Sunday, February 27, 2011

Daily Painting Practice - orchid still life

Last post I talked about painting over  and into old paintings to hopefully improve them  and then try to sell them again. I had a few comments and emails asking how do I go about this. Well, I just paint as if I am continuing the process. I don't varnish my paintings any more so there is nothing to remove. Other than using spray-on retouch varnish ( a few coats) to protect the painting before shipping to the gallery, my last step in painting is usually brushing on a thin coat of Liquin as my last step, this way I can always  paint over or correct at any time.

Now onto something new

 This one has several interesting challenges for me as a painter. (why make it easy?) Mainly, the challenge is all about the textures of the objects and how they each catch and reflect the light differently.

My mind understands that the wood or cloth (in this case a silk scarf) is made of  different material than the porcelain figurine. My mind tells me the whites of the orchid should reflect the light differently than the hard surface on the  porcelain....but does my brush understand this? ... too soon to judge

I think it was Gandhi who said "Be the change you wish to see"
If he was an artist he might have said, "see the surface you wish to paint."
In others words,  it helps to think like a sculptor when you paint. imagine you are touching the surface of the object. How does it feel in your hands? How does the form and texture feel?

White Orchids
- work in progress-
oil on canvas
That type of thinking helps me  when all the textures start to visually blend together.
Now if someone could just tell me , How does the light in the air feel?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Daily Painting Practice- take an old painting and improve it.... add a red canoe

I have question. What do you do with older paintings that for one reason or another have not sold?
I have a few paintings hanging around.  So, what do I do with them? I could paint over them( done that), give them away (done that but...not any more), donate them ( done this), store them and take up studio space ( doing that now).

Here's another idea. Rework them, change them, try to improve them... ( then maybe rename them and  try to sell them again.)

 This one came back from the gallery it was called "Along the Bank".
I always thought it was missing something. The painting didn't give me,as viewer, any reason to stay and look at it.

 click on the painting to enlarge the image
The Red Canoe
oil on canvas
Now with a few new touches:
I added the canoe, some birch tree trunks in the background and  highlighted  details of the grass in the back, also strengthened the fallen tree in the fore ground, and played a little with some stones and tree trunks.
Oh, and I gave it a new title...pending approval from you know who/wife.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Daily Painting Practice - One Painting finished One just starting.

click on the image to enlarge the painting

The Book Seller's Favorites
14"x18" oil on panel

Completed...titles and all. Now on to the next... no time to rest in an artist's life.
More Mums...
blocking in stage . Trying to decide on what do with the background and what  needs to be on the table. I call this my "compose as I go along" kind of painting.... I live dangerously.

I'm adding flowers (just paint smudges) to the bouquet and playing with ones on the table.

There was going to be a white table cloth but  I changed it to a wood table top.
Needs  something on the table.

Just the thing. In real life the cup is a little larger. I scaled it down a touch... We artists have the power to change the world....well, at least within our own studio walls. Not a bad beginning.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Daily Painting Practice - Did Vermeer wear glasses?

How close to your work do you get? My nose gets paint on it.
Thank you to all who added their comments last week. One hundred percent thought the titles should be painted in... easier said than done.
 Did you catch the broken glasses I am wearing.  ($1.50 magnifying glasses from the  grocery store). I am scratching into the paint with a  quill pen.
This is Norman Rockwell's "Art Critic". I have been caught  numerous times by art museum guards getting my nose too close. Now, thanks to Googleartproject and several museums around the world, we can all get  our noses closer than ever before.GO TO

Then visit the Rijksmuseum and scroll down to a still life by Jan van Huysum(click the link)
 keep zooming in to find the bugs crawling all over the painting.
I love this site.I can't believe the detail!....and I don't need my glasses.

Meanwhile back at the easel...I've started adding  the titles. The one leaning on the left was supposed to be "The scarlet Letter" but I don't think it goes with the painting so I am looking for  a different one... Any suggestions?

By the way thanks to  Amy Mann's comment last week. She spotted that the mahl stick Rembrandt is holding was at a perfect 90 degree angle to the book. I agree it was too distracting. Imagine the nerve I have  changing Rembrandt's work...

One more title!...then clean up and I think ...finished.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Daily Painting Practice - continuing Rembrandt's shelf -making progress and changes

 Making progress. I added the candlestick holder  to the composition.It holds the burnt match  nicely and I think it ties the  bottom together... I still painted a match on the table for fun.
 Worked on the glass and started sharpening  some edges, and softening others. Working on Rembrandt a little too.
Now the big debate going on in the studio is whether or not to put titles on the books.