Friday, June 28, 2013

"Mary's Room", 24x24, oil on wrapped canvas, white hydrangeas, pink roses, French countryside, palette knife, green apple, impressionism,

"Mary's Room", 24x24, oil on wrapped canvas

I started this painting (see below) probably about two years ago. In the end, I was never happy with it. The vase (which is really an antique urn) looked a little garish in color and the shadows below it were too dark. But most glaring of all were the disjointed hydrangeas!

 So I finally took it off the wall and decided to re-work it a bit, in an attempt to see if I could improve it.

I started by using the "oiling -out" method described on Gamblin's website. This meant using equal parts Gamsol and Galkyd and applying it with a brush. I waited a minute or so and then wiped it off with a clean, lint-free cloth.

I decided to use my still-fresh Trader Joe's white hydrangeas as a reference for the flowers to totally obliterate the fake blue and pink ones I had tried to depict in the original painting.

Next,  I transferred them out of the glass vase and into this antique urn I had used before...

 I had kept a few of the antiques I had collected when I had my farmhouse up in Pennsylvania, which included this old pie safe and antique urn. Overall they don't look too offensive in a Florida home and the old urn has served me well for a couple paintings I have done in the past.

So then I set them all on the window sill in the kitchen on a very dark rainy Florida afternoon and tried to imagine the colors of the vibrant Burgundy countryside behind them that had set the stage for this painting originally.

I wanted to retain the light temperature of the French country background and pink flowers and so I tried my best to match the light under incongruous circumstances.

In the end, the painting turned out better than expected ,and I'm glad I finally made the effort to improve it!

If you are interested in purchasing "Mary's Room", just send me an email at

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