Monday, April 27, 2009

Against the Wall Again

...Against the Wall III...
Oil on Canvas - 6" x 6"

This is the last of my red tulip against the wall paintings... at least for now. I had wanted to do a series of the same subject, using the same colors because:
  1. They might make a nice set if displayed together.
  2. I wanted to experiment with using a different medium for each one.
If you are not an artist, you might want to stop reading at this point, because here comes some "shop talk."

The mediums were:
  1. Gamblin Neo-Meglip--This turned out to be the most difficult to work with, because the brushstrokes showed in the transparent paint, and the paint started setting up, becoming sticky after about an hour.
  2. Garrett Copal Concentrate--A resin, not really a medium, seemed to make the paint thicker. Really easy to paint with! Strokes blended like a dream. Did not seem to speed drying. Because it thickened the paint, I ended up using more mineral spirits than usual, but that didn't seem to increase the transparency of the paint. (You know the expression, "Oils slip, resins grip")
  3. Grumbacher Copal Painting Medium--After the above experience, I decided to try this medium, even though it is a synthetic alkyd medium. At least it is an attempt to duplicate the effects of a copal medium. It did thin the paint and give better flow. Did not become sticky before the painting was finished. Paint seemed to have more body and less transparency than when using Liquin (another alkyd medium).
So, which did I like better? Garrett Copal Concentrate, though I'm now curious to try Garrett's Copal Medium, which I expect would thin the paint a bit, so I don't have to use so much mineral spirit.


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Against the Wall

...Against the Wall II...
oil on canvas - 6" x 6"

Here is the tulip from yesterday. It is a different pose and lighting, but still against the wall.

Digital cameras seem to have a lot of trouble with reds, and I had to drastically turn down the saturation and cool the photograph's colors to make it look like the painting. The tulip is supposed to be a true red. Of course, monitors vary in color temperature too...


Friday, April 24, 2009

Uncooperative Tulip

...Against the Wall...
Oil on canvas - 6" x 6"

I was going to paint another classic tulip, this time with a red flower. Well, as soon as I got the tulip indoors, it splayed its petals. Then it refused to stand up straight. I finally ended up leaning it against the wall to get it into the right position. It reminds me of those police shows, where the arresting cop says, "Alright! Against the wall!" (Can you believe, when I was in school, we used artificial flowers--artificial fruit too.)

I used a lot of transparent painting here, to get the glow.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Plein Air

...First Greens...
oil on canvas - 6" x 8"

I went out
plein air painting today with two artist friends. It was our first time out this year and was quite a challenge (translation: learning experience!) The trees haven't leafed out yet, the water here was shallow, so the mud on the bottom was showing. All the colors were grayed, except the bit of green on the marshy land to the right. The geese were entertaining us the whole time with their loud honks and splashing.

Monday, April 20, 2009

White Tulip

...White Tulip...
oil on canvas - 8" x 6"

After doing flowers in their natural environment, I decided to try a more classical treatment, and go with a plain background. There is a simplicity about this that I really like. The tulip had the most wonderful and exotic fragrance!


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Daffodils II - SOLD

...Daffodils II...
Oil on canvas - 6" x 6"

I am starting to realize that I tend to group my subjects in groups of two, while as an artist, I know that groups of three, or odd numbered groups are considered more interesting. I wonder if there is a deeper significance here? Or is it just that when working on a 6" square that I want to complete that day, I just don't want a lot of detail. A lot of daily painters just paint single objects... maybe I should try that?

But when you have two, or more, they seem to relate to each other, so it seems to give the painting a story, if only in the viewer's mind. What is the story here?

Friday, April 10, 2009

I've Been Honored...

I have been honored by the wonderful artist, Carolyn Finnell, with the Passion for Painting Award. Check out her blog and see for your self her colorful still lives and delightful portraits. I first met Carolyn at the Carol Marine workshop, and was really impressed with her commitment and love of painting. Thank you, Carolyn.

Here are the rules:
- List 7 things you love
- Put a link to the one who picked you
- Choose 7 others to pass the award to
- Notify them of their award

Here are 7 things I love, not an exclusive list, however:
My children - son and daughter
My grandchildren - two little girls
Painting, of course!
Getting together with my friends.
The little corners of nature that still exist.
Going to art galleries and museums
Curling up on the sofa with a good movie and a purring cat.

Now, the magnificent seven artists I want to honor. Their work is really worth checking out.
Ali Cavanaugh
Don Gray
Linda Apple
Cooper Dragonette
Jan Blencowe
Qiang Huang
Kelley MacDonald

Thanks again to Carolyn for nominating me!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Back to Still Life

...Round on Round...
oil on canvas - 6" x 6"

Sometimes my paintings surprise me...

I had been wanting to paint something on this polka-dotted fabric. These mushrooms seemed perfect because their round shapes repeated the round of the dots, and their neutral color seemed a good contrast to the bright pink. Now that I look at it, an alternate title might be "Floating on a Psychedelic Sea."


Sunday, April 5, 2009


oil on canvas - 6" x 6"

It seems like every time I post a painting, I ask, "what can I say about this one?" And because these little paintings are constant challenges and experiments, the first thing I think of to say is usually, "That was so hard!" Well, of course it was hard! That's what makes it so much fun!

I eliminated thalo blue from my palette, and used the milder Sevres blue (a Rembrandt color). It allows me to get bright greens, but without it being so overpowering. This is actually the second daffodil painting. For the first one I did use thalo blue to get the deep, rich dark greens in the background. Then I realized there was no way I could paint over it (as with the small amount of overlap that would occur when doing the edges of the petals) without it mixing into the white and causing blue daffodils. I almost wiped the whole thing off, but then decided to let it dry, and paint over it later. So, another daffodil painting will be coming in a few days.


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Oscar, Upside Down

...Oscar, Upside Down...
Oil on canvas - 6" x 6"

It has been so long since I've done a pet portrait that I had to learn how to do fur all over again. In fact, I've never done fur as fine and fuzzy as Oscar's. The fur seems to suck up the light and obscure the shadows, so it is a real effort to maintain the value pattern and give the form a 3-dimensional quality. Of course, the tabby markings don't help.

Oscar was not aware, when I bailed him out of the hoosegow, that his duties as studio cat would include modeling. But being a good sport, he decided to go along with it. This is a pose he strikes quite often, especially when he is about to be fed. He thinks this is a very successful painting, my best yet! He'll say anything for a tuna treat.