Thursday, January 28, 2010

Playing Again

6" x 6" oil on prepared masonite

Over the weekend, I completed one portrait and started another. The new one, a mother and baby, is slowly coming along and I'm really enjoying the journey but needed another little break from details! Soooo...since this arrangement was still on the table why not another fast study - same palette - same attitude. No timer set for this one. Had to take time out for dog training, running errands, etc. but total painting time was probably no more than two hours yesterday.

Well...sometimes they work, sometimes not quite. However, mission accomplished in that I'm ready to get back to details! Will be posting the portraits soon. In the meantime, these loose "play time" paintings could be habit forming!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Play Time

Lately most of my paintings have been slow and detailed. Yesterday the urge was to simply loosen up and play with paint. Faux fruit and veggies were hastily arranged (too carelessly I'm afraid) and, giving myself a two hour time limit, I picked up the brush! The light was reflecting the red fabric onto the little pitcher in an exciting way. Guess I'm still seeing red from those roses!

Some years ago in a plein-air workshop with New England artist Charles Movalli on a stormy stay-inside day, still life arrangements were set up for ala prima studies. In a critique of my work, Master (and he is) Movalli suggested I study the work of Leon Franks ( 1914-1970 ) as my style seemed to echo his! I was astounded since I had begun oil painting on my own as a teenager copying from old "how to" books by Leon Franks published by Walter Foster! Check the original price on the one I found on e-bay to show you!

This little still life reminded me of that long forgotten workshop and the teachings of Messrs. Movalli and Franks! This was fun and I wish I had handled the lighting and arrangement more carefully. If this were a serious piece, I would use real produce, not plastic and spend a lot more time with the set-up and lighting. As it was I happily moved paint this way and that and it felt good!

"It can't look like you've worked hard and long, even if you have. A painting should be done quickly with both your intellect and your nerves. When they give out, stop." (Charles Movalli)

They gave out - I stopped! Didn't go much over my time limit! Play time...I need more of that!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The "Best" Portrait

Oil on Canvas - 30" x 18"

This portrait was completed in November - a commissioned Christmas gift for a beautiful young couple who live and teach music in the public school system near the North Carolina coast. After Christmas Mrs. Best contacted me to let me know they are thrilled with the painting! Yea! That news makes me soooo happy! Their portrait was a joy to paint except for the red roses! I wanted more variation in the color and values of the red tones, but didn't want to draw even more attention than red itself commands! Was a dilemma but I feel with less detail rather than more in the roses, the eye is directed to the faces. Oh, it was so much fun painting these pretty people! The tiara was a challenge as were the sequins and beads on that lovely dress!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Mystery Solved

This mysterious artist has been identified! She is Becky Drees in Massachusetts! I received an email from her that she is pleased with the portrait and loves the green sweater! ;-) Here is Becky's blog where she has posted the portrait she did of me from the very bad photo I provided. I love the portrait and have tried to post to her blog but so far, no luck! I'll keep trying, Becky! Just want you to know you did a fantastic job!

The DSFDF Youtube video Part 4 includes mine and Becky's photos and paintings. What a fun challenge this was!