Yep. I still do museum scenes.
I lost interest for awhile - feeling that it was being done to death for one thing. But I still enjoy painting the scenes.
This man is looking at "The Elder Sister" 1869 by William Bouguereau, in the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. I didn't do justice to his classical realism but like my brushwork better. ;-)
Ask Russell Collection Fine Art about this painting.
I just did one of my most hated chores... packing art to ship. I have 5 big boxes going to 2 galleries on opposite coasts. Why did I think it was a good plan to paint larger? The 48x36 on my easel will have to stay local.
Today I had the opportunity to demonstrate my working methods for the Austin Palette Club. Many thanks y'all!
I talked about why I do quick starts and showed them how I develop a painting from a photo. I did the 30 minute start and then we took a short break before I resumed work for another half hour or so.
The second half of work was much slower. Once I have the initial block in done, I approach it more thoughtfully as I begin to modify the shapes and edges. I still haven't finished this but it's close.
Again, the idea of the quick start is to respond passionately and intuitively to my subject. I cover the canvas and block in shapes and establish value patterns working from big to small shapes keeping color and strokes loose. Once it's all in, I step back and evaluate. I slow down and work on varying my shapes. I enjoy both parts of the process immensely.
Starting fast keeps me from getting to tight and from treating each start as precious. And some of the looseness remains at the finish.
I recorded video on my phone during the demo - now I just have to learn how to convert it or edit it on my windows stuff. Stay tuned!
Best Practices (so far)
There are so many ideas out there. And so many artists. And so many people wanting to help artists. I could spend hours and hours researching, reading, learning, and trying implement all the mountains of ideas and styles into my work. What I've found is that too much information just causes me confusion and angst.
I need to focus on strategies that will work for my business and what will help me accomplish what I want. The first step is to figure out what I want!
Also, looking at other artists paintings (and their accomplishments) too much can make me feel small. Not that I begrudge their success, but c'mon, I'm human. It can make me feel inferior and that can lead to creative melt downs. The internet, magazines and books can be a great resource, but I recommend only going to look when you need to see how to solve a problem in your own work. Or to look at work that is totally different from what you do to get inspired. Or look at art in museums. Looking at artists who are similar will only lead to mediocrity. I am continually striving to express myself and stand out. And sometimes, working in "isolation" is the best way to get there.
* seeing too much art can stifle your own creative voice
* create a business model you can implement and focus on it
* have a system of organization and clean up after yourself
* use supplies on hand (keep track of inventory) and spend less
* unplug from social media and web surfing in the studio
I have to admit to being pretty well "in the dumps" lately. Actually just the last couple of days. I guess it's the endless summer heat, the long days trapped in the house, my husband working every day of the last long weekend we have for awhile, and my mind rather racing on a lot of things out of my control.
I found my wheels spinning today so badly that I looked at the job ads to see if there were any entry level marketing jobs out there. Luckily, V came to my rescue and met me for coffee. I downloaded all my artsy angst and she talked me back from the edge.
While we commiserated we sketched, as artists are want to do. And that action alone was very settling. I started tight and neat and then broke loose and had a little fun just playing with color and line.
Thank you Peko, for allowing us to sketch you. That is the price you pay for sharing our table. :)
Another for the "Blue and Gray" themed show at dk Gallery. The inspiration behind this show is, I believe, an anniversary of the Civil War and the paintings of Philip Levine. Phil is a talented expressive impressionist painter, workshop leader and instructor. I've had the pleasure of working with him in NYC on workshops and hope one day to travel with him to France or Cuba or ANYWHERE. He leads groups to many wonderful spots and has recently added a culinary and cultural bent to the artist trips. Its really worth checking out. He is a great tour guide.
I've been feeling rather bummed lately... stuck in the studio. I keep seeing all these artist friends reporting in from Italy and France... experiencing cool shows and scenery here in the states, etc. and I have been housebound for months and months. I suppose its just the time of life. My primary role is mother really and while I have a young daughter at home I want to be as involved as I can be in her life. She is my creative task. Though I do care deeply about my art and where it goes. That leads to another bummer. Feeling as if the work I do is just sitting here. Or in galleries perhaps. But the art market is still down - or at least the market for my work - or the art market at traditional galleries. And I've been spending a lot of time considering marketing strategies and day dreaming of Italy. But with such low sales....
Sorry, perhaps I shouldn't be whining here about such things. But such is the life of an artist. We make and market things that are very intangible. Art is an emotional outpouring created by an artist and sparking a response in a collector. And my blog is my "journal" for collectors and friends to understand me and my work better.
I think I am looking forward to my workshop as a way to shake off the doldrums and get inspired... even if its still in my own backyard.
This Friday, dk Gallery hosts the opening reception for their show "Blue and Gray" which features works using those dominant colors as the theme. This was an interesting challenge. I envisioned working in gray scale before, and have certainly done my share of "notans" but it was a lot harder to do a fully realized painting than I thought it would be.
I had a set of Gamblin grays that I put out on my palette and added ivory black and my usual titanium white. I found it pretty difficult not to reach into my colors and had to really think just in values. I also found it really hard to just use the light, medium and dark gray as they were. I mixed a lot!
Fun challenge. Try it sometime!
A Painter's Journal
Chasing the light. Capturing life.
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