Saturday, December 21, 2013

I received the Daniel Keys DVD yesterday

Nice, just in time for xmas--Daniel's 2-hour video of the painting and taping day at Regis College last summer. It comes in a nice package, a booklet more or less, that shows the colors he uses and the brushes (Rosemary & Co.). 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Fallen Fairy at Glue Hospital

My model fairy fell off my easel today and is in the glue hospital.  The frog's arm and a couple of the frog's fingers broke off and they are very tiny so I haven't found them yet.  The fairy's wings broke off, one in two places, and they are being stubborn about staying on after I glued them.
I've found a couple of references that I plan to try to use for the background--water lilies.
This accident happened because I'm not in my usual studio where I have appropriate stands, but in my gallery space where I work with students.  I didn't take the time to set myself up properly and even taped the fairy to the easel, I don't know how the tape broke.
We are having a snow storm as I write this.  It's accumulating fast.  I shoveled once, came in to glue, and a couple of inches fell in about 1/2 hour.  A couple of days ago we had about a foot of snow.
If the fairy doesn't need a lot of physical therapy, I'll put her to work tomorrow.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Thursday--fairy progression

Latest version

third day

second day

first day
So this is one of the paintings I'm working on for a show about flowers scheduled for the spring. I bought this little statue in Florida years ago and love it from every angle.  I might do more views of it.  I never paid much attention to frogs before now and I'm having some trouble painting this little guy.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Video studies today

I did a little research today (several hours actually) on various portrait artists' work, looking at different palettes, Zorn, Henshey, Robert Liberace.  I'm impressed by the Liberace demo here Liberace demo. This video is the third part which is near the finish line of the work.  I like the way he talks about the colors he's using as he goes along.
This is not on the video but an example of his work.
So this is the study for that painting I told you about of my husband.  (kidding)

Monday, December 9, 2013

Helpful information

Everyone has their favorite stuff for cleaning brushes, clothes, etc.  Dreama has recommended this product for getting paint out of clothes.  Get the paint out, and all kinds of other dirt or stains. with this dandy product.   I usually don't have problems getting paint out of my clothes as long as I tend to it right away.  My go-to product is my dish soap.

She also posted some tips for painters who travel by plane: I have flown with my paints and put them in my checked luggage.  I don't wrap them in bubble wrap, although it's probably a good idea.  I don't want to change my luck, but I haven't had any problems with the inspectors.

Today I had my art student and she was celebrating her one-year anniversary by completing a painting from a photo.  She did a painting of this photo before she started her lessons, and next week, I'll post her before and after photos.  I am proud of her accomplishments, she is a good student who listens and is cooperative, and she is diligent.

Today I also painted and tried the Zorn palette.  Wow, hard to get colors from only black, white, red and ocher.  I used a student grade black, so I'm going now to look through my stuff and try to find a professional quality Ivory Black as it might make the difference in trying to get blues and greens.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Visit to PEM

VIDEO-Installing "Nana" for Impressionists on the Water show.  I can't believe it, this video (this gig is gorgeous) has only been viewed 278 times as of today with my capture. 
This adventure to the art museum in Salem, MA last Thursday was exciting because I saw some actual boats that are not, for whatever reason, made much of in their advertising; along with a life-sized model of a painting boat--great fun--I'd love to do that.  See more at my adventures blog.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

David Curtis and Stage Fort Park

This photo does represent the design of the painting that I am working on.  I finished the plein air "sketch" and David suggested that I now do a studio painting from my sketch.  It's an idea I want to pursue.  I was happy to be able to be there on a day that very accurately represented the season, lighting, colors, etc. of when I was there years ago.
oil sketch on site of Stage Fort Park in November

Friday, December 6, 2013

More at Stage Fort Park

OK, so these photos were taken this year and the bottom photo represents the design of  a painting that I had done years ago that I was not satisfied with.  The photo above looks to me to be a better composition.  I'll work on both of them and see what I can do to improve the bottom one and maybe the top one will be an improvement.  I'll keep you posted. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Brussle Sprouts

I've never seen Brussel Sprouts on the stock.  This is exciting.  Daniel Keys--eat your heart out.  I can't assemble a full array of vegetables and fruits to do a big painting right now with Holidays coming along but maybe in the near future. 
I have taken the pictures and cut them off the stock (taking more pictures as I went)  and now I have to eat them.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Digital Art

I haven't had the time or inclination to experiment with digital art as of yet, but I enjoyed reading   Michael Chesley Johnson's Blog today about it.  The price of the
Autodesk's Sketchbook Pro for Android app is $4.99 so it's certainly an affordable experiment and something you can do in bed before you go to sleep. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Genn's daughter Sara

I'm a big fan of Robert Genn's Twice Weekly Newsletters and was deeply saddened by his announcement that he doesn't have long to live; and, subsequently, his daughter, Sara, has taken up his mantle to continue some of his work.  Happily, it looks like she is up to the task when it comes to his newsletter: 
Today's Genn Newsletter from Sara

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Sky change on sunflower

Lighter Sky, compare with previous posts
It's hard to tell with this photo, but at David Curtis' advice, I changed the sky back to a lighter blue. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Student's progress

Underpainting for 1st anniversary painting.

Wow, my student is going crazy.  Well, in a good way.  She has been taking lessons for one year and we decided that she would do an anniversary painting.  What is that?  Well, before she came to me she had done a couple of paintings, and one of them was of this photo.  So I asked her NOT to look at the original painting she had done of this subject, and using the methods she has learned, paint it again each year to gauge her progress.  I don't know how long it took her to do her original painting, but this represents only about 1 hour of work.  She is a very speedy painter.  I don't remember her original painting, but I'm anxious to see the comparison when this one is completed. 
I have had some people inquire about lessons, but they never show up.  I understand that everyone lives busy lives these days and it's hard to set time aside to pursue personal goals even if you are retired.  You know what they say about retirement...  You are busier now than before and you wonder how you ever did anything when you were working...or something like that. :)

George Marshall Gallery, Wells, ME

Beside George Marshall Gallery, Well, ME
So I have always loved the scenery near this gallery and took many pictures while I was there.  This area is gorgeous in every season.  I want to paint this area near this river.  Someday...

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Stage Fort Park

I went to Stage Fort Park in Gloucester today to finish a painting I had started many years ago.  When I went there that first time, it was my first time meeting David Curtis.  Today I was more or less celebrating all the years I've worked with him on plein air painting.  Today I had finished my painting and was leaving before I ran into David.  Admittedly I started early and was finishing up early (explaining why I was finished before David got around to me).  So David made comments on today's work and also I brought along a few flower paintings I've been working on for his critique.  Regarding yesterday's Scraggly Sunflower painting, he advised me to lighten the sky in order to help to emphasize the yellow more (too many intense colors take away from each other).  Well, the really funny thing about that sky business is that while I was painting it, I could hear his voice telling me, as he usually does, to make the sky darker.  ha ha.  I do understand why in this case.
Then I headed up to Wells, Maine for a lecture on empathy at the The George Marshall Store Gallery.

Realizing Empathy: An Inquiry into the Meaning of Making
A presentation by Seung Chan Lim

Friday, November 15, 2013

Scraggly Sunflower

Scraggly Sunflower, 9x12", oil on 1 1/4" deep stretched canvas
Finished this last night, and it was a joy to paint.  The photo might be a tad yellower than it is in reality.  I tried and succeeded to keep the oranges.  So the color scheme is actually tertiary, orange, yellow, blue, green.  The background is abstract to help with the focal point. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Still Scraggly

Scraggly Sunflower - not finished
This morning I worked on this sunflower painting again, I think it's the second day.  Why can't I remember?  Well, it was about a week ago that it got started and I've done other things in between.
I think it looks better in person, the camera makes so many adjustments to the values and the colors that it just doesn't look the same.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Last night I went to an event, billed as a comedy show, in Harvard Square.  It was very thought provoking.  During my walk this morning, I thought.  Then while checking emails, etc., I came across this article and thoroughly enjoyed reading the comments to it.  I hope you have the time to explore it as well:  The New York Times, "Don't quit your day job."

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Mad Monday

The Mary's Mondays (where I teach skating in the evening) was cancelled in favor of a private party so I got to go to Mark's Mondays (Mark Hayden's evening portrait group).  He posed, so this is the second attempt to paint him.  He's the one who says I'm afraid of the dark, and I think I did better with the darks here.
I wish I could find my first version of this portrait for comparison's sake.  It was a lot different and there were aspects of that one that I liked better.
 I also worked again (pretty much all day long) on the Red Lily painting where I'm trying to catch the glow of the sunlight on these flowers in my garden.  This is probably the forth day on this painting.

I'm trying to keep it lose but the main flower is such a challenge because of all the colors, thankfully, the background is easier to interpret in a lose way.  I'm finding that the supporting flowers are really beautiful as well and I'm managing to keep them in the background although they too are gorgeous in their own right.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Zorn, one of my favs

Zorn painting with 2-source lighting

I'm not sure if I posted this link before, but you can see the complete list of known paintings by Zorn on this link:  Zorn, 144 paintings

Today in Gurney 's blog, he talked about Zorn's 2-source lighting.  Link to Gurney's blog here:  Zorn's 2-source lighting