Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Girl with Garland

It has been a rough winter here in the Northeast!  But Spring has finally sprung!  On a recent day in my studio, I didn't have much time and was rummaging around in my reference photograph file to find something to paint.  I found this photograph of a young girl who had posed for a portrait class.  I had received it from my daughter, (who took the class!)  She had many beautiful poses and knew that I was always in need of painting inspiration and may enjoy painting some of them.   She was right!  Maybe it was the May Day like outfit, or soul-filled countenance, but I was so happy to paint this little portrait!  It has was well received recently at the North River Art Society's "Focus on Figures" show earning an honorable mention!  That was happy!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Almost Ready to Open

And here is my painting from today.  I decided that it is not fair for me to only post the paintings that I feel are somewhat successful.  I feel that I should post even the ones that don't work out so well, because there is something to be learned from every painting.

This is an example of a clunker!  I again was working in pastel.  This is a cute little restaurant in Door County Wisconsin.  They were just opening up and this man was busy sweeping up the side walk getting ready for the day.  It was the subject of a painting demo done by the instructor of my Plein Air workshop last summer.  (The instructor Tim Horn is a fabulous painter.  You can check out his website here: )

On this one, I worked just a bit too fast!  I lost some of the quality of the drawing in my haste to have fun with the color!   When I went back in to try and correct some lines, particularly with the Coca Cola sign, I found that I had so much pastel on the paper that it stopped taking new color.  I also tried to capture the sense of the plastic eisenglass curtain that was hanging on the porch.  I think I could do better! Oh well, ya win some and ya lose some!

I am definitely going to try this again because it brings back very happy memories and I love all the bright red!
I should back up and relate how this blog began.  A friend invited me to a painting challenge on Facebook.   I had been in a bit of a slump for about a year, and her challenge pushed me to get up and running again.  (Note the workout metaphor!)

I had been studying the new book by Carole Marine regarding painting small and often.  I had already decided to do this and had some 6x6 pieces of pastel  paper and some reference photographs all set to go.   So when the challenge was received, I went right at it using my oh so comfortable pastels, instead of the more difficult for me to manage oils!

Here are the weeks worth of paintings in order.   By the end of the week I was dreaming in pastel strokes!  My mind was a whirl with all the scenes I wanted to paint.  Bye, Bye slump!  Hello daily painting!

Day One: Daughter Dana at the Beach:

Day two I painted my brother Ric entitled:  Joy.  We spent a weekend together at a plein air painting workshop last summer and did a lot of laughing:

Day Three I painted some college buddies on the beach, entitled:  Bathing Beauties:

Day Four I painted a few kids on the beach that I had noticed last summer.  We were in the midst of a snow storm, so it felt good to paint beach scenes!

Finally, Day Five, I painted a section of a favorite John Singer Sargent painting entitled "Repose":

Monday, March 2, 2015

White Mug

I loved how the white mug looked so blue in shadow as contrasted by the warmth of the table it was sitting on.  It was a nice complementary situation that was fun to paint.

Pensive Nick

My son, Nicholas, was my first subject in an endeavor to loosen up my painting, though I hadn't begun "official" daily painting when I did this.  I was desperate to overcome an art block and knew that working small may help.  Nick was about 17 years old at the time, and I was pestering him to sit for me so I could paint him (again!).   He was clearly not happy to be doing this.  I took several photographs of him and then let him out of his misery.   I was happy to have found them now, years later,  to work with!

I know this face so well that it practically painted itself.   It seems to capture that teenaged angst.