Monday, May 30, 2011

Shell Values 1

This is my entry for last weeks challenge from The Daily Paintworks. A value study from Carol Marine using only burnt umber, rubbing out for mid value, laying in more paint for the darks, and using thinner or a q-tip to lift for the lights. I've been painting shells for a week, so it only made sense to try this value exercise with some more shells. Will paint it again in color-this time it's on a blue cloth.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Shell Study 3

Enjoying this shell,looking at it from various angles,seeing how the sea and rocks have broken it, wearing it smooth,then jagged. Beauty in imperfection.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Are we there yet?

I'm wondering if this painting is done, I thought it was but now I see a thing or two I could work on.This painting is 30x30 and I wanted to paint outside of my comfort zone and get those bikey parts to be more abstract. Which I think I have done, but ......Feeling somewhat insecure about this.Ok,more than somewhat.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Shell Study 2

Another day with the same shell. I believe that the more I paint a particular subject,whether a still life or outside plein air, the greater my powers of observation will become. I often want to flit from one subject to another, am trying to change this about myself. Think about Morandi and how he painted those bottles again and again. There is no way we can say, "There is nothing inspiring to paint!" It lies in how we see what's in front of us.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Shell 1

It has been raining and foggy for a week, so when I got to the studio this morning I wanted to be transported to blue skies and warm sand. Painting this shell did just that,while listening to Bob Dylan covers celebrating his upcoming 70th birthday.What a songwriter. He's also an artist.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Yellow Truck

If you check back to a post on March 23rd, you'll see a smaller version of this truck which didn't really integrate into the landscape as I had hoped it would. My friend Libby Gilpatric gave me some pointers and I tried again using a larger 12x12 format.  Better, but this truck is just so yellow.I like the painting however, but want to explore the concept further, so the painting isn't about "the yellow truck"!This has me pretty baffled, par for the course if you paint like I paint.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Loved it when I noticed that the color of the stripes in the tablecloth were also on the asparagus! What are those little triangular things called? I heard it takes 7 years for an asparagus plant to produce, a lovely vegetable. Fun to paint, and eat :)

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Challenge to paint a vegetable from Diane Mannion,part of the weekly challenges fromThe Daily Paintworks. This was alot harder than I thought it would be! Ha,there I go having expectations. Painting is always a humbling experience,didn't post from our open studio this week, as I thought it was sub par.On the other hand,years ago I met an artist on Newbury Street in Boston, a street filled with fantastic galleries, and he said to me"You have to paint alot of s**t  to get a good painting."  It was encouraging words to someone just starting to paint, and still holds true today. Just get up, and paint more!!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Self Portrait

Gave it my best shot, with a light set up to the left,trying to see the value changes, then put color in. This was the challenge from The Daily Paintworks. I've done several self portraits but this probably comes the closest to being me. My friend said the nostrils aren't right, and I said, you've never seen my nostrils...she's 6' tall,lol.Anyway, I keep in mind this is about learning, growing, not taking myself so seriously, and accepting where I'm at today. Happy Mothers' Day!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Open Figure Studio

Another Monday at open figure painting at The Portsmouth Arts Guild. The time flies by, I want to get the drawing down first,used burnt sienna,ultramarine,cad yellow,and Indian red for the palette,trying to simplify the shapes. Thinking always about the shape,not the thigh! Or whatever. Challenged by the foreshortening of that right arm!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Day 2 Hollis Dunlap Workshop

On the second day, I put most of my energy into the head, trying to get a likeness.Hollis suggested that if you have only a limited time with a set up, be it a still life or a nude, to not try and complete the whole thing, but choose what you want to take to a higher degree  finish. This took alot of pressure off, note the box behind the lemon and orange, you can see the toned board, but that was as far as I went with that. Lots of attention paid to edges, which are hard, which are soft.The shadow edge by her eye is hard, the transition shadow on her cheek soft.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Workshop With Hollis Dunlap

This was the set up for the first of a two day workshop with Hollis Dunlap. Check out his work at The Ruggiero Gallery. He is a classical realist and put us through the paces, as he talked about first toning the canvas, just to loosen yourself up a bit. Hollis likes flat brushes and demonstrated the variety of marks that can be made with one brush, making the drawing first with the edge of the brush, a thin line that can be corrected. He likes to use a max of 3 strokes with a  loaded brush,prefers to mix with a brush rather than with a palette knife, and encourages correction upon correction. He stated the importance of being willing to work at a particular area it to get it right, not just settling for good enough. He is incredibly generous with his knowledge, and gave honest critiques in a kind way. Here's my effort for the day;exhausted but feeling good.