Monday, May 16, 2016

Putting On A Rush

From one hand to another and everything in between.

The reference photo

The hand strumming the guitar needed fattening up, the widow told ne, Checking the reference photo, my eye told me  the  edges needed softening and toning down to pull it and the arm  back to. the background.  This is what kept me busy last week whenever my bum knee and out-of-whack back allowed, which wasn't enough. Disgusted with how long this painting is taking due to body aches and the tediousness of the Venetian process, which encourages procrastination, ( in the forms of pencil and oil sketches just to get away from it).  I made an appointment to have my knee replaced and that appointment made me set a deadline: second week in June if not before!  I am putting on a rush. I want this painting gone and I want to wear heels at  my son's wedding in September.  The wedding was the real cincher.

I'll post the finished piece as soon as I add my John Hancock.


Thursday, May 12, 2016

As Life Happens

Paint Table, oil on canvas board 8" x 6"

My Paint Box, oil on canvas board 8" x 6"

Life as it happens is the subject of my spontaneous, warm-up paintings in the gestural style,   Ordinary items that are right in front of me depending on how long my interest lasts.  The results are vigorous notations or sketches. The exercise is perfect for shaking loose muscles and quieting the mind  before going on to more serious work.

Morris, or The Guitarist, is serious work--more serious than I thought when I first decided to take on the reference using the highly controlled Venetian or Flemish method of the sixteenth century.  Morris is not only a portrait of the man's facial features, but his hands and his guitar and his clothing. all the things that make that man that man.  The subject challenges drawing skills, my eye for values and  the muscle control in my hand and arm. What I am learning from this method of painting is priceless--discipline, patience. Tough lessons for a free spirited amateur painter with a touch of road rage for folks who do not use turn signals! 

Oils are an active, stand up sport  done in the studio.  Playing in the watercolours is better than reading a book on holiday.  And graphite pencil is perfect for days my knee doesn't want to stand in front of the easel or I just feel like sitting in my lounge chair where no oils are permitted.  Those days are going to get fewer  July 21 st  when I my right knee will be as sound as the left; it's being operated on July 11th.  My art mirrors my life as it happens.

Mother's Day, my back was out.  Graphite pencil and the soft cushions of my lounge chair dictated the art of the day.

Just One More Page, #3B Berol on Strathhmore 400 drawing paper 6" x 8"


Friday, May 6, 2016

Loosen Up, Warm Up, Paint What's In Front of You

.On The Easel, oil sketch 6" x 8"

While working diligently on Morris, I started a series of quick oil sketches of what was in front of me. The purpose of the series was  to loosen up and warm me up for the tense sessions with Morris. My easel is mostly in front of me when I'm in the studio.  So is my painting table.

Painting Table, oils, 8" x 6"

Then my back gave out and that ended that.  I don't know whether it gave out because I was dancing to BB King in between scumbling Morris, or just because?  But it set me back on Morris and this fun series done with the same monochromatic palette as Morris.  Upstairs in my lounge chair with the heating pad, I was back to graphite sketching.  This get acquainted sketch was supposed to be a study of a FB buddy's wife, but turned out to look more like a gal I knew in high school. So I changed the title.  Get acquainted sketches are just that: a first look at a subject to learn what makes that subject that subject.  It is never a surprise to me that I might need a do-over.

You Look Familiar,  graphite,  6" x 8"