Can't wait for summer to draw to a close - and the heat to abate - so I can get outside and paint more scenes like this. I so enjoy painting from life - love the loose edges and open brushwork I get when working from something in front of me. I have to learn to stop then and not go back and tighten up!
"Dog Days" is available at Russell Collection Fine Art in Austin.
This one isn't quite done, but far enough to share. The canvas was one I recently painted over with white oil primer and, unfortunately, the primer seemed to suck the oil out of my paint making it hard to move around or even stick. I will have to go over the darks and improve the color. It's all a little dull.
This is continuing with a theme I seem to be stuck on - girls/women as focal point. I have quite a collection and many more ideas. I have been sketching these out regularly too - planning the composition - making notes about color or light source and direction.
I started this painting awhile ago as a demo for Plein Air Austin. It was my first demo in awhile and rather intimidating knowing how talented a group of artists were watching! I have since done more demos and have become more comfortable with them. Sometimes I might even make sense!
Thursday night I will demonstrate with a model at Castle Gallery. Come and see me - and artist Diane Lyon - as we share our processes from 5-10 pm.
I had so much fun with this painting. The color is so rich and vibrant. Its framed in a simple white floater frame, perfect for a bright beach house! It's on its way to Tidewater Gallery now.
These girls were too wonderful to pass up! I saw them while visiting Tidewater Gallery in Swansboro, NC. The gallery is at the mouth of the river leading into the ocean. An amazing spot! Nearby is the beautiful Emerald Isle where these girls were playing in the surf.
Today's beach fashions are rather less romantic than the dresses seen in the nostalgic paintings of the wonderful Edward Posthast or the incomparable Sorolla. These girls are in our modern, protective fabrics, and, while I could have painted them out in white, I thought the bright pink was fabulous and cheerful... and contemporary. These are the days!
28x22 oil on linen
What's a Mudhead?
Over one hundred years ago, Charles W. Hawthorne devised a unique way to teach his own method of painting. Instead of focusing on line and form when composing a painting, Hawthorne stressed the importance of carefully observing "color spots" and the representation of light and shadow. To help his students understand this concept, Hawthorne posed models with their backs to the bright sun, often wearing hats or beneath umbrellas. As their faces fell into deep shadow, students were unable to see the model's features clearly, and were forced to focus on broad areas of color rather than details. The featureless faces became known as "mudheads". Of this approach Hawthorne said, "My artist friends are surprised at my having students paint a model out-of-doors, something which they consider extremely difficult. But I consider it the quickest way to get under your skin the idea of the way to paint everything."
-- Provincetown Art Association and Museum
The quote from Hawthorne I shared yesterday got me thinking more about his teaching and what I do with my own work (and plan to share at our workshop.)
The idea is to focus on the big shapes of color/value and paint those. Rather than going into the landscape or a city scene and trying to depict every tree, shrub, bench, lamppost, etc. we learn to focus on big blocks of color and not end up with a patchwork of complicated material to force into one cohesive design. Get the big masses right and then you can begin to further divide, as Henry Hensche taught, expanding on Hawthorne's instruction.
Use the big shapes to create an interesting pattern of light and dark. Compose and plan the balance of your painting with the big masses and then go into details. Or not.
A Painter's Journal
Chasing the light. Capturing life. Rendering it in paint.
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