Thursday, May 22, 2014

Lilac Season - Floral Bouquet

8"x10" oil on .75" deep wrapped canvas
For more information or to purchase, click here.  

There it is, purple cones of tiny flowerettes, all ganging up to make a mass of fragrance wafting on the air. Spring finally made it to New England, and now it is starting to go by so quickly. Blossoms fade and drift to the ground, painting the path with what looks like pink snowdrift. 

This is our set-up from the Monday Mentoring class I teach (this past Monday's class).  We'll skip the Memorial Holiday class, but I'll offer the first three Mondays in June for plein air classes here in my garden!  

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Stonington Fishing Fleet Red Boat

8"x10" oil on linen mounted on archival panel
For more information, or to purchase, click here.
Down to the sea on a misty, rainy gray day. In the coastal New England fishing village of Stonington, CT the boats were at the pier last Friday when I went down to paint. The rain hadn't come in yet, finished this just in time as the heavy air turned to a light chilly rain. The fishermen kept working on their boats...chores never end. I was able to pack up and return to the warmth of my studio. 

I feel so lucky to live close to the sea. When it the skies are heavy like last Friday, I can hear the fog horns all the way to my house.  It has become part of my life in the same way that I delight in hearing birdsong on a sunny Spring day.

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Friday, May 16, 2014

Mentoring Mondays - All Knife and Nothing But A Knife!

8"x8" oil on archival panel

Mondays during May I'm hosting lessons in my studio for those who are interested in learning how to use a palette knife in their work.  I think it's a great exercise to begin with 'total immersion'. Painting knife, no medium, and painting from life. 
I did remember to photo some of the parts along the way through! 
Here's our set-up:
First, you'll take that blank canvas and make some marks indicating where your objects will lay. Perhaps you want certain pieces to run off the edge. Think of your shadow shapes as part of your composition. Where will you place these? Once you've thought about your placement, start 'massing' in the shapes in a midtone of that local color. 
Then you'll want to start indicating those shadow shapes after you objects are laid in. If you've misplaced some of your objects on the canvas, scrape back the paint and moving it where you need it to be.  You are not "filling in the lines" like a 'coloring book', you are laying in masses of color, and those edges can be moved about as need be. Think of it as a 'push/pull' process. 
 And yes, I've left this photo uncropped so that you can see how I like to place my painting panel on a larger surface (in this case a larger piece of heavy corrugated cardboard) so that each knife stroke of paint has plenty of clearance. It can be very annoying to feel cramped when placing a stroke of paint and your hand/knife gets jammed into the ridge on your easel that holds the bottom edge! Same goes for the top. I attach it to the cardboard with blue painters tape. It does hold well enough to keep it staying put while I work on the painting! 
Once I get the darks laid in, I start adjusting. I'm interested in exciting color comparisons, & value contrasts.  Then finally working the lighter areas last, looking for reflected light in my subjects.

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Friday, May 9, 2014

Séduit par Géraniums

12"x12" oil on archival panel
For more information, or to purchase, click here. 

Is it the color? the artful arrangements of floral bliss? the ancient limestone buildings...where window placement seems random but is actually purposeful? the lyrical language? All of these make it so easy to fall in love with a place! 
The southwest region of France, in the Lot valley is just such a place. I'm hoping you'll join me next year, 2015. Lisa's Gryphon Art & Travel will be putting out next year's schedule soon!

Avoir un bon week-end! 

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Spring Warm Up! Marsh View Landscape

16"x16" oil on cradled birch panel
For more information, or to purchase, click here.  

Ah, the earth is finally beginning to wake up along the shoreline here in New England.  Each year I have such a sense of anticipation. Bound by parkas, and wool, several layers of clothing, most of us have been getting pretty antsy when winter tries to extend it's stay.  

The Warm Up....such a welcomed time!  

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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Ruler of All She Purr-veys - Kitty Floral

6"x8" oil on linen mounted on archival panel

Chairman and Queen of the IBKC (that's Itty Bitty Kitty Committee) ruleth over all she surveys. Oil on canvas. Per special request. Even a feral cat & her human have their day.

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