Tuesday, December 30, 2014

No painting today but yesterday

Yesterday I worked on a couple of paintings and started a third.  On Father George I was only planning to work everything but the face and when I finished with that and was happy with what was my initial attempt with the portrait except for one spot on the cheek near the crease near the nose.  I kept analyzing that spot, can I go in there and work on just that spot or will I end up doing everything over. It was kind of an all or nothing thing, I knew I wouldn't stop if I got started, and didn't want to leave it alone, so even though I did try to fix that spot, I was bitten again by the challenge to keep going.  I will be happy someday when I really can do a good job with an alla prima portrait.
Then I started on a new one from a photo.  I did the block in and then had to leave the studio and tend to other matters like doing a drawing for the lumber/wood guy about the mounting boards for the show.
I started off this morning by almost being late to the dentist, then one thing after another and I never did get into the studio, but I did do two to three hours of art related computer stuff, partly to find which photo book company to go with and watched a webinar on doing photo books. I also received a photo of one of the people who was planning to sit at the Senior Center but we just didn't get together on dates.  I am excited to get back to painting tomorrow and finish the two photo portraits.  Oh, yes, I heard from one of our models who is also an artist and she did a self-portrait and another portrait and will submit them for the show--so now we have a sitter who is also a painter.
I felt guilty about not painting today, but then I did paint on Christmas day.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Two more people

I'm now taking photos to reach my goal of 30 people and have received two.  I'll get to them today in order to get a start on them.  Yesterday I painted on three others.  I'm still enjoying the Greene palette.  Today is Father George for starters.
One of the frequent other artists in the portrait project, Fran Butsavich let me know yesterday that she will not have anything to put in the show.  This is sad because it would have given a very nice drawing aspect to the show.  Fran worked in pencil, charcoal, and maybe paint while she worked with the project models and usually gave them her work.
I did get to talk with the exhibit advisor at the Merrimac Library and everything looks good as far as the requirements are concerned and the hang day will be Monday, January 26.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Shaping up and looking good.

I now know that there will be ample representation by others for the Merrimacians show.  Five people have not replied, and some of them will have a number of paintings, and yet, so far I have approximately 21 paintings coming in.  This is an important aspect of the show to allow the public to see varying styles and methods and mediums of art.

Yesterday I worked on three paintings, trying to get them more resolved.  Since I faced the fact that I won't be able to do a lot of work on all of them in time for the show, and realized that showing some of them in their initial stage would be a good idea, I'm under less pressure to rush to the finish line.  Sadly, I can't work on one of them further because I only took a couple of photos and they are so blurry and at a distance that it won't give me any information to work with.

Showing those untouched versions with the reworked versions brought me to a thought process which compared the 'portrait oil sketch' to a 'plein air pochade'.  Both are meant to be spontaneous and document the feeling and gesture and color notes rather than a finished work.  In outdoor painting, when someone takes their plein air piece indoors and works on it further, it almost always looses it's refreshing quality.

For those of you who are aware of Daniel Greene, yesterday I finally bit the bullet and worked with his palette AND ENJOYED IT IMMENSELY.  I had heard of him back in the early 80s when I was at the Art Students League and have the DVD and have watched it many times.  I studiously took notes on the palette (he pronounces it pal-lette, accent on the last syllable) rewinding and rewinding the tape in order to record his every nuance regarding mixing the paint.  Being innately frugal, I was always leery of 'wasting paint'!  I did a paint inventory this year and realized that I had well over 100 tubes of paint, so what the heck! let's live a little!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Home Stretch

Yesterday I didn't paint, but did a lot of other art related things to prepare for the upcoming show.  I made files both in Photoshop and Word and WordPerfect to better prepare for the final push.  I made thumbnails of all the photos of the People that will be used in various ways.  I made files for the photos, the final paintings, the snaps of the other artists, and made lists.  I wrote an introduction for the photo book and flyers for the show. I researched photo books, spoke with my wood guy and, Catherine, the organizer of art events at the Merrimac Library.  Now I must contact the 'other artists' and coordinate the hanging with them and find a mutual agreeable date for the reception.  Catherine Dullea at the library, who is a photographer in her own right, will take care of shooting some of the art and getting some nice mentions of the show in newspapers and other advertising.

The game is afoot, it won't be long now.
I'm about half-way through my pile and still have 4 or 5 left to create from scratch and 30 days left!  I don't know how it will get done, but somehow it will.  This is what my studio looks like today.
None of these on the floor are completely finished.

This is the pile yet to be worked on for the second time.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Vertical Palette

The past couple of days I've been trying a vertical palette and there are some things about using it that I do like.  The jury is still out however.  I'm getting to an acceptable level of completeness on a portrait and then moving on to another so that I'll get through the pile at least once before the deadline--now 32 days away.

Today I received a mock up of the sign for the show and need to go back to the library and remeasure to be sure the size is correct, and I heard back from my wood guy who is making the mounting boards and he can do them, that's a relief.
 I'm also looking into doing a photo book to have as a desk reference not to sell or give away.  On BlogTalkRadio there is a episode where Carol Marine talked with Leslie about making her books and she recommended Blurb as I recall.  I'll have to listen to that show again.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Shoulder to the grind stone

Yup, I'm plugging along.  Had a good day yesterday, made some good progress.  Moving slowly today, but moving none the less.
Wow, a big black crow just landed on my back porch.  We usually don't have them around here.  Went for the camera, but he's gone.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas company

Just as I was all set to start on THAT painting that was giving me so much trouble, my brother called and said he was on his way over to spend the day with me, eat, drink and be merry.  I have to say that I was really in the mood to fight the good fight and work on my problem portrait, but I only see him a couple of times a year, so I closed up shop and spent the day and night with brother Al.  This morning when I woke, we had breakfast and off he went.  I enjoyed his visit and it could be my biggest joy for this season (even though I'm headed off tonight for a quick visit with my son at his business for the employee party), we cooked 4 lbs of mussels and two lobsters in garlic, butter, onion, yum yum. and drank a bit of wine.  It was a good day.
This morning I jumped right back on the horse and worked on that problem painting and got it to some level of acceptance.  Happily I'm now working on another one, one that was good to start with, lots of rich color, but thinly painted and showing heavy brush marks.  I have to catch up and make up for no painting yesterday.
I've finally heard from the library art director, and have not heard from my lumber mill guy.  I have to talk with the library person and if she won't let me hang these portraits the way I want to, I may have to scuttle the whole thing.  There is no way I'm going to frame and hang all 30, mostly because they won't look right that way.  I priced the lumber and can make the mount boards myself if the lumber guy's price comes in too high.
What will I do if this show doesn't happen????  Darn.  I'll have to have it elsewhere.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

All day and no results

I had NO luck yesterday, and I just couldn't stop myself.  I'm afraid to go up to my studio today, that painting is on my easel and will grab me the minute I get there, and I'll have to try again.  I've made up my mind to swap to another one as soon as I know this one is going nowhere.  Well, here goes.

Friday, December 19, 2014

More portraits...

I worked on two more portraits yesterday.  Every one is so different.  When I 'think' I'm done with one, I clean off the palette and remix another batch of flesh color base that might suite the tone of the skin of the next person.  While I like to embellish a little, using some intense colors to liven up the portrait, basically everyone's complexion is very different. So I don't really 'get' the color to be photographic or realistic, what I am striving for is a good likeness.  Now that is the hard part. 
The range of values is so close in portraits, a lot different from landscape, maybe more like still life.  I had to get a passport photo done at CVS the other day and they had a few cards lying around that were tests of their printer and it was a gray scale chart.  I asked about them, and they gave them to me as they were only going to throw them out.  I'm a real pack rat, so I took them.  When I got home I realized how little help they would be doing a face, because not only are the values so close but the color influences the values a great deal--warm, cool, intense, not intense.  Doing these portraits is frequent succession helps a lot with these decisions.
My approach differs with each one.  I try to start with the nose and STAY with the nose, but I'd have to have someone standing over me with a whip to do that.  My subconscious takes over and away I go.  Also when I go to the pile of portraits to choose another one to work on, sometimes I try to stay with the same general colors and other times I take one that needs the most work. 
My countdown calendar says 37 days left to hang day.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Self might be done.

I worked on the self portrait today and two other portraits.  I intend to work on all the portraits that I've painted from the 3-hour sitting with the models.  What happens is that I end up working on the entire portrait and mostly do it over again.  It's not my intention to do that, but you start with one little thing, and one thing leads to another, etc.
Here is a little video of the self portrait that could be finished, I may do more on it when I've gone through all the others.
I can't get it to slow down or stop repeating, and it's not showing the finished portrait entirely.
Self Portrait, December 2014, sketch of Mary Pyche

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Self Portrait, Day 2

I probably have one more day on this one.  It's very handy to paint yourself because you can easily check something just by looking in the mirror and you know right away if your not looking like yourself, maybe you don't even recognize yourself.  It is a good way to practice portraits I must say because you can get any head position you want to practice or facial expression.  The other thing I like is that you don't have to worry about what the sitter will say about the finished product.  I'm sure someone already wrote a funny treatise on the subject.
I downloaded a count down calendar on my computer screen so I'll stay on track painting the portraits.  I have 39 days to go.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Sold a painting and yesterday's photos

I got a nice surprise this morning when I got a notice from Pay Pal that a painting had been sold!  I didn't even hear from Daily Paintworks first!  It was so nice to hear from the man who bought it for his wife for Christmas.
Here is a second version of a painting I did previously.  No two are alike as they say, or you can't go home again, something like that.  It's a commission so I can mail them both out on Monday as long as this one dries sufficiently.
This is the original version of Italian Garden,
 framed, available.

This is version 2 of above painting.  

The funny thing is that I thought that the original was 12x12" and wanted to make one that was 10x10".  I didn't realize it until it was finished that they were the same size.  What a difference a frame makes.

Another Dreama and dreams for next year.

Today is 12-13-14, cool date.  Yesterday I painted a 10x10" painting that is a copy of a painting  I did while in a workshop with Dreama Toll Perry last year.  I could never be a counterfeiter because I couldn't make it look all that much like the one I had done previously.  I used the same palette.  The colors are close, and the design is close, but the technique changed.

I really have to get to my portraits, why am I doing everything else but?  Even with the deadline hanging over my head?  I must admit that my usual MO is that I like working under pressure (at the last minute), but in this case, it's not a good idea.

With the immediacy of having to do these portraits, it's frustrating to have lots of good painting ideas cooking and not be able to execute them.  I'm writing them down, but chances are that when I get to it, the excitement of the idea will have passed me by. So January will be full of "getting ready for the portrait show" and then I can implement the outline of goals I will set for myself for the coming year.
This years big change will be that there will be no workshops since my husband needs 24/7 care.  My biggest painting trip to Italy is usually something that I looked forward to and counted down to it, month by month.  These Italy trips have stopped anyway, how fortuitous for me, as the leader is retiring so that takes the sting away a little.  Because I've been going for several years and have a traveling companion, perhaps she and I will take another trip when the opportunity arises.

Usually during the winter I try to work on all the unfinished paintings I have in a stack near by easel. Well, if all these new ideas don't excite me any longer, I can work on the 'pile'.

All the art gurus say lately that we (artists who blog) should be writing more--making more of a narrative about the paintings or how the process went or how we were inspired, etc. and writing courses are being offered.  One thing that I want to get around to is setting up my Etsy account.  I did put it together last year but never carried through with it.  I think it deserves a chance.  I guess you can see that I'm beginning to think about next year's work.  I miss my morning walks, that's where I got all my good thinking done.

Exciting news!  The Huffpost Arts & Culture article is encouraging everyone to learn to paint:  Article HERE.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Gubbio, Italy, small church

I painted the gorgeous small church that Carol and I visited while on our trip to Italy in September.  I love this tiny church.  It is a grand piece of art all by itself.

5x7" oil on masonite
So I'm working on portraits and not getting anywhere fast. I better get a hitch in my get-along.  Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work I go.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

My first painting demo slide show movie

Did I have fun today or what?  Anyway, it's not great but it now exists.  I probably shouldn't have posted it but just couldn't help myself. 

Quick demo

I did learn a bit from doing it.  I tried to use a camera tripod but didn't set it up quite right.  I can see that it is important to do that.  I also had a side view, not a good idea, but I was only practicing.  My camera has poor settings for getting the colors true.  I used Photoshop Elements to make it.  

Anyway, I painted the little gold gift box again, and I like this one better.  It's a DPW auction.

I worked on a portrait today, finished one and started another one.  I think now I'll go get some supper.

See Cumberbach video - wax head

How do they do it at Madam Tussaud's?

My daily work...So I've been working on my portrait project to get the 30 portraits completed by the end of January and mounted on a platform to display them at the library.  Yesterday I wrote to my local mill guy who makes my moldings for the frames I make and asked about making foundations for the project.  I would make them myself, and still may if his price is too high.  I gave him my specs and a photo of the portraits the way they would look when mounted.
I've contacted the company that does nice vinyl lettering and visited the library to see the space.  I'm beginning to get a folder together with materials for the flyers and ideas about the mounting of the project in general.  The coordinator at the library is away until Christmas and doesn't want to answer any emails--there are some questions by other artists who want to purchase their frames, etc. now.  I've found some nice sticky strips that, I hope, will hold the panels onto the larger panel and be easy to remove when the show is over and the sitters receive their portraits.

Two of my small gems sold on Daily Paintworks and I packaged them for shipment yesterday, well, I tried, one has a wet spot.

I should do another one today as it's a good way to get a quick fix--since it's small and can be completed rather quickly, I think of it as instant gratification--sometimes the only satisfaction for the day. :)

Sunday, November 30, 2014

People Painting People today--Aiden # 24

In case you haven't been 'in the loop' check out the Facebook page:  (like it too)

Aiden was quite the youngster, like a commelian, he looked young one minute and old the next.  Check out these photos.

Yellow Christmas Tree Ornament

Yellow Christmas Tree Ornament.  I like painting these ornaments and small paintings.  I also like round shapes but I wanted to get away from 'round' so I painted this one.

I have to get back to painting portraits however.  This morning I'm off to paint another People Painting People portrait and it should be the second-last one.
Large Bright Yellow Christmas Tree Ornament, 6x6" oil on board, buy on DPW

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Christmas Candle Holder

I should be painting on my portraits but I like to do something to get warmed up so I did this little candle holder today and put it up on DPW as a Black Friday special (even though it's really Saturday ha ha).
Christmas Candle, 6x6" oil on masonite

Friday, November 28, 2014

Joy and Abundance

Today was anything but joy as I struggled with this painting and probably should have wiped it.  I scraped and repainted several parts. What is it?  It's a little gold foil-wrapped box on a pile of ribbons.  Then I couldn't even get a photo of it because of the juicy paint and metallic pigment I used here and there.  I'm going to give it 7 days on DPW then take it down and wipe it.
There was lots of joy taking the photos of the still life setups and editing the photos and there were about 10 that I liked, so I'll probably have another go at it but will select a different photo.

Joy and Abundance, 6x6" oil painting

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving home run

Baseball, 4x4", oil on masonite

Todays view of the water, notice how nice the reflection is on the far side and beautiful colors in the sky.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

I wanted to do a small painting today.  Yesterday I couldn't find the photos I wanted to work with and spent so much time doing that that I never go to paint.  So today I thought, I'll do something quick and small and simple, at least I'll get something done. It's on the Daily Paintworks site if you want to buy it.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Yup, Christmassy today.

I got to walk today!  While I was walking, I'm thinking, what will I paint today?  I wanted to do something Christmassy.  Up the street a bit, a neighbor's tree had lots of ornaments hanging on it, so I took photos with my iPhone.  So many.  Lots of shapes and colors and sizes.  I picked this one to paint today and thought that a smaller size would work better, but now I'm sorry because there was a lot of work in it and might have been better larger.  Anyway, it will look great on a mantle or bookcase, framed or unframed.  It's on Daily Paintworks - click here.
Ornament, 5x5"

Monday, November 24, 2014

Onion anyone?

Onion, 6x6", Click to buy for Christmas!
This was fun to paint.  I have wanted to paint one of these shedding onions for a while now.  It's putting me in the mood for Thanksgiving (this Thursday).  Now I should go up to the studio and pick out whose portrait I'll work on tomorrow.  I'll have all day tomorrow to make it or break it. BUT I think I might do another small painting to warm up.  Maybe something Christmassy?

The day begins...

So here are the many aspects of daily painting.  Well, for today anyway.  Where is the fun?  It's in the problem solving.  Do I paint the object?  No usually it's the colors or patterns of light and shade that attract me.

First, go up to studio, turn on heat, find item to paint.

Second, Get a blanket to cover my lap--it's the end of November. Why didn't I think of this before?  Because I usually stand.

Third.  Figure out composition for object.  I grid off a large(ish) piece of glass into about 10 squares and use each square to compose, using a wipe-off marker, move object around, move light around, decide on favorite.  Take photos, decide on favorite lighting aspect, background, coloration, lights and darks, etc.

Fourth.  Decide on square or rectangle, put out paints, convert camera photo to computer jpg.

Fifth.  Ready, set, go.  Paint from sketch, photo and most especially the actual item.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

This takes the cake.

I've always wanted to paint a white cake on a white dish, so here it is!
White Cake, 6x6", oil on Ampersand Gessobord
I'm going to eat this cake in about an hour from now with George and friends.  Yes, with ice cream too.  You can have it too, click here!

DPW makes me smile MORE!

What a delight, check this out!
I got a bid and a PICK!  for the cute little 6x6" painting little red apple pin cushion. 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

DPW makes me smile!

It's only been an hour or so since I put up a small painting and it has a bid already!  I guess I should pay more attention to the little things in life. :)  ;)   :)

After working on this small painting, I was able to just about complete the portrait of Ray!  He was/is hard to paint. Tomorrow is another model for my project--almost finished with this aspect of the project.

Having Fun Again - Red Pin Cushion

I thought I'd paint a small painting this morning to loosen up for the portrait of the day.  So I decided to paint this cute little red pincushion.  It came out pretty good so I posted it to DPW.
This type of painting gets you going and usually makes you happy before delving into the work of the day.
Little Red Pin Cushion, 6x6", oil on masonite

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Sold a painting yesterday

A woman who has shown interest in this painting for years was able to buy it.  As you can imagine, it is a long story, but she is VERY happy now.  It is a painting of her house and the pump on the town common.
She saw it in the West Newbury Library Show that took place pre-Christmas of 2011 or 2012.
We had a lovely visit at my house, she and her husband and I.  I enjoyed meeting them and plan to paint together with her husband next summer.  We have a common love of day lilies.  I was truly delighted to see that this painting found a happy home.
To see the painting, look back through this blog to October 2011.

Fighting with Ray

Ray is a portrait that I've been working on and having a hard time with.  I see that we can learn a lot from our mistakes, for sure!  And you won't believe this one, "measure twice, paint once"!  Oh well.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Portrait # 23, Charles Piecewicz

Sunday the 16th, we had our 23rd model, Charles Piecewicz.  There was some concern that being a youngster, maybe our youngest, he would not be able to sit still or last for 3 hours, BUT HE DID, and he did a great job.  Everyone enjoyed Charles as he was checking all the artists' work at the breaks and talking a lot about art and his ease with computer games.  We were thinking that another model would pose for the last couple of hours, and Grace Tierney came for that purpose, but since Charles did a fabulous job, Grace will return probably on the 30th.  My project is now going into December but I'm getting very close to my 30 people.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Third portrait - Megan

Now that I'm working every day on these portraits, I like the rhythm, more or less, that occurs of setting up and attacking the work. I did this one yesterday, and today I'm away until early afternoon, but I actually can't wait to start on the next one this afternoon.  Who will it be?  I haven't decided yet.
Again, this one still has some finishing touches that I only catch afterwards with the camera or mirror.  This one was on a strong sienna ground which peeks through a tiny bit.

I almost want to do another one of Megan, Her nose is wider and eyes are wider apart and I would work her coloring with softer richer colors.  The photo of my still unfinished painting isn't a nice as the real thing color-wise.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Second portrait almost finished

Second day of painting
Yesterday I worked on the Maureen Wimmer portrait.  I'm making a list of things that need to be done with it, and most of these corrections are a result of looking at this photo.  I think that I'll create a pile of  paintings with their lists to work on the third time around, sort of putting the highlights on a painting, you have to wait until the last minute to put that frosting on the cake.
First sitting
Today I'll work on one of the children that were in the group.  I'm happy that we will  have a good cross-section of people in the Merrimacians exhibit.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Double Checking - Self Critiques

I spent yesterday painting on one of the PPP (People Painting People) portraits.  I chose the one that was bothering me the most.  This part of the process takes way more time than the actual painting done from life.  Maybe because this one needed a lot of help.  First I determined that my drawing was off a lot proportion-wise.  So along with moving the eyes down about an inch and also the ear that was the only part of the painting that I originally liked, I tried to change her expression to a more pleasant one.  I struggled with the lighting.  First I had too much light and so the overall painting was coming out too dark-thus another coat of paint.  I should have cleaned my palette and didn't so I had some muddy color to contend with.  I repositioned my back mirror last thing last night and saw some other problems to correct.  This morning I reappraised the situation and took photos.  It's always a surprise how instantly the mistakes pop out on a photo.  OK, so I made a list of corrections to be done and will wait until later (maybe today) after I've warmed up, to make those.
Yesterday I received Carol Marine's new book in the mail and read about 1/3 of it last night.  She has some mighty good tricks up her sleeve.

There is a big difference between a sketch and a formal portrait, and also between a sketch done on location in a couple of hours and a touched up version.  I much prefer the original, usually, but sometimes other work must be done to make serious corrections. I try to remember to take a few photos to document the original light and, even when in doors with controlled lighting, the light will change because of outdoor conditions---I know, hard to believe.  So I take a few as I go along and the model relaxes and things change a little.  It's nice, sometimes, to be able to have those reference photos to 'improve' the design a little.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Ready for studio painting--Yea!

 I spent the past three days lugging stuff from my downstairs (which used to be my presentation space, and is now again) to my studio upstairs.  I must have made at least thirty, maybe more, trips up three flights of steps and down again and carried hundreds of pounds of art related materials.  All this because for two years I've held my art class there.  I cancelled the class for three months (at least) for now because of my husband's health and having to either stay in his room with him, pay a caregiver, or if he's having a good day, I sneak out of the room.  Today I'm getting a baby monitor.   So now all that stuff is in my studio space and has been sorted out and put away.  My house is seriously top heavy.  If I teach again, the area will have to be left the way we found it.  I'll use my portable setup as I do when I paint outside.  
Its so therapeutic to be organized.  Usually this is the time of year when I try to complete all the paintings that were unfinished during the plein air season and post work to the totally wonderful Daily Paintworks site. Carol and David Marine have done and continue to do the most wonderful job of building that site and advertising and allowing artists to promote their work.  Be sure to check out Carol's new book.
Although my portrait project will come first, I can 'warm-up' on those paintings that need to be completed that are in the "need to be completed" pile!  
My Studio Space 28x32'
Somehow this photo doesn't begin to show how much stuff is tucked into every nook and cranny.  

Monday, November 3, 2014

Starting to edit portraits

I'm a little sad to realize that I'm only 2/3s the way through, seeing that I need another 8 portraits to reach the 30 I want to do.  I did some inventory yesterday and collected the ones I've done so far and took rough photos of them so I can access which ones I'll start to edit first.  Funny that I'm using computer lingo lately for art processes.  I could start with the ones that need the most work, that seems like a plan.  Or I could take a few that have the same 'tone' and work on them simultaneously.
Since my husband now needs constant monitoring, I'm wondering if I should create a studio in the room next to his and try to keep the fumes down.  A friend came over and helped me install an iCam that would allow me to watch him on a monitor.  My husband even said he would agree to use a cow bell so I would know when he is getting up.  I kind of like that one.
I have cancelled my art student temporarily and she is traveling also, so I won't see her for about 3 months.  This will encourage me to clean and reorganize my presentation space downstairs where I have been using it for studio space with my student.  That will feel rally good and then I'll know what end is up (where all my stored paintings are).
I also have to do a self-portrait and one of my husband to add to the project paintings.  I also have to set up a time table to get everything accomplished in time for the show at the end of January.  It's not far off considering what needs to be done.
Here is a collage of the work that has been done before the edits begin.  Total painting time over the 3 hour sitting is 2 hrs, so each painting was painted in a 2-hour painting session.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Portraits are IT for now

Father George


One good part

The portrait project is winding down and the next phase will be to edit them (computer lingo).  If I can get a couple more, that will bring me up to the 30 I was hoping for.  I'll do a selfie (again phone lingo) and one of my husband to round out the project. See the project here.
What does IT mean?  Well, I think that the portraits are going to be all I'm doing for the next few months.  

Sunday, October 12, 2014

2,000 photos edited

I've just finished editing over 2,000 photos of my Italy (Umbria and Capri) trip and have posted some of the selected ones to my adventures blog.  It will take another day or so to finish the postings.  It is a sad moment to feel in many ways that the trip is over, this being another one of the things that completes the adventure.
You can see my various blogs in the margin here or go to www.pyche-art.blogspot.com

Saturday, October 4, 2014

It's in the news!

While I was away, this appeared in our local newspaper!  I'm very happy with the spot I got, upper left portrait picture!  Naturally, nothing was mentioned in the text as my subject was a controversial figure in his/her day.  The show at the Newburyport Art Association was about noteworthy persons from Newburyport on the 250th anniversary of the city.  A book accompanies the show.  40 entries were accepted.  Ask me, if you want to know more.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Getting back on track

I got home 1 week ago tonight and it's been a whirlwind week trying to get back to normal.  I'm ready to begin phase 2 of the portrait project starting this Sunday morning.  I only have 7 people so far and need 8 more, so I better do something about that right away as it's already October.  I painted with my student on Monday at Lowell's Boat Shop and did a 9x12 looking toward the bridge that's being replaced.  I'll try to go back this Monday to finish it and the fall foliage will be more intense.  On Thursday I painted with Mark Hayden and that group and did a 24x30 of a big pot of flowers from a print I have always liked and not for the flowers but for the effect of the plantation shades behind it and the glow that was accomplished by the tints of cool and warm colors.  Basically, gray backgrounds would always make colors pop! 
Last night I attended the North Shore Art Association annual potluck and show to celebrate the end of a really great season--Ken Knowles has done a remarkable job and I like the changes that have taken place.  Tonight I wish I could attend an event at the Lyme Art Association but it just won't fit into my schedule, being a 2-hour drive in each direction.  My past favorite art teacher JOEL BABB has some work in this show and a few other wonderful artists are showing as well.
Later today I hope to get my art spaces cleaned up and reorganized.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

End of Italy trip

Wow, what a great time I've had over the past 18 days, good experiences and good luck. It seems forever since I've been home.  I'm hitting the ground running though and it seems a little scary to have to quickly get back into the grouve. My husband sounds fine and I'll get him today from his daughters house which will entail lots of driving and packing. I'd like to see the portrait show I'm in at NAA today before it comes down tomorrow. I can't wait to look at all my photos and put some up on the Vacation blog.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Packing day for Capri trip

I'm a little anxious today as we leave our friends in Umbria and set off at 4 tomorrow morning for the bus to Capri. We were lucky to get a driver from here to Rome to meet our next tour bus.  There is nothing scheduled for today so it will be great to relax, etc.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Start of Italy Trip

Today is the day.  I'm trying to stay calm and get my bags packed which naturally includes the ever-changing paint kit.  This year I'm going lighter than ever.  I am still doing errands and housework, last minute stuff, cutting the grass, library, etc.  Haven't packed a thing yet, nothing like prolonging the inevitable.  My flight is leaving late tonight and so far I love that idea.  I'll be posting to my adventures blog while I'm away, at least that is the plan--bringing my iPad.  Stay tuned.
Look in the right margin for that blog or go to www.pyche-art.blogspot.com

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Winding down for this month (People Painting People)

The People Painting People--The Merrimacians project for the month of August is coming to a close.  There will have been 15 models painted for this month.
Take a look at the project page.

I have some appointments for October which is when the project will resume.  I'm hoping for another 15 people.  I just realized that since I'll be away most of September (painting in Italy) I won't be here to book or invite people for October.  Somehow since there was a month in-between I though I'd have plenty of time to work on October's list.

There are people of all ages represented and so many interesting people and stories. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

August was busy

I know there is still some time left in August but my mind is starting to shift towards my upcoming trip to Italy.  I am so busy that I won't be able to really pack or even think about it much until the week before I leave.  I'm happy that I'm pretty much keeping on track with all my projects so that feels good.  I'll be so relaxed when I get back from my trip that it will be hard to get back in gear.  
Take a look at the People Painting People project, click here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Outdoor Portrait today

Our project, People Painting People - The Merrimacians, is moving along--today was #9.  We painted Grace, a teenager, in her yard.  I'm working on portrait colors and still not getting where I want to be.  I'm pretty determined and will continue to pursue this goal.  I thought of a way to display these 12x12" panels in the Library Show.  I'll put 10 on each of three panels (two rows of five on each), make them with either Masonite or luan and paint them a dark gray, and attach them with mirror mounts.  Then I can wire up the  back of each large panel and hang them on the hanging rods.
Grace Handy in her yard-unfinished

An artists work is never done.

I'm working with my student and attending Mark Hayden's painting group and painting portraits for the People Painting People project.

Tonight I have another portrait to paint and the local TV station is coming in to do an interview and do some filming.
My total house renovation project is winding down also and that will feel soooo good when it's over with.
I'm beginning to realize that my September painting trip to Umbria is closing in as well.
Here's a few pics of my painting subject from this morning--animals at a farm.  Well, I'll download them later tonight, I'm not as good at downloading from my phone (forgot the camera today).

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

All in a day's work

Yesterday morning I painted plein air at Pierce Little Farm in Newbury with my student.  I used Lori Putnum's primary palette.  It is important to realize that these outdoor sketches are only meant to acquaint yourself with the subject in order to do a larger studio painting.  Analyzing this and comparing it to the photo I can see how I would amplify the colors.

Subject:  Pierce Little House (I love the colors on the front facade)

Then in the evening I painted another portrait for my People Painting People project.
Model Deborah Ketchen