Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Inspired by the beach...again!

Another day, another gull. What has me excited is the possibility of exploring on a larger format the abstract shapes of the water, the shoreline and the sand as patterns are formed with each incoming wave. 

Loved working within the range of beach colors. Soothing, calming and always a source of inspiration.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Painting in Series- Gull 4

I'm having so much fun with these little seabirds and it reinforces what I've learned about painting in series- that each painting becomes a springboard for the next. In a sense, this is a relief, I don't have to rack my brain about what to paint when I allow it to evolve naturally. For example, painting a reflection one day may lead me to a deeper exploration of that reflection with the next painting.  Of course, it isn't always possible, or practical- but I'm experimenting and just letting it go where it wants!
I'm including a photo from the beach at Hilton Head, where we go each day with Cooper. He loves to chase the birds, so my photo references are never close enough to get any detail. I read from another painter to use cat food to get the gulls to come close. That wouldn't work as long as Cooper is with me, but it's an idea I'd like to try!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Two More from the Shore

I am really enjoying the chance to play with the abstract shapes in the water and in the reflections. Although I am working from photos, I am interested in losing detail in favor of obtaining a closer relationship with the vast space of the ocean and the birds along the shore. These are on linen, 6x6.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Gull 1

Working on a series, small in size, six to start. I set these parameters for myself as a discipline, for too often, I hate to admit, I can get off track with my art. I want to paint so many things, which is great, but I think it's good to rein it in every now and then. So here we are- these are all 6x6, oil on stretched linen. I am enjoying the abstract nature of the seashore, reflections, movement in the water, and of course, the classic form of the lowly seagull!

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Working out an idea

 This post is about my process; an idea that I started with in my last post. I did my block- in with cadmium red and a light pink, then wondered if I could keep it to just two values as I went along through the painting process. This is layer four, which gives you an idea of how challenging this has been.

Here's a grey-scale of the painting to show that my two value plan hasn't been entirely achieved. So now to decide if I need to lighten my darkest dark to come more to a mid-range or the other way around. In any event, I'm traveling and this painting is on my easel at home til I return. People use an i-Pad to work out these questions but....call me Old School. Time will tell.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Art School Notebook 3

After a back injury, unable to golf or walk any distance, I found myself in an art supply store in 2000. I was visiting Santa Barbara and couldn't do any of the things I normally loved to do. I picked up some oil pastels, and proceeded to paint a sad interpretation of my hotels beautiful courtyard. My best efforts couldn't release the image I had in my mind's eye. I was baffled, but excited.
Back in Rhode Island I found a drawing class at the Community Center where I lived in Jamestown. It was taught by a wonderful patient man, Jim Filkins, and that restarted my journey into the formal study of art, after a hiatus of many years. I told myself it wasn't too late.
From a sketchbook dated 2/06/01:
We worked in graphite and one of the exercises was this:
Set up a series of shapes, make some overlap and some transparent. Make it look like there are layers in the way you lay down the graphite.
We had learned to make a 1-9 value scale and now we were learning that darker values recede. Rendering those values could create an illusion and that would be an important skill to acquire when we did landscapes. We learned some basic principles of landscape too; higher contrast in the foreground denotes its' closeness to the viewer. A blurred and softened horizon indicates the distance. 
For this exercise, it was not about perspective; but gaining experience with flat shapes and design.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Less is More

I am going to try something new with this painting. It's a beginning, a cadmium red toned canvas with the lights painted in pale pink. I posted it on Instagram and one friend, a painter, said; "It's finished!" That gave me an idea. How can I add more paint, lots of layers of paint, but retain the image that I started with- which is a Notan? Notan is a Japanese word that means "light-dark balance,"and can be achieved by value masses of light and dark within a composition. Instead of five or even three values, we reduce the values to two. Light and dark. What could be more simple?