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'm trying to get motivated. So I set up a still life outside and had a friend (V....) over to lunch with me. We visited and ate al fresco and then I painted the remains of our feast for about an hour. The sun moves surprisingly fast even in that time.
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!
We interrupt this preview of works for 3x3 at Russell Collection to share this painting I sent to dk Gallery for their show "Pretty in Pink" which opens tomorrow night also.
This is a good example of what I talked about yesterday. The model was on break here in this pose. She looks so much more natural caught sipping her drink and looking around as opposed to thoughtfully and stiffly posed.
I painted this on Dura-Lar which is a polyester wet media film made by Grafix.
I love how the brush work lays on top of the surface and color remains quite pure. This picture is not very good though. I'll try to improve it. The back wall is more yellow and she isn't so washed out.
Please contact dk Gallery in Marietta, GA about this painting.
Sept 4 - Opening Reception: 3x3 - Russell Collection Fine Art
Sept. 4 - Opening Reception: Pretty in Pink, dk Gallery
Oct. 15 - Opening Reception: American Impressionist Society Annual Show, Trailside Gallery
Nov. 7-8 - OPA/PAA Paint out, Texas Hill Country
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
A Painter's Journal
Chasing the light. Capturing life.
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