Last week I did two demo paintings for different art groups here in Austin. The one from life was supposed to be outside in Zilker Botanical Gardens, but the weather didn't cooperate. The model was kind enough to sit in the chilly window ledge so we had the illusion of outdoors and the soft lighting of an overcast sky. When I work with a model, I prefer they sit naturally. I've done enough life drawing and painting from models who look sleepy and unnatural. I encourage the models to talk or read a book. I'm ok with a little movement. I have an impressionist approach so it works for me.
The beach scene I did to demonstrate my quick start technique and impressionist style to a group of artists working in many different mediums. I am quite pleased with where the figures are now. They really don't need much more. But I do plan to reduce the sort of neopolitan ice cream look of the overall canvas. ;-)
I got to revisit this painting this summer. I wanted to keep the original version so offered to repaint it for an interested buyer. This new version was equally special to me, so I gave the collector a choice between the two and she liked the original. It was a little more dynamic in the angle of the figure and had fewer facial features. This one turned out to be more of a portrait of my daughter at this age. So its a nice one for us to keep. Right now my kiddo is in the stage of life where she doesn't like to see images of herself so I'll save it for her later in life. Scooby thinks its awesome though. Teenagers! ;-)
When in a funk, the best thing to do is go back to the basics. I haven't been very inspired lately and not able to dive into a full painting. And when faced with one of my own figure sessions, held in my own backyard, I had to slow down and work methodically, as if a beginner.
I first sketched the scene planning my composition and dark/light patterns. Once comfortable with that I began a light line drawing with the brush. Then I started to fill in. I worked thinly, kept palette rather neutral and didn't define small areas. It felt good and worked well enough that I didn't finish the day feeling like a hack!
More on my funk later. Oh joy!
Sunday morning I met a group of artists at a joint Plein Air Austin and Oil Painters of America paint out on a private ranch south of town.
We arranged for a couple of models on Sunday and I had a wonderful time painting them. It's just what I've been wanting to do more of - and finally the weather cooperated!
Last year, I had a woman interested in a painting of her dog that would match a very colorful poster print of a Chihuahua that she had. I did a few color studies and never heard back from her. So the larger piece wasn't done... but I have these studies to share here now.
$100 + $12 sh
As I logged into my Weebly editor they had a quote from Vincent van Gogh - “I long so much to make beautiful things. But beautiful things require effort—and disappointment and perseverance.”—Vincent van Gogh, The Hague, September 9, 1882, to Theo van Gogh
Early this year, I planned to take the year to put in some hard work to grow, and experiment, and play. I think its the first time in my admittedly shoddy memory that I recall focusing so much on certain aspects of my work. Specifically I worked on brushwork (more open) and lightening up my palette (harder than you'd think.)
Along came the opportunity to have a show with two other wonderful artists at Russell Collection Fine Art - and I really had to kick things in to gear. I believe I have made some good strides.
And while I think I have improved my paintings, what might have improved more is my mental outlook. I have a better sense of what I want to create. I have more confidence. I know that creating beautiful things is a lifelong pursuit and I am allowed to change over the course of my lifetime.
So, I took new work in to Russell Collection that I am proud of - and excited to share. Knowing the work is different from what people may expect from me, but hoping they like what they see. We can't stay forever the same. That reminder comes home every day at 3:30 pm from 7th grade! WOW
Back in my hot studio and have a group of new works ready to ship to Tidewater Gallery in NC. The above is a recent favorite. We had this young lady pose for one of our Saturday sessions. She was in full make up for her upcoming rehearsal and we had a couple of costume options. At first she wanted to pose in very beautiful ballerina positions which were impossible to hold, of course. But we finally got her to relax and got some beautiful sketches done. This I painted from my started sketch and photos.
Please contact Tidewater Gallery for purchasing information.
A wonderful friend "J" came and sat for me today - and I had several other artist friends join in to paint her in my backyard. What fun!
I can't believe it's May already. Though I do feel like the stress of the busy school year is dissipating. Anna had her staar exams (state assessments) and after that I imagine there isn't a lot of hard work. Commitments are fewer and I feel more relaxed.
Can you hear the big sigh coming from central Texas?
A Painter's Journal
Chasing the light. Capturing life.
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