Monday, November 30, 2009

"Texas Live Oaks"

"Texas Live Oaks"
6"X6" oil on canvas panel

This is the painting from the sketch on Saturday. I got a couple of comments about the lack of cows in the last couple of posts, and it sounds like some bovine photos are heading my way. Both Carol Marine and Colin Page have painted grazing cows in the last few months, which are beautiful. Check out those links.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

"Live Oak" - NFS

"Live Oak"
6"X6" oil on canvas panel

I was fascinated with the shape of the live oak tree from yesterday's sketch, the way the branches droop to the ground, and in this case, meet the grass. I wanted to get some color other than green into the tree, as well as some of the wonderful sky holes in the photo. I soon discovered that there has to be some shape to the tree before the sky holes have any meaning (I won't show the first pass!). I like the way this turned out.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Live Oaks Sketch and Opening at the Yarmouth Frameshop and Gallery

This is the time of year when I start searching through my photos for interesting landscape compositions. I put them all in a folder and come back to them when I have a moment to paint. The sketch above is from a visit to my sister in south Texas, where we lived when I was in elementary school. I have been thinking of everyone there this holiday, when I wasn't able to attend a family event. These live oaks are quite different from our Yankee trees, it will be fun to give them a try.

Next Saturday, December 5th, is the opening for the Yarmouth Frameshop and Gallery Holiday Show. There are a dozen artists showing small works, including myself and my plien air friends Suzanne deLesseps and Joelle Feldman. I have fourteen paintings in this show, and most of them were first seen on this blog. The opening is from 4-7PM, and we would all love to see you there.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

10 Minute Apples and Workshop in Damariscotta

This is an exercise I wanted to practice for a workshop I am teaching at River Arts in Damariscotta, Maine (my first!) at the end of January. The workshop is about daily painting (tips and tricks for painting small and fast) and blogging (how to set up a blog on blogger, which gadgets are good for what, etiquette, etc.). After our two Saturday sessions, those who want to, can set up their blog and the rest of us will read the posts and make comments for a month, and then we will get together for dinner and share experiences. I think it is going to be a lot of fun!

In the exercise above, I gave myself 10 minutes to do each painting (well, maybe 11...). They go 1) top left, 2) top right, 3) bottom left, 4) bottom right. #4 is shown finished in the bottom image. I divided an 8"x8" Raymar panel into four equal squares, and used the same palette for each. The only thing that was different was the experience gained in the previous few minutes, and it really did make a difference. Don't you think #4 is the best?

For more information on the workshop, here's a link to the workshop page on the River Arts site. I have taken two workshops there, and I am very impressed with what they have to offer. I am thrilled to be teaching this class for them! If you want more details about the class, please email me.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

"Autumn Vines - Ridge Winery"

"Autumn Vines - Ridge Winery"
6"x4" oil on canvas panel

A few weeks ago, while in California on business, I was able to spend the day with my friends Brent and Betsy in Los Gatos. We had a blast hiking, enjoying their lovely town, and visiting Ridge Winery. A big fan of Julian Merrow-Smith's Postcards from Provence, I was on the lookout for views of vines in appropriate light. My friends good naturedly joined in the tramping around, and then we visited the tasting room. A good time was had by all!

Friday, November 20, 2009

"Satsuma Orange #2"

"Satsuma Orange #2"
6"x6" oil on canvas panel

This is my second attempt at a 30 minute painting of the Satsuma orange, and I think it took a bit longer than that. There were actually two different oranges that I painted as one. One of them had a nice leaf, and the other had a great shape with some interesting structure on the top. So I put them next to each other, turned the light such that the shadows were parallel, and tried to meld then into one. I like the way this one came out.

Then I ate them! Very tasty indeed. Which one do you like best? Compare this one with the previous post.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

"Satsuma Orange #1"

"Satsuma Orange #1"
6"x6" oil on canvas panel

This is my first try at a 30 minute painting, and I have to say it looked pretty good after 25 minutes! But then, you know how it goes, you see one little thing to fix, and then it all goes wrong in a hurry. I got frustrated and started second version, which I will show in another post. When #2 was done, I went back to this one, and was able to bring it back, above.

Monday, November 16, 2009

"Gilsland #6"

"Gilsland #6"
6"x6" oil on board

Back again to Maine Audubon's Gilsland Farm in Falmouth, you know how I love that place! This was something of an experiment, because I painted it on gessoboard instead of the Raymar panels I normally use. I also used an approach of starting with a simple value and color sketch and refined the details on top of that. I like the result.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

"Westford Road"

"Westford Road"
6"x6" oil on canvas panel

From the top drawing in the November 3rd, "Best Two of Three" post, in this fall scene the near trees have not yet turned, but there is a blaze of color in the background. And too soon, it is over again and the branches are bare. Only 5 more weeks until the days start getting longer again!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Keys to Drawing - Bert Dodson

I really enjoy drawing. Those that I have posted have all been references for paintings, or compositional exercises for paintings. While in California, I got interested in different drawing techniques and went off in search of a book. I found just what I was looking for, in Bert Dodson's "Keys to Drawing". I started off with the first exercise tonight, to draw my feet. The top drawing is the result after several practices with different shoes (who knew?). The idea was to, in sections, "draw blind" - look at the feet, not at the paper, while drawing; and to "restate" - don't erase, but redraw. Well, restating is no problem, I like the look, but drawing blind is tough! It can be really gorgeous if you do a complicated drawing that way, but I think it takes lots of practice. In the bottom drawing, being tired of feet, I drew what was in front of me, my dog asleep on his cushion, with his fish along side. Not bad, maybe I did learn something from all those feet!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

"Max with Blue Ball" and October Painting Giveaway Winner

This is the finished painting of my sister Susie's dog Max. I struggled with this guy a bit, see my previous post with the drawing. I found the lighter colored fur harder to paint than that of my own dog, which is an airedale. Max was a real fun loving guy, and liked nothing better than to play with (or munch on) a ball. Happy Birthday, sister Sue, I hope this reminds you of Max!

And many thanks to my friend Elizabeth Fraser, the master of pet portraits, who not only inspired me, but whose portraits of labs were fabulous references.

And guess who won the October Painting Giveaway? My other sister, Kay. No kidding, that's how the random number generator called it. I gave Kay a couple of choices and she has decided on "Gilsland Spring". Keep those comments coming in, they give you more chances to win. (Note - only comments made on the blog count in the drawing, not replies to the emails sent by the blog, though I love getting those as well.)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Best Two of Three

These are two sketches (of three I did this morning) based on photos of these two trees by the side of Westford Road near my house in Massachusetts. The first time I really "saw" these trees, I actually thought there was only one, because it was the shape of the foliage that caught my eye. I have photographed them twice now, standing in the street, watching for cars. The mulitple drawings came about due to my friend Rick telling me about a class in which the students are asked to do 10 thumbnails of the same scene, in order to learn better composition. I think there is something to it!