Thursday, May 24, 2012

Small Talk


Four Seasons, 2012, Overall  size 43" x 43", Acrylic on Gallery Canvas.
(these are four separate paintings grouped together. I
put them together as I will hang them in Publisher. That's why
they are pictured on a white ground).
Serious talk yesterday; small talk today:

Enough politics of art. We make it because we love it. We sell it however and whenever we can. We make it no matter what. Art is a calling, not a job. When it becomes a job, we lock down. But I'm going to see that movie. I am curious as hell about how Keane's work was launched into the marketplace where our business got five of her paintings in a shipment and other businesses like ours did too.  I'm curious about how one little lady produced  her oils in mass to fill such orders. I doubt the movie will  tell me what I'd like to know, but I do enjoy Reese Witherspoon.

I oiled down several  oil paintings yesterday. I liked the effect and the process did  saturate the colors and even out the surface sheen.  I also think oils should be varnished simply for the reason that varnish protects the painting from  ambitious housekeepers with a heavy handed Swifters. So another month or when the kids leave, I'll varnish and  the paintings will  go to their final homes.

No art was made today. Just edges were painted and tips were gathered.

 On Four Seasons. I want to hang the foursome in the upstairs hall. I'm using my kids' visit,  the second  and third week in June, as the push to finish what I should have finished  months ago. I want to show off for my grandkids.

I also did the edges on Beauty Shop. I've decided to give that painting to the hairdresser, after I remove the vase of flowers from the background. They make the painting too busy.

I went to the beauty shop this morning and as luck would have it, the hair dresser was working on the same woman. I got to checkout my likenesses. They are okay, but  I think I'll turn up the hairdresser's mouth. She looks too sad in the painting.

In prep for my kids, I also busied myself by  planting two flower pots.  There's nothing like having house guests to get you moving.  BUT I MISSED PAINTING--SOMETHING.

To satisfy that hunger, I watched, (and took notes and doodled when I wasn't jotting anything down),  a two hour video I bought from Winsor Newton called Oil Painting in The 21st Century, Portraits and People with Jimmy Leslie.

 After the horse has left the barn, I'm gathering painting tips and watching someone else work.  I didn't pay as much for the video as I have for the workshop I will attend in August, but Jimmy had a lot to offer. He's a guy after my own heart: He puts a reasonable amount of paint on his palette--not a little dab-will-do-ya as I've seen in the books I've read and as I have been doing. God forbid I waste some paint!. I was forever screwing the tops back on the tubes.  That comes from painting with acylics, which dry closed if you're not careful.


12 comments:

  1. Four Seasons look great together.

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    1. Hi Ann. I haven't been over in a while. I've been totally self absorbed in relearning the ins and outs of oils and portraiture, which I have decided to focus on this year. Thanks for your compliment on Four Seasons, Those are the last landscapes before I launched into portraiture. Portraiture has taught me that landscapes are (pun coming up) a walk in the park.

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  2. I won't comment on oil technique, as I know doodley-squat about it. But your Four Seasons "triptych plus 1" is fabulous!

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    1. Me too. I'm just making it up as I go along. I just thought I'd watch some other lucky guy work while getting free supplies and/or percentage of video sales for his demonstrations and maybe pick up some tips--like disposable palette knife wipes--and it's the long blade palette knife I need along with cerulean blue and a #10 flat, natural bristle brush. I don't want to appear to be a total novice at that very costly workshop I signed up for much to Ellis' chagrin.

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  3. I really, really like the hair dresser piece. And the fact that you said "art is a calling not a job" -- brilliant :-)

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    1. It really is. We're all compelled to making it even when we have nothing to do with it but fill our own walls. Maybe it's an obsession and an assertion of self? That too is an interesting topic and a heavy one.

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  4. Who is the little girl?

    The seasons look great, and the hairdresser is fun.

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    1. She's Erin, my granddaughter and first oil painting in forty years. She, her brother and her folks, one of them being Kelly, are coming for a couple weeks second week in June. I'm going to give them that painting and the pencil drawing of Kelly. Erin's a lot older than she was then (about five or six I think). She'll get a lot of pictures taken of her during her stay--and probably another painting?

      Actually, I took the photograph of the hairdresser because she looked so "down in the mouth," and like she's been doing this forever and how much longer should she have to do this all came to mind, in addition to her working on another woman past retirement age. If I give it to her, (since I don't think the alla prima painting has much interest for anybody else), I think she should look a bit happier at her work. It's sort of an old ladies à la toilette painting circa the impressionists.
      Would you believe I don't know her name; she's not my hairdresser.

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  5. teh Four seasons will definitely impress! Looking forward to seeing the revision to Hairdresser painting..though I like it as is!

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    1. I'm not looking to impress, I'm looking to hang something in that hall which has had bare walls for thirteen years. The large painting I had in mind for there sold, so...That painting will take up one wall nicely. The kids' visit is just pushing me to finish up what should have been--it's like getting new toss pillows to spruce up the house when guests are coming. Speaking of pillows, I need four new ones, all ours are flat and over used. Guests (kin or not) always cost you spruce up monies.

      If you say the hairdresser is fine, that's one thing less to think about doing. I'd like to get Jon looking good on the painting of the three Roth guys--and tackle the difficult son's mouth. I think it's going well and will turn out pretty good.

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  6. Interesting post, and I love the 'seasons'... I'd noted them in your 'slide-show' sometime ago.

    Don't think I've seen the hairdresser before - I think you're right about the flowers, although I would never have thought that if you hadn't mentioned it.

    Making the hairdresser smile, reminds me of my embarrassment when I once did a poster for a Travel Agent. He gave all the photo-refs and was quite exact in his specification. However, with me being a straight line man, he got exactly what he asked for ...and ...he wasn't happy: the family pictured boarding the aircraft looked so pi***d off, it was enough to put anyone off using his company. That they looked that way in his photo was not deemed a reasonable excuse!

    I told him where to put his poster.

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    1. What's interesting about it? Odds and ends. I finished the last season this last February and the four have been sitting around the studio waiting to have their edges painted. This is the week, then up on the wall they go, two and a half inches or so between. I think winter needs a bit more splatter to make it as confetti like as the rest.

      The flowers were there at the beauty salon then and again yesterday, but they're fudging her head. I like sometime between finishing a work and signing it--the time away clears your head and lets you be more objective. Dashing out a painting and shipping it out the door could lead to some regrets when you run into the thing again.

      As I told Jean, the expression on the hairdresser's face si what made me take the photograph. She's an old timer who has spent a lot of hours on her feet behind that chair listening to women bitch about this or that, her mouth should be tuned down at the corners. How much can a person take?

      Nobody asked me to do this painting though, so, if I give it to her--a surprise gift since she is not my hairdresser and I don't even know her name--I think I should change that expression. I might just blure out the flowers. I've already varnished so maybe a glaze or two.

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