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Friday, January 29, 2010

"Last Light" 6x6" original oil

Decided to shake things up a bit and do a little landscape. My intent is to paint primarily still life (from life) in my daily paintings as they are sooooo challenging and good for me, but I also want to play with my landscape and urban photo reference now and then.

This is the view from my studio window -  it catches this warm golden glow everyday just before sunset. I love the complementary colors of sun and shadow, and I was especially captivated with that little touch of red in the background as shadow turns to light on the snow slope above.

I find it really helps my development as an artist to be constantly observing  nature as I'm out walking my dog, driving to work, or even just sitting in my living room looking out the window. I play the "how would I mix that color / what exact value is that?" game a lot, it really deepens my observation skills and links them to the act of painting, even if I'm not painting in that moment.

Monday, January 25, 2010

"In the Spotlight" - 6x6"

More fun with backlit citrus fruit! In addition to working on translucence in this piece, I was also very focused on edgework, my current and ongoing "Mt. Everest". So easy to get stiff and tight, so hard to keep it loose and trust. A technique I have learned is to paint beyond your shape (ie: carry the orange segment brushstroke into the background) and then paint the background back up to it to sculpt it back in. Where the edges overlap, paint gets blended and naturally creates a soft edge. Sounds easy, as long as you are willing to totally lose your drawing and trust you will get it right again. :)

Probably the greatest beauty of these little 6x6's is they give you more freedom to play with ideas like this, as long as you can remind yourself to go in with the idea that they are exercise, and be willing to push outside your comfort zone and try new approaches.

(For purchase details click here)

Friday, January 22, 2010

"Getting Acquainted" 6x6"


I really had fun with this composition, rolling the cherries around until they fell into a playful pattern. I especially liked the stem shadows, they really seemed to tie everything together. The more I play with setting up these still lifes, the more I learn about design - how to create groupings that are balanced, interesting and connected. I am definitely finding this training as valuable as doing the painting itself is.

There's also something about lemons and cherries together that I find very visually appealing, not sure why, so all and all this little painting was a very enjoyable experience.

(For purchase details click here)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Haiti Relief Fund (Oxfam)

All proceeds from the sale of this painting will go to the Haiti Relief Fund via Oxfam. The best news about this is that the Canadian government is currently matching all donations, so if you bid on it you will not only get a piece of art, you will have the satisfaction of making a significant donation to a very worthwhile cause.

"Studio Snack" 6x6"
It was interesting to watch the brie under the hot spotlight over the 3 hours I spent on this piece as it got warmer and warmer, drooping slowly into the plate - kind of like trying to catch the light you originally see when painting outdoors. Near the end you have to do a lot of painting from memory. The french bread was the hardest part of the painting, could NOT get the texture of it's surface. There wasn't butter on it, but after much effort with no success, I realized that it was kind of reading like bread with butter so I cut my losses and got out while the gettin' was good. This is a challenge I will have to take on again in the future. The olives were the most fun! Such great little patterns of dark and light, could do a whole series just on olives.

I also want to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have subscribed to my blog and are following my daily paintings, your support and interest is very much appreciated!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

"Plum Party" 6x6" Oil on Canvas Board

This was the very first "Daily Painting" I did, shortly after I got home from Carol Marine's workshop this summer.

One of the interesting challenges with these little 6x6 guys is composition, and I find more often than not it's most effective if you crop your subject on at least one side. In this case cropping 3 out of 4 sides really seemed to keep a circular rhythm going - with the bowl edge leaving the canvas on the right side and entering back in on the left.

Something Carol taught that really works for me is to set up my arrangement and then use a viewfinder to scout out various compositions. When something flutters in my stomach, it's time to paint!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

"Gerbera Trio" 6x6"

This was one of my first daily paintings, done this summer. Gerbera daisies, crikey! Didn't realize 'til I got into it how challenging it is to paint daisies, especially white tipped ones, without making them look like pinwheels. Had to keep squinting to find places where I could lose edges and group individual petals into cohesive shapes. Am learning to do this more and more, I find I really have to keep playing back and forth with massing and reintroducing elements of detail, then whoops!..too much detail, back to massing. It's quite a game of cat and mouse to finally get a result I'm happy with, good thing these little paintings are all about the workout! The beauty of oils is that you can do this with a fair bit of ease, I really can't imagine painting in any other medium.

Forgot to mention on my first "daily painting" post, that "daily painting" is a term I use loosely. To be honest the idea of posting every single day right from the get go totally freaks me out, so I'm going to ease in to it until I get warmed up to the idea...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

"Daily Painting LAUNCH!"

"Study in Orange"
Original Oil 6x6"

I am excited to announce that after working toward this idea for some time, I am finally launching the introduction of my small daily paintings for sale by auction on ebay!

I have created a little inventory of these 6x6" paintings to give myself some breathing room, and I am kicking it off with one of my very favorites - "Study in Orange". This piece was painted as I was starting to figure out the magic of how to capture the translucence of backlit citrus fruit. Any artists out there, I encourage you to give it a try, it is surprisingly easy to achieve this effect by simply applying a slight shift in values as you are painting the orange segment.