Monday, April 27, 2015

daily painting practice - Maine fog, rocks and foggy rocks

Painting Fog

I find fog so interesting to paint.  The light is bouncing around within the atmosphere, dispersing color all over the place . Yet at the same time it holds everything it touches together.

Rocks on the other hand are an extreme mental excersise for me.  Meaning, that I must constantly think about the surface angles or planes, and figure how the light reacts to those planes.

Ah, but foggy rocks are even more interesting, because the fog softens the edges but reflects the light in weird ways.  It is very difficult to get just the right delicate balance between soft edge and hard edge, weight and atmosphere, depth and concealment when  trying to capture that feeling of fog lifting over the water and the rocks. I paint the fog in very thin layers and wait until the paint drys before scrumbling in another layer, wiping off the paint as much as I put it on the surface.

Painting in progress continues...
Portland Head Light  in the Fog


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Daily Painting Practice - Portland Head Light a Maine lighthouse

Today's Problem: How do you paint an icon.
I'm not talking about the religious type of icon painted on a wooden panel , I mean an icon of a place. The Portland Head Light located in  Cape Elizabeth, Maine is an iconic image if ever there was one. It is probably the most photographed lighthouse in Maine. Nearly everyone has seen a photograph, calendar, postcard or print of it.  So why am I going to paint it? 
 I have been there many times and painted the surrounding coast line but only a few times have I tried painting the lighthouse. Once, it was foggy and raining and I stood 6 inches from the edge of a cliff to do it.

 Every artist I know likes to eat. Some, more than others, and some  think drink is more important, but the end goal is the same. Eat to live and live to paint....... but we must sell something to do either. 

  Since gallery owners who represent artist's have the same interest in eating, we both make compromises in order to  attract collectors. Sometimes that means painting subjects that everyone has painted before. This is not a new problem that the artist faces but it always brings up the same questions for us. Who do I paint for, myself or a potential collector? 
Portland Head Light in the fog
  If you paint still lifes, ask yourself how many apples or sunflowers have been painted before and by how many artists? Yet, people love and continue to buy paintings of apples and sunflowers... and this has been going on for centuries. 
So I have no problem at all painting a lighthouse that is an iconic image... well, I have lots of problems painting it  just not a problem selecting it as a subject.   

And so I begin.....

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Back to daily painting practice

Back in Business!

After a long absence due to an acute case of blogatosis ( a debilitating disease caused by laziness leading to an addiction to posting art on my Facebook page),  and a long hard winter here in Maine, I am back.  

For my grand re-opening of Daily Painting Practice I will be going back to basics, that means, posting more progress pictures and showing how I develop ideas, what techniques I am using, and as a format for discussing what I find of value in developing as an artist.
While Facebook has been a great place to network with other artists and to display work to interested groups of certain types of art, it is not a good place for descriptive writing, teaching or sharing anything in developmental stages. 

So I will be posting regular (a very subjective word) installments again. Stay tuned ... hello, is anyone still out there?

Friday, December 19, 2014

Painting Maine Seascapes - Winter Water

What's on my Easel?

Progress being made on my latest seascape. I really enjoy the process I go through when creating these. The sea has so much movement.  It is  fun to discover ways to capture that feeling. 

 Recently I started trying to condense my values. In this one I did just that. I then added the brilliant warm white near the focal point. I think it works  well. It definitely draws your eye to the center of interest.
Winter Water 
 work in progress

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Painting Maine Seascape

What's Off my easel  this Wednesday?

Yesterday I decided to start a new tradition of completing all of my unfinished work before the new year begins. So starting at 6:30 Am in the studio I got busy.  There are about  20  paintings I need to  complete. Some  large  like this one and some small (5x7) .

First one. Finally completed.
Clair de Lune
oil on canvas
available through my website