Saturday, February 25, 2012


I was in the studio bright and early to work on this, going one by one through the list of "challenge" areas.
1) Made the background a distinct color, added medium to get the right consistency, did the same with the shadow colors.
2) Carefully observed the shadow  and saw that the shape of it needed to be extended and that it had alot more color in it than I had seen at first.
3) The foreground then needed to come up in value to get the right contrast.I mixed each section with the palette knife, varying each one.
4) Gave a bit more definition to the 3 front shapes. They are actually fringe on the fabric, which is a long woven sash. It's ok with me if the viewer doesn't understand everything, it's better to me when there are areas that invite you to look closer.
5) Defined the edge of the shovel, also increased intensity in some spots.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Before the Crit

12x12 from a set up in the studio. I brought the painting to class for a critique, knowing I would get good feedback. Here's what was said:
1) Make the colors distinct, not iffy. Like the color of the background.
2) Make the shadow under the front of the shovel read better. How? Look closer.
3) Define the front edge of the shovel by confident brushstrokes.
4) Check for areas of streaky paint, remix and watch paint application. More medium? Brush not fully loaded?
5)Define those 3 shapes in the foreground. It won't take much.
I'll be in the studio in the morning and tomorrow will post "After the Crit". Check back and I'll share the positive comments too!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Birthday Flowers

I tried another bedside composition, using acrylics and an 8x10 format. I used Titanium as usual, but read in Gamblins newletter an article on whites, that making things transparent is easier with the most transparent of the whites, Zinc. I need to do alot more experimenting. Here's the link: which Nancy McCarthy sent to all her students. Thanks Nancy!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Bedside Table

I did this 8x10 in acrylic after the grandkids had gone to bed. I had to readjust the values between light on wall and shadow cast by shade, and I still don't think it reads true. Too much contrast, right? Getting the values is key. I like the lower part of the painting best.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Union Station

On our way back from NYC, we stopped in New Haven, looking around for coffee. Found the Dunkin Donuts inside the train station, so we gave ourselves 30 mins to capture the space around us. We shared the palette (a plastic tray), used acrylics, and painted like mad til the time was up. Aahh, happiness. Making a great painting was NOT the point, but simplifying shapes and getting the values right WAS. What an adventure.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

What a Set Up

I wandered around this set up a few times, and just couldn't find what I was looking for. So much, what to chose? So I went back to my 1st spot and painted what I saw from the ground up.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

20 Minutes Later

This was the 3rd 20 minute pose from last Saturdays open figure session. I want to get back this week too, but need to spend time in the studio on a big painting that's at a standstill. Not enough time for all the art I want to do. As problems go, not a bad one to have!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Second 20 Minute Pose

Got back to the open figure drawing/painting class at the Newport Art Museum this past Saturday. After 5 minute gesture drawings, the model settled into some 20 minute poses. Working with acrylics and a very limited palette I gave it my best. Talk about having time fly! The first pose? Embarrassing.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Another Day in Paradise

People who live in warm climates often say this phrase, "Another day in paradise!" I wonder why we can't say it wherever we sit, regardless of weather and circumstance. With love, every day is paradise. Happy Valentine's Day.

Monday, February 13, 2012

When will we get there?

Remembering those car trips to a family vacation spot, or even across town to the beach, hearing , or even thinking ourselves,"when will we get there?" I am grateful to be finally freed from asking that question. Most of the time!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Opposites Attract

Put this set up on the windowsill and had to contend with changing light. It was suggested that I could make it easier for myself by using studio lighting, save the light issues for plein air! But, you know I never make it easy for myself. This is another complement homework piece, paint a simple still life using complements of your choice.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Complement study 1

For homework we were to pick 2 complements, then make at least 10 different colors from the 2 plus white. We were, however, warned NOT to rely on white, and just a value change, to make the different colors, but rather to vary the proportions of the colors as we mixed them. This is cad lemon and dioxazine purple. We could then put them in a grid, or arrange them in any way we like. I like this ribbony approach.

Friday, February 10, 2012

3rd class MassArt

Here's a view of the set up I worked on this week at MassArt. Nancy McCarthy is in the background in her orange coat. I used the palette knife exclusively, did a thumbnail (which I usually don't do but which she suggests doing). When I started putting the paint on the panel I applied it directly, inside of doing a drawing first. Big mistake, because my composition wasn't like the thumbnail, which was better I think. I should have corrected it immediately, but I didn't. Next time. So many things to consider, I need to slow down. I get too excited and just plunge into painting.  To the left of that red box in the foreground was a roll of ribbon. Impossible to get using alizirian. Had to use quinacridone crimson, good reason for a full palette.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

2nd Class MassArt

I didn't think I would be able to get to class this week. My mother in law had a massive stroke on Sunday and died peacefully on Wed. My sister ended up at the Leahy clinic. My husband was out of town on business. Somehow driving into Boston, seeing the moonlight on the Charles, and spending time mixing color, picking it up with the knife and just trying to see what was in front of me, was soothing and just what I needed. Jessie was English, always the lady, full of grace.  In spite of  losing her sight,  diminished hearing and difficulties with eating she never complained, always putting one foot in front of the other, and doing what needed to be done. I will miss her and will remember her courage and strength.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

1st class Personal & Powerful

1st night of class, feel like I haven't ever painted before. Why does that feeling come over me? Didn't even crop this, so you could see a bit of the studio. The floor in this studio is so slanted, things roll off on their own! I'm trying to be kind to myself and give myself a chance here, the inner critic is having a field day with this painting,,,,which I don't even consider a painting. It's a study...there, doesn't that sound better?