Sunday, January 31, 2010

Daily Painting Practice - Painting Roses -Had it, then lost it, then quit for the day

After completing so many large paintings over the last few weeks, I thought I would take a breather and do a small..."Easy one".  It started out just fine.

Here's where I started  to doubt what I was doing with the arrangement.  I should have determined the background before I started....but then again, I just felt like painting an "Easy one".

Did I mention that there is nothing "Easy" about painting red roses, at least for me. I always have trouble with the red coming out of the deep, warm, dark shadows. I tend to lose my way in the structure of the petals.

sorry about the glare

Red Roses
oil on masonite

I thought I had it going in the right direction but then stepped back and decided... I lost it.  After working it some more, I needed to quit. This happens every once in a while. The best thing to do when it does happen is to quit for the day and make a cup of tea. Everything looks better after tea.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Daily Painting Practice - Painting canal in Lambertville N.J.

click on the painting to enlarge the image

(temporary title until my title manager/wife sees it)
oil on canvas

The deadline is today for the Oil painters of America entries. It's 1:30AM, I just completed this one so I made my deadline. After I post and get some sleep I'll submit it on-line. Wish me luck!

Last September I made the trip out to the state I was born, the beautiful garden state of New Jersey.  Lambertville is a beautiful old town along the Delaware river directly across from New Hope, PA. The Delaware Canal runs right through the middle of town. If you visit be sure to check out my work at the des Champs Gallery.

I really had to get bold with some thick paint to bring out the light but I think it works.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Daily Painting Practice - Floral Celebration - Painting Peonies Again

Click on the  painting to enlarge the image

Floral Celebration
oil on canvas

Yes, completed on time! Doesn't it feel good when you make a deadline and you don't feel you have sacrificed on quality?

I so enjoyed painting this. Though, as with every painting,  there were times when I didn't think it would work or I looked at the painting and it felt it was missing the mark. That is a dangerous time when an artist has those thoughts and feelings.

That is when I feel like a TV doctor on a soap opera, standing in front of the patient ... the patient's life in my false brush stroke, one mistake with the palette knife and the painting could die before my eyes!!!! (Sorry, all artists need a bit of drama.  It helps keeps us passionate about the work).

When those times come, when you don't think a painting  is working but the idea  for the painting is still a good one, step back and try this.

1. Hang the painting upside down or look at it in a mirror. If you can identify the weakest part, fix that first.
2. Ask your  official critique partner/wife to tell you what bothers her the most. ( keep this conversation limited to the painting)
3. Place the painting against the wall surrounded by a few of your best and worst paintings. This helps you see where it sits on the scale of previous work.
4. Finally, get dramatic! Pretend you have money. Would you purchase this painting? if not... why?

I would buy this one....if I had money.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Daily Painting Practice - Waterfall painting finally complete

click on the painting to enlarge the image

(needs a good title)
oil on canvas

Call it complete! I have struggled with this one for a while, but now I am finally happy with it. It's a funny thing,  I spent so much time on this painting  I really began to feel like my feet were wet all the time.

I had a lot of help from the gang of four. Their critiques kept me on track. It should be mandatory that they teach every artist in art school how to train a spouse, a friend or a child to critique your work.  One problem though, you have to listen to them when they get good at it.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Daily Painting Practice - When is a painting Finished - Northwoods Lake

click on the painting to enlarge the image

Needs a title
Northwoods Lake
oil on canvas

You may think it is a simple thing for an artist to say  "I'm finished!" or  "It's ready to sign!" but for me it is always a hard decision, when to call a painting... complete. Sometimes, I jump the gun and call it finished too soon (usually when I am bored with the composition...not a good sign)  Sometimes, like this one, I can go on forever making changes.  I could paint all four seasons in the same painting if no one stopped me. Luckily, I have  my art productivity moderator /wife to keep me on track. If she calls it done I know I must be close.

I need to call this one soon because my competition entry deadlines are approaching and I have 3 more paintings to  "complete" .