Sunday, March 24, 2013

Dress-Up Girl

Today our daughter posted a photo on Face Book that was so endearing, it brought tears to my eyes, and I had to pull out the paints.  Our little granddaughter appears to be preparing for her dance number.  Tango, perhaps?  I love dresses over jeans, though they really don't look as good on me as they obviously do her.  I just can't make stiletto heels work for me, either.   

Monday, March 18, 2013

Discovery Bay Pastoral

I've driven by this spot hundreds of times, but it wasn't until Catherine gave us a photo she took for last week's class study that I appreciated the terrain for it's sumptuous vitality.  Serene, ageless and inviting. All I had ever focused on as I passed this area, was the tacky hamburger joint.  Sometimes even a painter might not really connect with a landscape until she translates it to paper (or canvas).

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Watercolor Pears

I've come to accept that my style is to "evolve" painting projects a little at a time over the course of days.  I'm sure there are many of you who nod your heads enthusiastically while reading this, feeling reassured that there is someone else out there whose paintings never seem to be done, until one day the last bit snaps into place and you know it's finished.  Hopefully you'll know it's finished!  Well, this painting wasn't an example of this.  I scurried to create it a couple hours before Catherine's class, and it was done.  Well, almost.  The last piece snapped into place tonight, moments before I scanned it.   So it was done within a day, from Catherine's photo.   Cheating, I used Inktense pencils to finish off the un-crisp edges of the pears (okay, Michael, now you know the truth about my edges!).  I love tidy on my artwork, but not necessarily in the studio itself.  


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Test Pears

We've been given some photographed subject matter by our teacher to work on.  This time it's pears.  Not being quite sure of the colors I would use, I sketched a preliminary drawing first with my trusty Derwent Inktense pencils, wetted with a fine point waterbrush.  I love getting to know my subject matter intimately as I paint; doing so certainly helped when I was a portrait painter in Boston in the '70s.  By "intimately" I don't mean... well... excuse me while I blush.  What I mean is, I studied the model's features carefully as I painted.  I even engaged them in conversation, asking about their lives and interests, which somehow helped to distinguish certain aspects of their posture or features.  For instance, maybe an enlisted man's tender reference to his mother as he posed somehow helped me to focus on the way the sunlight struck the tips of his blond eyelashes.  Something fragile, innocent, boyish.  

Now if I were to ask these pears what they love to do on their days off, they would no doubt giggle and squirm, drawing attention to their bashful posture, one against the other.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Emerging Daisies

You could probably count the number of times I've painted (or drawn) flowers in my life on one hand.  Trees, mountains, barns, portraits, animals have all found their way to my canvases over and over again, but I've never been much of a flower child (just a hippie).  But looky me...  I'm paintin' flowers!  This IS a good class.  I did have to work this painting for a week or so, and couldn't get it right until a class critique session helped me focus on emerging the blossoms by darkening the greens around them, as well as the sky.   The values were too similar, nothing popped, so I spent some time tonight putting depth into the painting.  My much admired friend, Marian, is masterly at that.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Orange and Red

Nothing better than hanging out with a group of talented students, slopping wet paint on paper.  This was our project today.  Our wonderful teacher helped us to understand how to have faith in the ability of pigments to find their own way, once introduced into a wet painting.  As with the next few paintings, these were painted from Catherine Mix's photos.