Friday, January 25, 2008
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Thursday my plein air group meets and this morning I awoke to drizzle, fog and very chilly temperatures. (By Florida standards at least!) In addition, an irrigation pipe in my lawn had broken during the night so I had to call a plumber at 7 in the morning to come out and fix it.
By the time he left I was an hour late and the drizzling and fog made me feel like jumping back into bed and pulling the covers up to my chin. Instead, I forced myself to pack up my junk and go out and I'm glad I did.
I am not a painter who likes to paint when the sun isn't shining. First of all , it's hard. Everything appears flat without shadows and highlights and the values all seem to blend together. However, Richard Schmid has said that a cloudy overcast day is his favorite kind of day to paint plein air, because you don't have to worry about constantly changing light. He is right, and for once I felt relaxed, because I knew I could paint the scene without a drastic light change.
Today, I just found myself relaxing under the palm trees and listening to an animated conversation going on all around me among cranes, an owl, doves and many other loud-mouthed birds. It was just what I needed. It was also nice to do a landscape after struggling with paintings of dancers all week. I needed the break. I like the way this one came out. I don't usually use many earth colors in my landscapes, but pitting a cool burnt sienna against a warm transparent oxide red created a subtle soft effect and helped create the feeling of a foggy atmosphere in this painting. Here is the scene that I painted. The seagrass just kept stretching out to the beach and the horizon line was non-existent today. I'll definitely want to try this again.
Monday, January 21, 2008
Grand pas de Chat, 12x16, oil on gallery-wrapped canvas (Not for sale)
On Friday, I went to Jon Greeley's art studio in Towle's Court for a lesson. Jon has been mentoring me for a few months now, and I can really see the difference he has made in my still life and figurative work. Jon told me that we were going to do a painting together. I wanted to do a dancer and so I emailed Jon some pictures of dancers earlier in the week and he chose one. The objective of this week's lesson was to help me with my palette (which is too bright) and to help me with edgework, and to achieve a more impressionistic style.
With so many challenges I was nervous.
Jon is such a sweetie- he's very patient even when I can't do what he is trying to get me to do. Here is how the painting above evolved:
Jon toned the canvas, and I noted the colors he used. He wiped out the areas where the body would go and then told me to rough in the dancer's body. I did my best but she looked pretty miserable. Next we took turns applying paint. Jon would make suggestions and let me try them. If I went too far off track he'd sit down and take over. Eventually, the painting began to emerge.
I loved the beautiful diffused colors he was using on his palette, but it will be awhile I think before I get a good handle on mixing them accurately. Jon always emphasizes putting down a brush stroke and then leaving it alone- something I'm really bad at! He also emphasizes sticking with just 4 values (to begin) and this too, I have trouble with. Eventually it was time to go home and Jon told me to take the painting with me and work on it, which I knew would be a challenge since the legs I had put in earlier were way, way off.
I worked on the painting for the past three days adjusting and adjusting and adjusting. She has lost her initial freshness but I am finally ready to leave her alone because she now has a terrific dancer's body similar to one of my favorite ballerinas- Patricia Barker of Pacific Northwest Ballet!
When I used to take class (for many years!) at The Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet in Narberth,Pa., this was one of my favorite steps- the Grande Pas de Chat, or open pas de chat as it is sometimes called in the Vaganova Syllabus.
I miss dancing but I am certainly glad to have replaced one passion with another!
A big hug to Jon for an awesome lesson, too!
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
I'll probably end up submitting this painting to the upcoming plein air exhibit that I'm in next month, and I imagine someone will like it. Go here for more details...
Monday, January 14, 2008
When I looked at last night's painting in the morning light, I wasn't happy with it. I made some changes and like it much, much better now. Women love red roses, and this would make a lovely Valentine's gift that could be appreciated all year long!
You can purchase this painting through Paypal for $69.00, which includes free shipping.
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Sunday, January 13, 2008
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Aout the Painting:
Whenever I get down on myself about my art , I revert to painting scenes that I love. Completed last night, this is the newest of my lavender paintings (all the rest have sold) and it's definitely my best. I named it "A Year in Provence-June", because I've decided to paint a series of scenes from Provence for every single month of the year. This one was painted exclusively with a palette knife so there are thick layers of juicy color and texture throughout.
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Sunday, January 06, 2008
"Alone in Paradise", 12x16, oil on Raymar panel. Note: PLease click on the photo for a close-up view of the detail.
This is a painting that I did about a year ago. Jeez! I can't believe how tight it is! I took it out yesterday and reworked some of the passages and although it's still tight, the values are better. It's actually a painting of me, done from a photo taken during a vacation to Guadeloupe some years back. I was deep in thought at the time and struggling with juggling a large dance school and young family at the same time. The vacation was a hoot however, with lots of margaritas and major faux pas on an island where only French is spoken and plumbing is almost third world. My limited French got me in quite a bit of trouble on that trip. We ended up stranded on the island of Marie Gallante because I didn't quite get the time right for the ferry that was supposed to return us to Guadeloupe. My hubby also almost died on that trip, too, as a result of snorkeling in raw sewage that had been discharged into the area of our resort. It is a gorgeous island however, and I'm sure the plumbing is much better now. Anyhow, there was lots of drama on the trip, and I think the painting captures it all via the look on my face!
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Saturday, January 05, 2008
It seems as though the last of the bitter cold weather that we've had in Florida is over. This morning it was still a little chilly, but in a good way. I went out early to this spot close to my home and painted this from a wooden fishing pier near the intracoastal. I always like to be safely above any spots where alligators might lurk and this is one of them. I've painted here before, but today the sky had a peachy quality that was just gorgeous. I hope that I've captured it!
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Tuesday, January 01, 2008
New! Giclee print available starting as low as $22.00. See below!
The first painting of 2008! Happy New Year to all the wonderful artists, collectors and friends that I've met over the past year!
Note: This painting is being offered for $400.00 by using the Paypal button below, or click here
to purchase a giclee fine art print in your favorite size starting as low as $22.00!
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