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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Plums on White, 3

A better use of color in the whites here, but shimmering, no.
This is my last post until April 4 - I am going to re- juice the Muse! - and I will also be practicing my ellipses.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Fruit on White, 2

This is more experimenting with color that can go into white to make it look more alive. Hard to see but I used warm and cool next to each other. I will have to be braver.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Salsa Vegetables

More white cloth. I know from my painting experience of the last 2 months that the information I need presents itself. For instance, if I am unable to get something or make something work, I get disgusted and frustrated, etc, and then eventually I rest, and often when I am calmed down I suddenly see what I need to know, and realize it was there all the time.
I am looking forward to skipping the disgusted part of this process, and am actually doing much better about that. Painting every day takes the pressure off making a good one, somewhat, because you have another shot right away. But this idea of shimmering white, rather than a flat plane of white - this is something I see in other's work, but do not see when I look at the set up.
I think maybe experimenting with light bulbs might be a beginning. I know I can invent it, or imagine it, but first I want to see it.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Fruit on White, 1

I am thinking it would be good to work with some whites for a while. I remember seeing in real life a small painting, maybe 8x12 or 14 inches, by Redon, of one lemon and another fruit, maybe a plum, sitting in the middle and not touching, of a shimmering white background and foreground. The white was so alive that it was equal to the small darker shapes of the fruit. So, how to make it shimmer, how to make the little bit of positive and huge negative space work,
how to have a strong minimal composition ?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Perch in Green Bowl

Last appearance for this little fish. Color terrible in this and all other photos I took of this pntg.
Maybe terrible in real life, too, but not this terrible.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Perch on Pink Plate

I find it compositionally challenging to cram this long fish into an 8x6" panel, but I have the panels, so that is what will be happening as far as daily painting goes. Maybe I need to look at it in the terms of a Haiku: the given is the fish and the small rectangular panel, figure a way to make it work. The round brush was not as alive on a canvas panel as a completely smooth one, the paint went down differently. I will be sanding those canvas boards smooth in the future!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Broken Donut, Pink Plate


I used a small round brush - it was like coming home! I could maneuver the paint around without picking it up again and without leaving a chopped edge. I've been using brights and flat brushes and I am forced to reckon with a flat chop brush mark, which sometimes I like, but sometimes not. I have to figure the brush thing out, because I want to be able to use them all and you can't do everything with a small round brush. Also, I used a smooth wooden panel instead of a canvas panel, so the paint stayed up on the surface and could be pushed around and built up, really delicious.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Donut and Striped Cup

I have been wanting to use black, also to see if I could make it with red/blue/yellow, which in fact can be done. I want soon to do something with black from the tube and see what the difference is.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Do Nut and Star Cookies

I'm looking forward to another go with this do nut. It was fun and I learned a lot about how to mix brown. Can you believe it is mix of red, blue and yellow? I just didn't believe it, and it is so.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Graves Bowl, Fruit

I found these rubber bowls by Michael Graves in Target, they are misshapen, and I thought I would not have to worry about getting the ellipse right , but no, no, no. It was harder. Also,
the pink was elusive -- I used Thalo violet and cad red light, but very tricky. This one I will wipe, but it was good practice for the close values of the pot and the red paper it sat on. Next time, easier.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Three Black Plum, Red Plate

More color experiments. I am annoyed that I can't get the color right in this shot! The journey from photoshop to the blog post messes with it somehow, lessens the intensity of it.
I could have shifted the entire plate to the right and improved this one, since all the weight is leaning to the left. I think I planned that in the beginning but it got lost.

Orange Slices, Blue Plate

This is the painting from yesterday, which I completed after dark, so I couldn't photograph it. I am trying to work with some strong color again. I saw on someone's blog that they did the drawing with magenta, so I tried it as opposed to thinned burnt umber. Then it made me crazy
when it appeared in a place I didn't want it. I also used a pink underpainting in the hopes it would help the green relate to the purples in the plate. It's astounding what you can find on people's blogs, I'm so grateful. You could probably learn how to do an operation!

Mary Magdalene

This is my blonde miniature dachshund, Mary Magdalene. (She is spiritual.)
This is a substitute post because I finished yesterday's painting too late to photograph and today it is pouring rain. If some light appears today I will photograph and post.
I have done dogs for the last 3 years, trying to learn how to paint. And also, I love dogs and think they should have portraits as seriously painted as a Holbein.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Baby Red Bananas

I have been working on a baby portrait today and it has not been going well. At all.
So I took time out to do this daily painting, and then maybe a nap, and back at the baby.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Red Baby Bananas, Guavas

This one was pretty straight forward, these little meaty bananas were fun and the guavas made perfume.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Better Chicken

This is the second try.
Better bowl, better color in the chicken, but not so frankly done as the first, which I was aiming for.
I will not redo it, though, because I am going to eat it for lunch. Scroll down for the worse chicken.

This is the first try. Things went along gloriously until I got to the reflections in the metal bowl and then I lost control. Also, another wonky bowl. I have something to say about painting chickens, and it is this: basically, you have a corpse. And as such, the color is pretty gray and yellow (chicken fat) until the color starts to rise, and I assume this is from the flesh being exposed to the air. Anyway, it gets pinker, then moves to deep purple and brown. I have done enough chickens to know all the stages, some of which are better for painting than others.
When I stood back and looked at this one, I put it aside to see if I could do a better one.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Reamer and Lemon

This painting is a little triumph because: I have tried to draw this reamer many times and I got hopelessly mucked up with all the planes, but this time I was able to simplify the form and make it coherent. Also, the value spread is greater, more light and dark in addition to the great middle ground. So progress!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Old Slippers

This painting was just fun and without agony and makes me feel like I have Learned Something!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Jalapenos, Knife

I took this back to the easel and darkened the values in the upper left corner. The paint is unfriendly today, oily and slippery and everything I mix disappears into murk. I still need the book.

The light in this one escaped me. The foreground was a lighter luminous purple and the background was a deeper bluer purple. I don't know how I could have not got it, because it was very obvious and yet this entire thing is the same purple grey. All the purple turned into one value of its own accord. Who can recommend a book to read about shadows, I know there must be one out there?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Tomatoes, Knife

6" square, oil on canvas panel

Raining here today and gray, so the color doesn't photograph well. But it's good enough for now.
I wanted to do the tomatoes before they lose that green, also to work with shadowed yellow. In Carol Marine's workshop (fabulous!) I came up against the world of grays that make up almost everything. I hadn't thought of it in that way before, that color is shifting constantly within the gray range and only rarely is there any pure color. And yellow, surely the most transparent, is full of all sorts of reflected things in the shadows.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Pears, Pillowcase

8x6" oil on canvas panel

These are sort of romantic and prettified and I meant them to be more jolting with the blue and acid greens. And more crude. The real issue is probably overworking the paint.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Early Tomatoes

Red underpainting on this one, no white show through specks as before.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Plate of peppers

Here is what I learned with this one: I usually tone the canvas before beginning the painting, but this time I was in a hurry, so I just got to work on a white panel. Those little specks of white are the canvas showing through. I thought that I always covered up the entire canvas, and further, that the toning color only muddied my paint if I overworked it, which is often. Or even mostly. But now I can see that an orange wash on the canvas would have added to it, made the overall color better. Hoisted by my own petard.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Rubber Gloves, Soap

The really aggressive orange of these gloves is not photographing accurately, but I want to try painting them again anyway. One of the problems I have working in this small format is that my brain's default setting is always, LIFE SIZE. I usually have a long period at the beginning of a small painting getting the drawing right for the canvas size. And I always think of Bonnard, who worked on large unstretched canvases so he didn't have to deal with this issue. However, I like very much doing these small paintings and plan to re-train my brain to adapt. Unlike Bonnard, who could do anything he wanted because he made the most tender beautiful paintings in the world.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Silver Pitcher and Lemon

6" square oil on canvas panel

More reflective stuff. That's actually my portrait on the belly of the pitcher.

Salt Shaker, Lemon, Jigger

6" square, oil on canvas panel

I am easing into hard (opposed to organic) forms. Fruits and vegetables are so forgiving, but ellipses and metal and glass surfaces, not so much. I am choosing to think repetition in painting these things will be the answer. Also, this is really fun, except for the occasional gross failure.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Pears on Pink

6" square, oil on canvas panel

These three pears are now retired from duty.