Friday, February 29, 2008

Peter Yesis - Daily Painting Practice- Studio Tour

Leap year is an odd occurrence so I thought a good way to celebrate Leap Year was to do something different on the blog... like take a tour of my basement studio. For those who have followed this blog from the beginning ( probably three people of the two hundred who visit the blog daily) you remember my old studio was up stairs. Things have changed. This photo shows the back wall of the basement studio filled with props and some still life arrangements I am experimenting with.
Here is one of the best things in my basement studio. My wife / studio organizer set up this storage space for my paintings and canvases.
How many art magazines do you have? I have piles and piles. I have recently cut my magazine collection down to only American Art Collector, International Artists, and American Art Review , with a few Southwest Arts thrown in for good measure. On the right is a shelf that holds a box with the daily paintings that have not sold and various canvas panels neatly stacked. (The neat part is from my wife... I come from a long line of clutter stackers so neat is a foreign word to me.)
Every studio needs a library and a Lazyboy chair. I think I have more Norman Rockwell books than anything else. Books on or about Wyeth are second, then Rembrandt.
Here's where all the magic happens and where all that tea is slurped. I set up my shadow box on the left. I haven't used it for a while. My studio room upstairs had a really nice north window, but the space was very limited and I could not back up from the easel. I like to back up at least 15 feet from the painting to evaluate it during the painting process. The basement allows me to step back.

I thought I would also show you the overhead lighting. Nothing fancy but the lights are the best I could get as far as color correction. They are 6500degree K Lumichrome Lamps. I highly recommend them.
click on the image to enlarge the painting

Needs a Name - Work in Progress
oil on canvas

Here's a closer look at the painting on the easel. A work in progress that needs a name and is about 80% complete. Hope you enjoyed the tour!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Daily Painting Practice- Waiting for Customers - Study

I was in downtown Omaha yesterday delivering my entry for a national competition. The Nebraska Council for the Arts wants to commission some new paintings for the new Veterans Home. That's one of the things I have been so busy with lately. Anyway it is done and now it is up to the judges to decide. Wish me luck!

After dropping off the proposal I walked to a cafe in the Old Market and had a cup of coffee. ( "No tea?" you ask.) Coffee?? at a Cafe??? ...He must be in a new artistic phase of life. The next thing is to start wearing a beret.
Anyway, this is the view from the counter. I liked how inviting the sunlight was and the fact that their were no other customers.
click on the image to enlarge the photo
Waiting for Customers - Study
oil on canvas board
My intent was to see if this composition works in a square format. I think it has possibilities. I was concerned that not having a figure at a table might make the picture less interesting. It is strange but I think if I add a lone figure along the back wall it might help with the sense of emptiness. It would also give the viewer a place to rest. OK, I talked myself into it. The larger studio painting will have the figure.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Daily Painting Practice- A Quiet Morning - Work in Progress

click on the image to enlarge the painting

A Quiet Morning - Work in Progress
12"x 16"
oil on canvas

I know I haven't posted in a while but things have been very busy - crazy busy! I thought at least I owed you all a look at one of the studio paintings I've been working on. This one is 92.5% complete and I am very pleased with it so far. The fruit is some of the best I have done to date. I need to clean up some detail in the cloth and the whole painting will get a glaze or two to tie the atmosphere together.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Daily Painting Practice- Valentine Leftovers

This is my attempt at "Quick do a Daily practice piece then get back to work on the larger studio pieces". I am reusing a panel that had a cloud study on it.
I liked it here at this stage. The painting was loose and it had an Oriental feel to it. There was even a feeling of space that made this little 5"x7" seem larger than it was...
Valentine Leftovers
oil on masonite

...That all disappeared by the end. I am not pleased. I think the red roses were too heavy and the blue too light, and the atmosphere evaporated. I am posting this to show that not every daily painting practice piece ends up being a keeper. These are the paintings I learn the most from though. Studying your own mistakes helps you identify what makes a painting work and what makes a painting weak. There is nothing more powerful than the knowledge that you can do better next time.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Daily Painting Practice- Fruit Bowl

Another chance to work on the color of oranges (actually they are tangerines).
I like this composition. The fruit is packed into a space that catches the light in a warm inviting way for the viewer.
click on the image to enlarge the painting

Fruit Bowl
oil on canvas board

I am really enjoying painting in orange... now I should quit while I'm ahead.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Daily Painting Practice- Pay It Forward - Painting from life

On Wednesday evenings I join a few friends and we paint and draw from a live model for 2 hours. We start out with several 1 minute warm up sketches. Then jump to 5, 10 15 and maybe a 20 minute sketch.
I reuse my canvas about a hundred times. Week after week. No need to save these they just get replaced by next week's studies.
You can't beat the practice of having a time limit to capture an image. Strange that I find this type of painting relaxing, but plein air painting makes me so nervous. Another art psychosis that I need treatment for.
This was a three minute quick sketch. Things happen so fast! If I am lucky, I am left with a good impression. Hopefully it has expression too. Sometimes it works... sometimes I paint over it and start on the next one.
Having a model that can pose with emotion is rare. This model was very expressive which makes it easier to enjoy the process.
click on the image to enlarge the painting

Life Study
oil on canvas board

One of the best things about attending the life class is enjoying interaction with the other artists. The music was great too. (Diana Krall) playing in the background... You can't beat that!
Getting out of the studio and surrounding yourself with people who love to draw or paint is the best medicine for DAS (Depressed Artist Syndrome) ... It should be up there with a good diet and exercise.

Here's the Pay -It Forward piece:
Back December, an artist friend, Stacey Peterson, posted a Pay it Forward contest on her blog and I was one of the first three commentors to win a piece of art from Stacey. Here's how it works.

The rules are:
I will send one of these Life Study paintings to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.
When you leave your comment, please also do one of two things: leave your post address or e-mail it to me.

I will choose which painting to send but if you give me your top 3 choices that could help.

So, I promise to send a small painting to the first three who comment here wanting to join in on the fun. In return, you just have to pay it forward!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Daily Painting Practice- Afternoon Delight

Click on the image to enlarge the painting

Afternoon Delight
oil on masonite

Sorry but I couldn't think of a better name. This is my valentine painting to my wife/valentine. It's for sale because she is also my wife/business manager.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Daily Painting Practice- Three Pears and a Silver Dish

I had to do a painting with warm colors because my hands were so cold in my basement studio. I was dancing around to keep warm. I don't know if the music I listen to effects my painting but I have been listening to a lot of opera lately and today had gone back to Sinatra and Ella. I listen to (web radio Live365). It's free, which is great, and the choice of stations and variety of styles is endless.
I love the bright brush work of fellow (Dailypaintworks) artist Carol Marine. I was thinking of that style while painting these pears. I noticed Thursday, February 7th, Carol had a post where she showed a (picture of herself painting with head phones on). ( I am glad I am not the only one who paints in pajamas). I listen via speakers but I wonder how many artists have a studio ritual of painting to certain music. Anyone want to share?
click on the image to enlarge the painting

A Pear Apart
oil on canvas Board

I had a lot of fun with this one. I hit the colors and the values a lot easier than yesterday's rose. The background was even enjoyable.... I love days like this!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Daily Painting Practice- The Rose

My wife and I went to a wine tasting event this past weekend to benefit the Disabled Veterans. Each woman was given a long stem rose as they left.
Two days later the rose is in full bloom and ready for a Daily Practice Painting.
I have never painted a rose yet to my satisfaction. I think they are the most difficult of all the flowers. I have yet to figure out how to go about getting that deep color with pale halftone and soft highlights on the petals.
It is especially difficult painting wet into wet. Perhaps if I tried painting it again when the paint dries...
click on the image to enlarge the painting

The Rose
oil on canvas board

Or perhaps not. I gave it a good try but I think I may have to do this over and over again until I am satisfied I can paint a rose. I should have named this ..."First Attempt"

Monday, February 04, 2008

Daily Painting Practice- Oranges and Brass

Sorry, no progress shots today. I was just too lazy to set up the camera. This was an experiment to try and get the orange to be even more brilliant than the last painting. I tried giving it that halo of color and I think I got carried away. I was going to leave it like this but the art gods started screaming in my ear..."If you know it is wrong, you must fix it!" Back to the studio.

click on the image to enlarge the painting

Oranges and Brass
oil on masonite

Much better I think. I straightened out the wine bottle in the back ground and made the ring of the candle holder a little sharper. Sometimes it pays to double check before calling it quits.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Daily Painting Practice- Tangerines on a blue plate

Well I'm back. It has been at least two weeks since I actually picked up a paint brush. It could not be helped. Sometimes you just have to roll with what you are given. My production goal is going to be nearly impossible to meet but that doesn't mean I won't try.
On the left you can see the beginning of my next still life (with a familiar face in it). On the right is the beginning of today's daily practice painting.
The under painting is actually a plein air cloud study I am painting over. The blue makes a nice contrast to the orange tangerines. Too bad I covering it up.
I think this is the best I have done as far as capturing the intensity of the orange color of the tangerine peel.
click on image to enlarge the painting

Tangerines on a Blue Plate
5"x 7"
oil on masonite
That's a big title for such a small painting. It was fun to get back to work. I was really missing the time in my studio. My goals still stand. This will be my first solid week of painting without Grandpa duty. I can't wait to slop some paint...... but I miss the little guy already.