think there should be some sunlit spots on the ground in the far distance, where the light breaks through the clouds. That'll be fun to work on later today; right now I have the urge to go throw some mulch around in the back yard.

Clouds Over The Sudbury River, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Banding

There are bands of color; value, actually; on the cylinder. This is because of reflected light on the glass. I'm trying to paint them in preparation for the next step, which will be glazing. That'll make the cylinder look truly 3-dimensional.

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

Monday, March 30, 2020

Last Night And This Morning

I had a burst of energy last night and concentrated on the two picture frames on the back walls, then this morning added the start of a print design on the woman patron's dress on the right side. Also changed the contour of the waiter's pants.

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

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Faces

I'm taking a photo of this before I screw it up:

The Chair, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
Here's a close up view of the face that I FINALLY got to work:
 
The Chair,  detail, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
I've been advised by my husband to JUST LEAVE IT ALONE. Seems like good advice. 

Moving on, since I had a flesh-toned palette at the ready, I decided to warm up the ghostly white face of the woman looking at the waiter:

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

 

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Back to Tuesday

Another painting I've been avoiding for a while, due to the tedious tiny brushstrokes required to make that tower made of wine bottles look real. I tightened up a bunch of areas today; am working my way down from the top left part of the tower. Still very unhappy with the face of the woman.

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

It Seems Unfair

People who lived through World War II faced a lot of hardships and grief and they made a lot of sacrifices. What we're asked to do here in the States is to stay home. Not much of a sacrifice for me, I'm afraid; staying home and working is what I do on a normal day. I'm not bothered by not being able to go to the mall or the movie theaters and can get my art supplies delivered these days. So I feel somewhat guilty. The best I can do is work hard, pay attention to what's going on and be a good citizen. So this morning I'm trying to keep at my craft while I wait for Governor Cuomo's press briefing.

I wonder what it's like for people and especially artists elsewhere.

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

Friday, March 27, 2020

Last One For The Night

I had a chance to go back to the jacket after dinner. Also added some detail to the right side.


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

Slow And Steady

How did Vermeer do it? How did he get such realistic-looking folds on the garments his models wore in his paintings? Did he soften the line breaks, those transitional areas where the plane changes? I should go back with a soft, clean dry brush and see if that works before the paint dries. Anyway; all work was on half of the waiter's jacket today, and it was incremental, millimeter by millimeter of observing the changes in value and color. I hope it "reads" correctly.

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

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Fleurs!

It's a nice break when you get to work on something with joyous color. Last one for today.

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

Blowing The Dust Off This One

I don't even remember when I worked on this last; it got to that tedious, seven-eighths-finished spot where I just didn't want to do the hard work anymore. But I've been promising myself to get back to it for the last week, and today was the day. Tightened up a lot of the lines on the actual gadget.

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

Cleaning Up That Right Side

I continue to take out the side wall of the cafe that was so distracting on the right side. I'm adding a car on the street and another shop in the wall of windows. Also added a little more detail to the trees on the hill— if it ends up looking like too much detail, I'll drybrush over that whole area to soften it.

For Rent, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

How Much Detail Is Too Much?

I got wrapped up in the distant hills on this one this afternoon, and mixed a lot of greens and blues to bring out the detail in the trees. They had been looking too soft and formless to me. Going to see how this looks in the morning.

For Rent, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

A Somewhat Better Sky

The idea for this painting came from a beautiful semi-abstract I saw in Vermont. This looks nothing like it; that painting was masterful, confident, and had an inventive use of color. I'll try making a few changes in a couple of days, but at least it's not the unreadable mess it was last time.

Clouds Over The Sudbury River, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Trying To Look More Closely

Of course it would be great to be able to paint from live models, but I haven't had much luck with that over the years for various reasons. Anyway, it's the charm of images like this one, caught on the fly, so to speak, that really appeal to me. The color in the reference photo can be elusive; for example, the forehead of the third girl from left, in the original reference, has a violet cast that I can't seem to reproduce correctly with paint.

I spent a  lot of time on her, since she's key to the image as a whole, and tried to be faithful to what I saw in the photo rather than interpreting it according to my own biases about what should be there. Maybe some progress?

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

Up And At It Early

The weather forecast says it's going to rain until 7 p.m., so yard work is going to be limited today. I was eager to get to the two patrons on the right side of the panel anyway, so I went at it even before finishing a cup of coffee. Now preparing to give the skin tones of The Chair another try.

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

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Back To The Tighter Brushwork

It's been fun working on the loose stuff, but it's time for me to get back to the more serious paintings, and my familiar style. This afternoon, in between planting basil and larkspur seeds, I attended to the ceiling on the painting below, which is an odd combination of pink and greyish-blue.

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

Also, I sanded down the raised texture on the waiter's jacket. Sometime last week I got the idea that I wanted it to look like it was part of a painting by Vermeer, who really knew his way around painting fabric...and the texture was just going to get in the way.


I Still Don't Have A Handle On This

This experimental piece has given me a new respect for folks who can work in the Impressionist style. I've always thought it was easy, but it's not— same as abstract painting. You've got to think ahead and know what you're doing. I'm going to keep at it, though.

The county I live in currently has 40 or so cases of Covid-19. We are hunkered down like everyone else, and trying to do our part to be responsible and not make things worse for someone else down the road. I am lucky in that I've got my creative pursuits to keep me mentally healthy, but I fear for us all, as there seems to be a lack of leadership at the top.

Light And Shadow, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Monday, March 23, 2020

More Tiny Skies

I tried really hard to match the natural color in the photo to what I was mixing on the palette. Maybe an improvement?

Tiny Sunset, Old Town Leesburg , © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

The Everchanging Sky

The clouds in the previous iteration of this painting were just too bland, too tame; didn't want to pass up the opportunity to do something with more pizazz (and a better composition as well).

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

Yet Another New Name For This One

A couple of weeks ago, suspecting things might depart from normal in a lot of ways, I transferred the images I use as painting reference to Dropbox, and when my computer told me it was giving up the ghost I went to open the foreground image for this painting on my iPad. Alas— it was one of a few that I hadn't transferred.

Since then, my dead computer (now renamed Lazarus) sprang back into total usability mode when I plugged it in one last time yesterday before consigning it to the trash heap. Like nothing had ever gone wrong! Like the final message it had given me that the disk "cannot be repaired" before the screen went black was just an illusion! Like the many fixes I found online for resetting PRAM and SMC and Safe Boot mode and Disk Utility which did nothing were just a dream.

Anyway, it's acting completely normal now, and I've been able to not only find the foreground file but also ID its origin, which is on Rt 2 in Concord, Mass, just as one drives over the Sudbury River.

So here is:

Clouds Over The Sudbury River, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

I should mention that there are no mountains in the actual vicinity of the reference photo.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Zydeco Music Makes Me Crazy

I love my husband SO MUCH, but when he plays zydeco music I feel like I'm getting homicidal. So when he played it this afternoon, it chased me into the studio where I worked— yet again— on this one. All of the painting was done on the boy's head and neck, and it looks okay. Maybe that's what I should do from now on, paint people from behind instead of wrecking their faces.

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

Friday, March 20, 2020

Consumed With Yard Work

Right now there’s an enormous amount of work to do in the yard, and it needs to be done before the bugs come out. I don’t feel particularly like painting anyway, but I did put a few minutes’ time in on this oldie, which still baffles me. Will I ever get skin tones right, or should I just give up?

The Chair, work in progress

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Moving The Clouds Around

I need to get a better handle on cloud structure. This is a mess right now. And the photo reference is on the dead computer. Apparently I forgot to transfer it over to Dropbox.

 Clouds Over The Valley, work in progress

Also: Changing the title. I decided that though flowering trees would look pretty, the overall effect would be too busy.

Dead Computer

Of course my computer decided to die during a time of crisis. I’ve got a new one on order and am typing this on my iPad; hopefully I’ll figure out a way to upload the photos of the new work.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Redrawing The Plate

If you scroll down to the March 7th entry, you can see how distorted the plate looks on the Pot de Crème painting. Sometimes I don't notice things like that right away, but once I do see them I like to take care of them. So this morning I set about fixing that lower-right edge on the plate, as well as working on the tablecloth. I was doing a decent job until the president came on TV. Taking a break until I can focus again.

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

Monday, March 16, 2020

More Slapdash Color

I'm still trying to feel my way around the tonalist and impressionist pieces. I feel like a duck out of water, though. Here are the experimental works from this afternoon:

After Eaton, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
 
Light And Shadow, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
Leesburg Sunset, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 

Watery Progress

I dithered around on the boy's back this morning but ultimately wiped off what I'd painted. However, the work on the water went very well. The right side is beginning to fill in the way it should. It's tedious, though!

Coming Of Age In The Year 2018, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Color Therapy

Wanted to work with beautiful color today as a way to soothe my anxiety.

Light And Shadow, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
Blue Vase with Irises, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)