Sunday, July 24, 2016

Susans and Daisies

Susans and Daisies/ oil on stretched canvas/ 10 x 8

Recently, I have been mostly painting on oil primed canvas. I especially like "Centurion" brand sold by Jerry's Artarama.

 Usually I paint on their canvas boards but today's paintings was painted on a gallery-wrapped canvas. The Centurion surface allows me to paint a thin underpainting layer (see the grey purple at the bottom) and wipe back to white areas that I want to eventually paint intense clean color (the bright yellow Susan's petals). (It also wipes failed paintings back to white). This surface has a nice texture and "grabs" the paint better than the slick surface of gesso board. It also makes painting looser edges easier.

I began this painting sitting on the ground outside in my garden. I added thicker additional layers of color inside in my studio.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

"Hot Colors" and Gold Duck

"Hot, Hot, Hot"/ oil on board/ 8 x 10/

This is an experiment with color. My objective was to make the painting feel "hot". To do this, I used clean intense colors. I especially liked the cad red shadows and the hint of pink in the sand.

I also have been working on my gold leaf watercolors. In this image, I chose to leave it un cropped to show the irregular edges.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Hidden Goldfinches

I just returned from a visit with my talented sister Kate Church. I attended her 20 year exhibition as an artist. Kate, her artsy house, Nova Scotia and her 100 fairies and wonderful paintings were all inspirational. I hope that upcoming work will reflect some of it.
Today, while I sort laundry, catch up sales and details, I touched up a painting I started before my trip.

I adore goldfinches. I have a family in my yard presently. I love how well they "blend into" the brown-eyed Susans that have gone crazy and are growing (probably from the seeds that last year's goldfinch family sowed) everywhere. Artistically, I am continuing to work on edges. I find "regular" petals on flowers like Susan's and daisies to be challenging. First, I make them too uniform. Then I adjust them and struggle with too loose..

Monday, July 11, 2016

Daisies and Butterfly Bushes

Daisies and Butterfly Bushes/ oil on canvas board/ 10 x 8/

This is the first painting of daisies that I have liked recently. (The others are "wipers"). The daisies in this painting are surrounded by beautiful stems from the butterfly bushes from my yard. These rich darks make the whites on the daisy petals appear whiter. Even as I surrounded the whites to get them to "pop" out,  I worked to connect my lights., If you squint at this, I want you to be able to follow a path from the right lower corner up through the large daisies, back to the back-facing daisy and across and back down to complete a circle through the composition. I was also remembering to vary the centers of the daisies with different intense colors, to keep the brushwork loose and the paint thick in the later layers. I found the best way to get the petals on the daisies to work was to have a thin surrounding underpainting just outside the centers. Then I placed the petals on top of this.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Mud Pies and Musings

My on line painting class recommends that in order to grow and learn and continue producing fresh work, that one divides painting time. Part is spent on a new challenge or question employing the "thinking" (slow/analytical/ critical/learning) self. Then, when working on a painting, one is freed up to paint better fresher work using (unconsciously) what one has learned in previous "learning" times. I think this is how workshops or true class time is supposed to work. That means: not great paintings made while learning. Instead, answers to questions or goals set by the teacher (or agreed to by the teacher in advance). Another article that I read recently by a painting teacher described her students being tired after class (new learning does that especially to older minds). I think I will remember this for my classes of "advancing" students. "Class" means learning: not open studio. I think one can get permission to use the various community buildings for open studio. I want my students leaving "tired" and challenged because that is what makes me grow (and be happy) as a teacher.

Okay so, here is my "challenge". My question was twofold: what will happen if I destroy almost every edges (trying to make it so that you can only barely recognize the (boring) chicken) and what will happen when I "push" all of these lovely color mixes...
Maybe a few too many "spots"??  But, that chicken is really moving,. The painting is energetic and I LOVE these colors (even if they are undisciplined and too many intense colors are present).

Now, what happens to the painting that I did in my "free painting" time?

Mud Pies/ oil on canvas board/ 5 x 7/

I want my work to be looser and "blocky": pieces of color and integration of foreground and background. Here is what I did.

Love to hear what you think.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Coneflowers in Mason Jar

Coneflowers in Mason jar/ Oil on board/ 8 x 6/

Last week, I cut all of the coneflowers in my yard to create this bouquet. However, the mass of flower heads did not make a great composition. After looking at a painting that I wasn't happy with for a day,  I painted out one of the central flowers.
I especially like this color grouping. The pinks against the blues and the turquoises make me feel "sunny" and positive.  Note to artist friends: the blues are cobalt light, radiant turquoise and horizon blue. Some are mixed with cad lemon yellow. The pinks are perm rose, cad red medium and radiant magenta.

Yesterday I painted a rooster/chicken running. But again, I am not happy with it. My plan in my "learning time today, is to "fracture it" or destroy the edges.
I'll post a before and after whether or not it works, next post.