Thursday, January 28, 2010

Class is in Session

Thanks for the Compliment
12x12, oil on canvas
$165, email for info
This is from last week's alla prima still life class. We are learning different methods available to start an alla prima painting --- last week was value blocking, starting with a very dark-valued neutral. I completed this very quickly and really like the resulting freshness. I learned a lot - squint, simplify, paint shapes not things, squint again. Check out my classmates great take on the same set-up - for Stephen Parker, click here and for Trish Siegel, click here.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I Gotta Go Run Carpool

You've Got Mail
7x5, oil on panel
$85 - email for info
Continuing on with Lavagirl's admonition to take a break from painting produce. This was fun. My goal was to capture sunlight... really push the values and stay loose.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

What Will They Think of Next? Virtual Paintout!

At Home, in Corsica
18x18, oil on masonite panel
email for info

"Maybe you're just tired of painting fruit," quipped 13-year-old Lavagirl this week, as I whined about my current painter's block. Okay. Make a change. I can do that.

I've been wanting to take a stab at a "challenge blog" created by Kentucky artist Bill Guffey. The blog is called Virtual Paintout. First, in artSpeak, the term "paintout" means artists gathering together to, well..... paint out (side). Bill's challenge is for artists from all over the world to use Google Earth maps, specifically --- now, stay with me here --- Google Street View, to "meet" in a specified country or city to paint together. For instance, this month is Corsica. The month before was Mexico City. Using Google's interactive map system, you cruise around the destination until you find an inspiring view and then paint away. Click here to visit Virtual Paintout; scroll all the way to the bottom to find Bill's link to the Corsica map.

I'll resist the urge to wax on poetically about how delicious it is to roam the streets of Paris or Rome, looking for the perfect painting spot around every sidewalk-cafed corner, while waiting for 3:40 carpool or the rinse-and-spin cycle. Do we live in a great time or what?

Anyway, I'm a big fan of renowned artist Ted Goerschner who has long since painted still lifes set up in his studio with vacation photos as backdrops. And so, voila, At Home, in Corsica. Specifically, the Avenue de la Republique, Calvi, Northern Corsica, France. A tous mes amis.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hills and Valleys

Standing on Tradition
8x8, oil on panel
email for info
This was painted several weeks ago, when crab apples were still in the stores. It is being posted now because, judging by the number of paintings wiped away this week, I've entered [cue dramatic music] a painter's block. Just finishing Carol's workshop on Friday and starting back into Laurel's class yesterday, this is frustrating! Jeepers - what terrible timing!! Okay, step away from the paintbrush. I know this is a natural part of the process. We have seen it before; it will pass. Repeat.
Oh yeah, the 'tradition' in the title? The 1940 edition of the Episcopal Hymnal. I'd probably do better practicing the piano this week than I am painting. Argggg.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Carol Marine Workshop

unfinished study, 6x6, oil on panel
I spent most of last week at a workshop taught by Austin artist Carol Marine. Carol is first and foremost an incredibly talented painter and colorist - she has a special way of seeing a subject, simplifying shapes and values, and then translating that vision into an economical number of perfectly toned and placed brushstrokes. And she makes it look easy.... gee whiz. Moreover, she is a wonderful teacher: direct, honest, very accessible, and just a whole lot of fun. Be sure to check out her blog - click here.
Carol did inspirational demonstrations each morning and then set us on a course of exercises - like the 10-minute/15-stroke apples to the left - that weren't easy but very informative. It was great fun to be with our artist/host Dena Wenmohs and spend time at The Bunkhouse - Dena's artists' retreat and bed & breakfast in Cypress Mill, Texas. Plus, in addition to Carol and Dena, I made wonderful new friends - some from far away and some just around the corner. What a marvelous week.... I'm exhausted!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Vacation Colors

Pantone 15-5519
6x6 oil on panel
email for info
Pantone - the color gurus of the world - have recently published their latest color forcast for home + fashion and named (drumroll, please) Turquoise as the 2010 Color of the Year. Specifically, Pantone 15-5519. Click here to see a copy of the full report. I always find Pantone to be good inspiration.

Fashion designer Peter Som (see dress at left) says the turquoise choice reflects, "the need for happy, mood-lifting colors that offer a bit of escapism." Sounds good. With Texas being so close to the beautiful waters of Mexico and the Caribbean, turquoise represents vacation to me. And generally all complexions - fair to dark - look great in turquoise. A few other colors highlighted in the report that sound promising: Tuscany, Aurora, Pink Champagne. Click here for my take on Mimosa, Pantone's 2009 Color of the Year.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Moving Things Around a Bit

Oh My Darlin' (times 3)
8x6 oil on canvas panel
$85 - email for info
Better paint those clementines quick around my house - before they disappear! I moved my still life set-up to a different room/different light today: directly in an east-facing window though this morning our skies were fairly gray. I didn't use any artificial light which created the backlighting challenge I've explored recently. And, because I was looking towards the window, my palette and panel were in semi-shadow. Tricky but fun. There was a glow of reflected light on the downward plane of each clementine that was just so lovely.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Chocolate is One of the Basic Food Groups, Right?

Whatever, Cocoa
12x12, oil on canvas
$165 - SOLD
(doubleclick for larger view)
This was super fun... even if my marshmallows look [a bit] like sugar cubes. It's good to take a break from produce painting. Plus, I had an aha moment this week and took the beautiful powder blue pashmina from around my neck and draped it into the lightbox. Such a relief from the tried-and-true khaki. The blue scarf was a gift from one of my twisted sisters... hope she won't mind. And the title? Well, I have another friend who is uber-spunky and - when perturbed - holds up her outstretched arm and hand, dismissing her offender by saying, "what-ev-er, Coco." She's 3.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Black-eyed Peas & Cabbage

Tournament of Roses
6x6, oil on panel
email for info
Another in the Little Women series - trying to get the hang of backlighting. I have been thinking about a long face and neck with a very thin nose and tall, upswept hair. I painted while watching the parade and, subconsciously, I think I chose colors that are a bit flowery.