Friday, August 10, 2012

Paint and Learn


Zac's dropped jaw and open mouth caused me the most trouble, also his squinted eyes.
Now, I'm noticing a line going across his forehead.  It's a flaw in the paper, not a crease.
So it goes. Notice I only initialed this drawing. That means it's a sketch, a tool for learning.
Well Zac is more Zac-like. I liked drawing with my rediscovered Kohinoor sticks, which I sharpened to a point. It gave darker blacks and harder lines where needed. With practice, This form of charcoal could produce highly finished charcoal pieces.

The Summer After is signed, sealed and ready for delivery
 While I usually sit with a 9 x 12" pad, I worked  standing with the pad on my table top easel, which made drawing small a lot easier. Then I worked flat using a mahl stick for detail definition. Across from my work spot, hanging on the observation wall, was The Summer After. Next to it was Winter. Winter needs more work. Next to Summer, the painting looks lame. It lacks dazzle. Winter is lovelier than that. I made a mental note to take care of it come Fall.

 Separating myself from my paintings is a must. Over a period of time, I become my own third eye and can look at the piece more objectively than when I first laid down the brush. I also noticed, while sitting there, that chocolate cannoli, the third panel of my triptych, definitely needs soft, orangish highlights on top and to designate chocolate sprinkles on the front sides of each piece. That shortcoming showed up two days after I laid down the brush. The only painting that's signed on that wall is The Summer After. I'm very satisfied with it. The more I look at it in fact, the more I like it. I don't sign these big canvases till I'm certain I've really done the best I can.

 I also wish to report  that freezing  oil paints, left over on the palette, worked very well. The paint was as fresh and workable this morning as it was when first squeezed from the tube yesterday. After dabbling a bit, I cleaned the glass palate and put it away. Erin will get a tad older while I take a time out for my OPE, (ongoing professional education), workshop. I used to have to take an OPE course every two years to maintain my professional status as a designer and member of the society; I think that's a good idea for my new profession as well.

The materials I ordered did not come from Utrect. I really am going to have to wing it, if they don't come tomorrow. I should not have bought online. I never had to wait this long when ordering from Dick Blick. Live and learn.
Chocolate Cannoli needs more highlights.
There's always going to be something.


12 comments:

  1. The painting SUMMER AFTER is amazing: the colors and the movement ,Linda,that you have imparted to this work of art is awesome! 'S all so characteristic of your style that now I learn to know, from charcoal drawings, ... to desserts, to portraits ... . A pleasure to watch!
    You learned to make art...

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    1. That's my problem I'm all over the place. I do think it's because I do enjoy all the life around me; it's all beautiful. But I jump around and don't really paint in one genre for very long. I think this is a shortcoming if I ever want to market my art. This year, I am attempting to concentrate on portraiture, but it has turned out to be very serious work, pastries lighten me up, landscapes too to a degree.

      The Summer After refers to the summer of 2009, the summer after I finished chemo and radiation. It is the painting that got me through all the mixed feelings that flooded over me the day I walked out of the last radiation treatment. Simply described, because I'm not that deep, I had been in the dark woods but there was color/hope among the trees and warm, welcoming light beyond. It took two years to see the colors and the light.

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  2. I agree with Rita- the SUMMER AFTER is amazing. It flows and seems effortless. I love how you move from realism to abstraction and everywhere in between in your work. Your portraits are always so good- I can't tell you how much I admire your work.
    I look forward to seeing Chocolate Cannoli progress- although it looks fantastic to me right now!

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    1. Thanks Pam. Very kind words. It's close, an hour away--just which hour I'm not sure? I'm sitting here worried about Cerulean blue, red oxide and some other red paint that won't be here till Monday when I won't be here because I'll be there in the workshop needing the paint! I like your contest idea. Stimulating. I keep going over in my head if I ever did what I consider to be a funny painting--I might have to ask my husband or a guy off the street which one is funnier than the others? I take the stuff way too seriously, which is funny in itself.

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  3. Hmmm ... I am a tad jealous. I wish I could take art courses for continuing education, instead of "Periodontal Diseases You know and Love".

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    1. Hahahahhaaa! Aren't those courses horrible--and how many times do you have take the same damn thing over and over and over again just to get the time put in and re-accreditation? I needed ten hours of some design related topic of my choice every two years. Trouble was my choice was limited to one of two courses that actually applied to the job. With this workshop, I'll have 26 hours put into portrait painting education. If I had four more hours, I could get my BFA degree; I'm thirty studio hours short. I figure after these three years of painting and art blogging, I've already reached the honorary level. I wonder if there's an equivalency degree?

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  4. Yes...that Summer painting is excellent! I generally notice glaring problems in work that is "old". I don't see it as well, at the time...like you do. It seems to take me 6 months to a year to really see the painting clearly. The desserts look so good..I want to sit down to a cinnamon bun! Good drawing. You are very brave to keep drawing all these relatives.

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    1. Thank you. It should be. I started this painting August, 2010. Finished it May, 2012. It's the f&%$ing Mona Lisa! It went through a lot of changes, a lot of turmoil. At one stage I should have stopped and kept it as it was, but it was so angry I didn't want to look at it forever and figured no one else would either. But it really said angry very well:)

      I figure grandkids, spouses, kids are my models and being family, they are mine to do with what I please. I gave those folks a lot of years and a lot of me.

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  5. You can also freeze your paint brushes. I haven't, but one of the local teachers here, does, instead of washing them each time. I like the safflower oil method used by Katherine Kean.

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    1. More gentle? Natural? Why? I don't see any reason to freeze the brush with paint on it. With those, I like to start out clean.

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  6. I love the Summer After! It has all the beautiful colors of a summer and some heavy brushes-which probably describes the 'After' part; after a winter? a heavy winter? am I talking nonsense?

    Well, they say that if a piece of art is not signed then is not finished. Even if an artist forgets to sign a creation, then he has to think real hard why he forgot and re-examine it. That's what I've heard anyway.
    Hugs x

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    1. Makes sense. When I was a designer and a client had an idea that I knew would be all wrong, I couldn't say, "What? Are you out of your mind?" The house was hers. But I could say,"Sounds wonderful, but you be sure to take full credit for it when you show your friends?" I'll initial a sketch a painting I know needs more attention if I don't care about it and know I probably won't be going back to it ever. I'll often sign something before its time only because I thought it was done only to learn a month later, not really. That's why I like a waiting time. And those are usually short when you had great feelings when you initially finished it.

      Everyday, we are growing and becoming more educated in our craft. So what looks good on the day you finished it, doesn't three days or months down the road, because you've changed. The painting changed you, as did the ones you worked on since. We are all works in progress that are never really finished.

      The after refers to after cancer treatments. It's a significant painting to me. I started it in 2009 with the reference photo. I started painting it in 2010. Finished it in 2012, last May. It went through few metamorphosis.

      My painting of Winter does look lame hanging next to it. It lacks the depth of feeling that Summer has. Right now it looks sort of pretty. Snow bunnies would like it. I don't think it looks harsh enough. I hate winter. It's a dark and dirty and cold season. I have to get those feelings on the canvas. They're not there yet.

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