Sunday, February 23, 2020

My Little Experiment

There is an amazing amount of very fine cat hair on this painting, so I've had to pick it out as I go along. Otherwise, I'm having fun adding color in spots; there is an actual method to this madness— I'm trying to make all of the strokes look like they're emanating from a central vanishing point just behind the figure. And I'm adding a spring green and yellow mix to places where the hazy shadows fall from organic origins, like the boughs of leaves. The hard-edged shadows are cast from tree trunks, the woman walking, the street signs, etc. There will be many layers of color, all overlapping.

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



Saturday, February 22, 2020

It Takes So Little To Make Me Happy

Look at this color! It's perfect for the light and glass tower on Tuesday. Yes, the Quinacridone Magenta arrived in the mail today and it does mix with the Ultramarine Blue to make a satisfying purple. My excitement knows no bounds!



Friday, February 21, 2020

Light Dancing On The Tiles

Stayed up late into the morning hours watching "Earth Girls Are Easy," so I slept in this a.m. and then had a hard time pulling it together the rest of the day. Had a visit from an art collector in the afternoon, which required some quick housekeeping— but now we have the benefit of a clean house for another couple of days— and finally got a couple hours of work in on:

Waiting At Le Diplomate, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Oh; and was notified this afternoon that two paintings were accepted into an online show for March. 

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Everything I Want To Work On Is Wet

This is all I have for today, unless inspiration strikes. I've got Waiting At Le Diplomate on the easel, thinking maybe I'll find an entry point... The tiles? The waiter's apron? but until then, I'm taking a break. All of it— the tonalist landscapes; the 6 dessert paintings; the cast shadow one; even the swimmer, which I last painted about three weeks ago— has some not-dry spots.

I had planned to work on Tuesday, but have been struggling with mixing the exact right purple to illuminate the right side of the light-and-glass tower. Some online research reveals that the best way to get a brilliant, vibrant, in-your-face, true purple is to blend Ultramarine Blue with Quinacridone Magenta, which of course I do not have. I've got it on order, though, and hopefully it'll be here in a few days.

So I attacked the left side of this painting today, where the whitish-and red fake poinsettias are. And the ceiling.

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

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

More Chocolate, and Wood Grain

I have put the brushes down for the night, and tomorrow will work on either the tonalist paintings (if they're dry!) or the genre stuff, or both... The dessert paintings are too wet for me to go any further, so I'll take a break from them for a few days.

On the painting below, I paid careful attention to the little tiny round chocolate things, trying to make them look as 3-dimensional as possible. Also added some depth to the pudding by darkening some receding areas.

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

Now, the thought of painting every single line of tiny wood grain in the works that have a wooden tabletop has been the main reason I've been avoiding the little desserts. But yesterday I spotted a slightly messed-up brush, one that I hadn't cleaned properly, and realized I could use it on the smaller wood grain areas. So I mixed some glaze medium in with the brown pigments and dragged the brush across this surface:

Hot Fudge Sundae I, Guilty Pleasures Series, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Of course, I'd tried something similar on the Cherry Cobbler painting a couple of months back, but with a heavier hand, and I pretty much loathe the way it looks now. But the glaze medium softened the paint and the stiff bristles created just the right spacing for the smaller grin lines.






On A Roll

Definitely feels like I'm making progress with the little desserts; this afternoon I carefully brushed on small amounts of pure white into areas of the Banana painting below; it made a surprising difference, and really added form to the whipped cream.

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

Chocolate

Sharpened up the layers of chocolate and the highlights in the little glass; also made the left side of the container more visible— it was too close to the color of the background. Deepened the cast shadow.

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

So Far, So Good

The idea of limiting myself to 5 or 6 of the dessert paintings is working out. I don't feel such heavy pressure. This morning I worked on the creamy sauce that surrounds the floating island, and also the bowl and tablecloth. The drawing of the bowl is still a bit off, though.

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



Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Fun With Red Glazes

The strawberry sauce and the cherry in the two works below required some transparent reds, which I always enjoy layering and blending. I used Winsor Red Deep, Alizarin Crimson, and Permanent Alizarin Crimson. Hopefully they won't dry lighter than they are now; I love the deep, rich look of them. Also did some fluffy whipped cream work.

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

Two Plates

I think if I just concentrate on 5 of the dessert pieces, I can finish them quickly and start shopping around for a venue.

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


Two Spoons, Guilty Pleasures Series, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
 Added a glaze of rich, deep red to mask the mistakes I made on the light reflection at lower right last time around. Don't paint when you're mad, is all I can say.

Moving Across The Picture Plane

I thought there was a good chance I could work on the sketchy right side of the painting without smearing any of the wet paint from last night's session.

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



Monday, February 17, 2020

Working On The Jacket

I'm renaming this one, since "New Year's Eve" isn't very descriptive of the goings-on. Used quite a mix of colors for the jacket, mostly oranges and ochres and browns; looser brush work than usual.

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

Trying The Palette Knife

One thing I have discovered right away about painting with a palette knife: you use A LOT of paint. And it's unwieldy.

Not sure how well this is going. And I have the usual problem with greens: They look artificial to me, not natural.

As yet unnamed, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

A Blitz Of Loose Painting

I went crazy this morning; the expected "interruption" never materialized, and I've been feeling guilty about not doing any work last week, so I threw myself into things right after getting out of bed. Here's what's happened so far:

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

On the one above, I took out the treetops on the left. In the earlier version, there was a discrepancy between the height of the trees on either side of the piece, with the ones on the right coming out of the ground in the same place as the left ones but markedly smaller. I think I got carried away with the clouds. More work to do on this one!

As yet unnamed, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

This cloudy painting is experimental. I don't know whether to keep the sky as the main focal point, or bring in some trees to the foreground and make them play the major part.I'm using big brushes, but they're not big enough; I find cleaning them to be a chore and have ruined many a large brush in my time, but I have a system in place now that should make it easier. Or I might use a palette knife!

Next:

A Sunset For Karla, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
Making a foundation for the trees that will be going in soon. Still have to tamp that wild color down a bit.
Light And Shadow, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
Added some more blue to the shadows. I'm impatient for the paint to dry on this one so I can get back into the lighter areas.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Sneaking One In On A Sunday Afternoon

There were interruptions all last week, and there is probably going to be another one tomorrow morning that keeps me out of the studio. So this afternoon I tried a few color combinations on the dappled light painting. The underpainting in middle and dark greys is providing just the right backdrop or foundation for the colors, and I'm also experimenting with the shadow edges. I have a better idea of how to move forward on this; originally I had a vague idea of what I wanted, but no clear path to the actual technique.

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



Monday, February 10, 2020

Lines

Decided to pick up on this one today; worked mostly on the grout lines with varying degrees of success, also changed the color on some of the tiles on the right.

Waiting At Le Diplomate, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Sunday, February 9, 2020

More Loose Paint

This one is in honor of a friend who passed away. There will be many more layers; this is just the second coat of paint, so it's quite a mess at this stage. Scroll down if you want to see tighter work.

A Sunset for Karla, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Slapping On Some More Paint

I'm not bothering to be careful about the paint application on this right now, because I intend to work more impressionistically (is that the right word?) on it. Except I don't know how I'll integrate the wall on the right with the dashes and dots of the rest of the painted area; I want the wall to be clean and simple.

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

Some Saturday Morning Painting

I might try to get back to the Light And Shadow painting after breakfast and before the day begins in earnest. Saturdays are typically errand days. Worked mostly on the figure at lower right, and some of the objects at mid-left.

New Year's Eve, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Friday, February 7, 2020

The Crazy Fake Rocks

Sometime I'd like to go back to this hotel and check out those fake boulders in front of the bar. Are they really so artificial looking? So Flintstones? Anyway, most of today's effort went into gradating the light on them.

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

Not My Usual Style

Could not get to sleep until 4 a.m., and as a result woke up very late. I wanted to work on something fun today and since the paint was dry on this one decided to add some more details.

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

Thursday, February 6, 2020

I Know This Looks Bizarre

I just had to do something, so as late as it is I snuck back into the studio and slapped some paint on this panel.  I can't watch the news anymore. I don't even recognize my own country. Was I wrong to teach my kids to play fair, tell the truth, be kind to others (and to animals) and always do the right thing? Should I have taught them instead to be arrogant lying bullies?

Anyway, this will of course shape up in the coming weeks. As always, that first coat of paint is just a mess...

Light And Shadow, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
I did get a little good news today: "When I Woke Up I Was In Brooklyn" was accepted into the Maryland Federation of Art's online Curve Gallery show.

Coming Into Focus

The darker applications of paint are really making this come alive. I think I've got the color correct for the shadows on the waiter's coat. Those first few layers are now giving the later ones something to hold onto, and they'll be good base colors for glazes.

New Year's Eve, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

This morning I struggled with the tedium of painting the straight lines that define the window.


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

I Really Don't Want To Work On The Desserts

Several years ago a friend advised me to comply with the demands of the art world; namely, to build a recognizable "body of work" that would form a reference point for viewers. In other words, stuff that all had a similar subject matter and style. So I decided to concentrate on the dessert paintings— a subject I like very much and thought would be fun to paint.

After getting 13 of the little panels started, however, I've run out of steam, and over the last few months have found it difficult to force myself into the studio. When I realized what was wrong I went back to my true love, genre painting, and am a much happier artist.


I do have a trick up my sleeve, though, for getting back to and hopefully FINISHING the darned desserts: I've lined them up in a place I frequent, and will eventually be irritated by, oh, for example: the fact that the strawberry glaze isn't rich and deep and red enough; the ragged edge on a spoon looks truly awful; or the shadows on the whipped cream really aren't doing their job. And that will get me motivated again.


Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Rising Stars, Setting Sun

I'm renaming this one. "A Farm At Dusk" is just a little too generic, and it needs something more romantic. When I got the idea a few days ago to add a few stars in the dark edge of the sky (which I haven't done quite yet) the new title seemed more appropriate.

The clouds in the central portion of the painting gave me a lot of trouble this afternoon. No matter what I did, they kept going orange. I had to use a lot of Blue Black and Ultramarine to correct them.

Rising Stars, Setting Sun, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Tomorrow I shall work on the dessert series.

Finishing Up: Close To Done

 I've taken out the gutter downspout and made the foreground lawn a little more interesting. Not much more left to do.


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

Biting The Bullet and Repainting

I seem to be doing a lot of repainting these days. This particular piece was rushed to completion for a show, and I've never been happy with it. It had a dark vertical design element on the right edge, which made some sort of sense in the interior space, but which I've always felt uncomfortable with. So now I'm painting it out. You can see a remnant on the right side of the window.

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

A Painting Evolves

The last time I let a painting have a life of its own, as the saying goes, it ended up being a disaster. It was an abstract, and I really have no business wading into abstract territory; there are plenty of talented folks who know what they're doing in that milieu, but I am not one of them.

Anyway, about 15 years ago I fell in love with a little landscape image in an art magazine, and kept the page on file. My recent discovery of Tonalism brought me back to the little painting,  "Snowy Pines At Dusk," by Charles Warren Eaton. I'm using it as inspiration for this little canvas, but already realize that the boughs are too green. Still; the painting is evolving as I go, since I have no preconceived idea about the composition. We'll see what happens.

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

A Fresh Layer Of Paint

I'm looking forward to adding actual color to this one in a few days. But this is part of the foundation.

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



Monday, February 3, 2020

I Think This One Will Go Quickly

This is an idea I've been wanting to commit to canvas (or in this case, a panel) for over four years now. It should be quick and easy; most of it's in grey and black, but the stumbling block is: how do I work in some color? I want the painting to feel magical.

Light And Shadow, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)
 
 Tomorrow I shall work on the dessert paintings!

The New Brushes Are Working

Last Friday, and artist friend and I decided we needed a mental health break, so we deserted our studios and went on a field trip to an actual restaurant lunch where we were able to talk shop, and then on to the art supply store. I picked up six new brushes and some satin varnish and have worked with four of the brushes already today. Have been able to get some fine detail and sinuous lines on the swimming pool painting.

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

Two For A Monday Morning

Feeling very much like painting today.

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


New Year's Eve, © 2020, work in progress (click on image for larger view)