Monday, September 28, 2009

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly or What Happened To Your Shoulder, Dude?

Nude Study (unfinished)
oil on canvas
I miss blogging. As I reported last post, this fall has turned out to be more about learning than doing. Laurel told us during our first class that, though the title listed in the course catalog is Color, Value & Temperature in Still Life, the class really should be subtitled, "We're NOT Here to Make Pretty Paintings." Ditto for the open studio figure painting I'm enrolled in: it's all about process over product. I love this approach and I love learning. It is exactly what I want to be doing. But my attempts are not all attractive and I've hesitated to post them. I miss blogging. And if a blog (remember? web + log) is intended to chronicle a journey, then it's okay to have missteps. So... this is how the sausage is made.
Local Value Study
oil on panel

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

It's Raining, It's Pouring

watercolor in Moleskin
as always, click on image for larger view
The blessed rain keeps me from hauling anything new I've painted outdoors to photograph so it's back to the archives for something I can just pop down on the scanner. I sketched this during a family driving vacation to visit relatives. St. Louis is a terrific town, for kids and for tourists. Highly recommended! Fourth of July fireworks over the Mississippi River while sitting under the Gateway Arch is thrilling and not to be missed!

Bear with me if my posts for the next weeks are farther apart. I'm loving the two painting classes I'm taking this fall (!) but they take a chunk of time and neither are geared towards finished paintings. That coupled with ailing grands and greats, 2 schools, 2 sports... well, you get the idea. Please stay with me, gentle followers. You really can't imagine how much I value your support.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Another Really Great Thing About Painting

Paris, 1985
12x12 oil on canvas
Painting will send you back into the archives of your life. Not long ago I found this photo from a fabulous trip to France. I knew, the moment I saw it, I had to paint the gentleman in the trench coat and the beret buying flowers.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

That's the School Bell I Hear Ringing

Reclining Nude
(Mirror, Mirror On the Wall)
11x14 oil on canvas
The model in this sketch was lovely and I had a great vantage point for capturing both her image and her reflection in the mirror. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow as we begin again with Laurel Daniel's still life class. I have so enjoyed these before and, though I never feel I do my best work in a class, the lessons presented continue to reveal themselves long after school gets out. It's funny though... I'm kinda' nervous. Lavagirl reminds me to just be myself, be nice to my teacher and the other kids, and she bets I'll make a new friend very quickly. I love my kids.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

OK, Now I'm Just Bragging: Listen to This

The Waitress at the Mount Fuji Cafe
12x12 oil on canvas
I am bursting with pride: my (incredibly talented) 15-year-old Goddaughter Haley recorded a demo CD this summer with five incredible songs and Grammy-winning musicians backing her up! Click the play button below to hear her sing Don’t Want It To Be You a song she wrote last spring for a school assignment.

Her mother and I were college roommates and, born only 3 months apart, she and Sharkboy were cribmates. When they were toddlers, we often had tea parties or lunch in her play kitchen which was named the Mount Fuji CafĂ©. Her musical gifts have always been a joy – I’ve lost track of how many instruments she plays (including the piano on this song!) – and she never complains about practicing. Much. She is a stellar up-and-coming twisted sister, to be sure.

We knew she was getting the opportunity, via her voice coach, to make the demo but never expected it to be this amazing. Her parents hosted a CD release party and we all got a copy; yep, already on my iPod! Remember – you heard her here first.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

DSFDF: Do Calories Count If You Just Paint Them?

Mindy's Wonders
8x8 oil on panel
This is Karin Jurick's latest Different Strokes from Different Folks challenge. Click here for the last one I did and here to see all the remarkable cupcake entries. I know an amazing woman who makes amazing cupcakes. She does chocolate, she does sprinkles - but my favorite is called Wedding Cake. White on white, no bling, they are gossamer clouds of sugary goodness - each bite to be savored. I understand she's left baking behind to follow her next calling. What a pity. It was Mindy's Wonders I dreamed about while I painted yesterday.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Could This Be My Closet?

Could This Be My Closet?
11x14 oil on canvas
I wish. I think my stuff looks right at home here. There are my yellow purses, my perfume, and Lavagirl's new cardigan sweater. Yes, I hang art in my closet and that's my slipper chair -- it's pretty darling right now in leopard print with black ball-tasseled fringe but for this painting I reupholstered it in pink velvet. I included the burnt orange cowboy boots I secretly covet but know I'd probably never wear. In real life, the longest wall in my closet is painted lipstick red and I like it alot. The black and white harlequin floor used to be in my kitchen and I absolutely loved it though it was hard to keep. The high heels, the hat, and the Burberry bag? Not mine.

Friday, September 4, 2009

I'm Just Not Sure About the Hat

Topsy Turvy
6x6 oil on panel

So named because I painted her - start to finish - upside down. It's a common trick to teach you to draw or paint what you see rather than what you *think* you see. I'm posting her upside down because frankly, she could never survive our criticism right-side-up. A bit too full of face, Topsy is, and her eyes are just plain scary. But it was fun and I think I learned alot about the dialog that goes on in your head, "this shape is longer than that shape, the next one is lighter than the last one, this is a square, a triangle." The version in the Letterman sketchbook (not painted upside down) has great eyes but I didn't have much luck rendering the black dotted tulle in her hat with pencils and chalk.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Just (Barely) Time for a Sketch and a Promise

conte crayons on paper
I apologize, faithful readers, for my absence. We all hit those times in life and I look so forward to next week when I believe the dust will settle somewhat. In the meantime, a sketch aux trois crayon from my trusty Letterman sketchbook and a promise that I'm working my way back as quickly as possible.