I recently shared how using a kitchen timer changed the way I work on OutdoorPainter.com. My quick start method helped me to more quickly be in the zone and capture my first impression before it got away.
A few fun things happen when working in this way too. Because I'm in a bit of a rush, I don't overmix the paint on the palette and end up with variety in color and brushstrokes on the painting. The mix of washes, drips and scumbled texture helps keep me from getting too tight later on. Its a great exercise and I encourage you to play with the idea - read my "how to" on Outdoorpainter.com.
Painting on the street/sidewalk isn't easy. We got out early enough and had some nice light and a good view of the church spires but it turned out to be a busy area, with a truck that pulled up and took an hour to unload and quite a few folks arriving to work at the history center we were next to. The painting process is a fun challenge - the act of doing the painting is exhilarating. The end result is still not what I'd envisioned. But I learn and get better every time I do it.
Our second location was a pedestrian sidewalk with some great light just coming over and hitting the buildings on the right. For a short while. So, both results were not what I hoped and after carrying the wet paintings around for the day, I also had these two mush together and had to repair them as best as I could.
During the afternoon we sketched musicians playing in Jackson Square and painted another scene with the sun setting - wish I had caught that light better! We had a fabulous dinner at the Original French Market Restaurant & Bar and then wandered down to Frenchman St. to study the nightlife. We ducked into BB Kings House of Blues to hear just the end of a cool sounding Jazz singer. It was a full day!!
I spent 3 days in the beautiful city of New Orleans painting, sketching and soaking up life! The city is so vibrant! There is art and music everywhere. I could not believe the amount of art studios and galleries. Many artists seem to have their own gallery spaces - what a dream. We had perfect weather. We arrived just after a rain so the pavements were wet and reflective. First thing we did was unpack, fill our palettes and head to Cafe du Monde. Its a perfect spot to work. The tables give you a perfect view both into the cafe and down the street. I painted two scenes there. And ate a few beignets. mmmmm... beignets.
V....Vaughan is the best travel buddy. Being able to go somewhere with another artist is amazing. The whole trip was about light and color, inspiration, learning and pushing our abilities.
One of my students turned me onto these British shows which are only shown on YouTube in the US as far as I know (thank you Art Lover). Portrait Artist of the Year and Landscape Artist of the Year. So far I've been caught up in the landscape seasons. First, the scenery is beautiful and we learn some history about the location - often castles and the same views Constable or painted. The art tends to be representational but in different mediums - sometimes even fabric or linocut - but mostly painting. Its cool to see how so many artists interpret the same scene. And its very nice to see representational art being celebrated and promoted since its rather passe here it seems. I'm playing them in the background while I'm working. Hope you enjoy them too!
One of the drawbacks (for my family) of my being an artist is that I am often rearranging and repainting the house. My problem is, I actually don't know how to pull it all together. I have a lot of art but almost none of it on the walls! We also have antiques, rugs, and lots of books and other knicks knacks from travel. Last year, I painted the back of the house in a very on-trend grey which, after living with for a year, I hated because it was cold and blue. So after a search for the perfect white, I ended up mixing my own from two Benjamin Moore colors. Now our walls have a warm light pink blush!
I stumbled upon a decorating site that inspired me because her house looked like mine - suburban, builder grade, etc. Not some awesome architectural miracle. I pulled the furniture into a better grouping even though it interferes somewhat with my husband's ideal tv views from the side chair. But now we can also sit and enjoy our lovely backyard view.
I placed this little antique washstand with a grouping of art books and a watercolor of New Orleans by Austin artist Donna Crosby. The fireplace mantle got some D&D and physics books (my daughter and husband's fun reading), a little pot from Mexico, a Matisse print and a watercolor by my mom, Opal Cheers. :)
I'll share more of my art collection as I finish repainting the walls, organize, and finally hang more paintings.
I've struggled for awhile now trying to take good shots of my paintings. I drag an easel outside, try to get the angle to the sun right with no shadows or glare, catch the painting when it blows over, deal with mosquitoes and then fuss over photo editing for hours to get the color balance somewhat correct. I have an old dslr, OLD - like 5 megapixels - and rather than invest in a new camera which I wouldn't use often, I decided to hire a pro!
The difference is clear when you compare the two images side by side. I see now that my photos tended to be more warm and much less crisp. My yellows were too yellow and my blues tended to purple. Now the subtleties of color and strokes are visible. Glare is removed in the dark transparent areas. I painted this scene maybe two years ago and haven't shared it because I could not get an accurate photograph. I like the painting and now I hope I can send it out in the world with good web images that will accurately represent the work.
Sometimes pro is the way to go!
A Painter's Journal
Chasing the light. Capturing life.
Keep in touch
Receive updates about new paintings, books or videos, live events, and special subscriber sales!