Thursday, April 30, 2015

Working methods

I get asked often (mostly by students) about my working methods: how do you start a painting? How do you set up? Does it look like a mess in the middle stages like mine does? It's easiest to explain in images. I've been taking progress shots of my current piece to show the evolution of the painting, but I realized I'd done the same a few months ago with a different painting and never posted. So here are a lot of pictures, and some answers. First, as I work from life on my still lives, I spend a day or so tinkering with the set up--I'm going to paint it exactly how it looks in front of me, so I want it to be exactly how I want the finished painting to look--it's amazing how long you can spend shifting an object back and forth a fraction of an inch so until you it lines up with the background just so. Then I stretch a canvas to the shape I've decided is best for my composition and I tint the canvas with an imprimatura (essentially a very thinned out layer of paint). Then I draw with charcoal or paint basic shapes plotting where major things go (that'd be the first image, and if you want to be very technical, I use a method called "sight size" while I work). From there I block in big shapes of color, and then work to refine them, getting more and more specific as I go (these will be the many images in the middle that are all nearly the same--it's coming together, slowly, have patience!) I squint at it a lot. And at the very, very end come the tiny little details--like the strings on the puppet, the highlights in his eyes, and the signature. Someday, if I'm feeling clever, I will figure out how to make a stop motion video of the progress shots so you can watch it develop, until then, if you scroll fast enough it's like a flip book (maybe).

Thursday, April 23, 2015

On-line exhibits of the season

Delighted to find the following paintings included in this season's on-line exhibitions. Courting Ducklings was a finalist in the American Women Artists' Spring On-Line Juried Show.

And Loss won an Award of Excellence from the National Oil and Acrylic Painters' Society in their On-Line International Spring Exhibition.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Paintings (I'm clearly feeling original)

A few pictures of paintings kicking about the studio these days. The latest Sebbie with his new friend, Maynard. And a landscape of sorts--I like old junk in nature, for all I dislike litter, it's a strange combination.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Hanging out in New Hampshire

Here's a picture of me hanging out with Sebbie at the opening of the Omer T. Lassonde Juried Exhibit at the Robert Lincoln Levy Gallery in Portsmouth NH. It's quite a diverse show, up until the 25th of April--stop by if you're in town.